Europe’s First 3D Printed School Opens in Ukraine

Published on May 31, 2023 by Avery S.

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is playing an increasingly significant role in the field of construction. The construction industry has recognized the numerous benefits offered by this technology, including the ability to create intricate designs, as well as time and cost savings. Consequently, there has been a growing specialization in 3D printing within the industry.

In a notable development, Heidelberg, Germany recently witnessed the construction of Europe’s largest 3D-printed building. This achievement, alongside various other projects involving the construction of houses, pavilions, bridges, and medical facilities, has generated considerable excitement. One such project that stands out is the collaboration between the non-profit foundation Team4UA and the Danish 3DCP Group, which aims to build Europe’s first 3D printed school in Ukraine. Ukraine currently faces a significant challenge in rebuilding its infrastructure following Russia’s invasion. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, over 2,000 schools were damaged or destroyed, with 277 schools requiring complete demolition. As a result, the country has shifted its focus to rapidly reconstructing educational facilities for its population, and it sees great potential in harnessing the power of 3D printing. The city of Lviv, located in the western region of Ukraine, will be home to the groundbreaking project. The Danish manufacturer COBOD’s BOD2 printer will be utilized to bring this vision to life.

The school’s printing is done with COBOD’s BOD2 printer (Image: COBOD)

The School’s Reconstruction

The objective of the 3D printing-based school construction project is twofold: to ensure access to education for children affected by the devastating war in Ukraine and to create an inclusive space for internally displaced children in Lviv. The destruction of schools and other educational facilities has deprived the younger generation of valuable educational opportunities, which can have detrimental effects on their future prospects and the overall development of the country. By employing innovative solutions, this pressing issue can be addressed swiftly, efficiently, and with remarkable speed, as demonstrated by the substantial progress made in just three to four days of printing. Approximately half of the printing process has already been completed, highlighting the project’s rapid advancement.

Jean-Christophe Bonis, the founder and chairman of the humanitarian foundation Team4UA, explains that the school facility will cater to elementary students and will be constructed on the premises of an existing school. Spanning an area of 370 square meters, the single-story building aims to provide a safe and pleasant learning environment for the students. The construction team has prioritized the use of locally sourced building materials, with 90% of them being produced within the country. Even the required concrete has been procured locally, resulting in significant cost savings. This approach not only contributes to the revival of Ukraine’s economy but also lays a foundation for continued development in the future.

Henrik Lund-Nielsen, the Founder and Managing Director of COBOD, expressed pride in providing the technology that enables this remarkable project: “We are proud to have delivered the technology that makes this project possible. The proud people of Ukraine deserve all the support we can provide, and I am happy we have been able to donate all what we have been doing in this project for free. Out of the respect for the impressive fighting will Ukraine has shown on behalf of all of the rest of Europe and the rest of the democratic world, this is the least we could do”. To learn more about the project, click HERE.

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*Cover photo credit: Balbek Bureau

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