As 3D printing continues to evolve beyond prototyping, metal has been pushed more and more into the spotlight — from tools to implants to aerospace applications. Innovations and experimentation with traditional metals such as bronze and copper are also receiving a lot of attention, especially in the field of architecture.
In India, temple roofs are being updated using the advanced technology of 3D printing. “They are precise to the last micro millimetre,” Neelesh, a mechanical engineer working on the 3D printing roof projects with Govardhan Metals on Car Street in Mangaluru, said regarding 3D printing. “I am not saying the great artisans of the past era were any less, but in the modern times we need volumes in a limited time, which is where the technology comes in.”
Materials such as bronze, copper, gold, silver, and stone are used in these temples, as they represent nature in its most pure form. Approximately 240 temples, such as the Siddivinayaka temple in Mumbai, in many cities across India are getting a makeover as they’re being updated with 3D printed copper plates.
“This new technique has revolutionised temple architecture. When I examined the old copper cladding on temple roofs 300 to 400 years ago, I found they did not have engraving, or wedging qualities. They were nailed to the wooden rafters, which allowed for seepage of water over the years. Some temple managements coated them with modern, anti-ageing paints that rendered the roofs dull,” said M. Shivaprasad, a coppersmith who owns Govardhan Metalworks.
Advanced technologies are now utilized to celebrate, preserve and restore, and showcase the temples of the world. “New age temple architects advise authorities and communities on how to make temples aesthetic, easy to maintain and long lasting,” said Vasudeva Acharya, a temple architect.
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