Dubai Creates World’s First 3D Printed Construction Certification System


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Keeping with its historical embrace of 3D printing, Dubai has another feather for its cap: It has become the first city on Earth to adopt a certification system for additive construction.

This Certification and Conformity Marks system is the first of its kind and was designed with a dual function: to streamline operational procedures in 3D printed construction and ensuring the quality and consistency of concrete mixes utilized for construction in the city. Observers believe these steps underscore the municipality’s resolve to set international benchmarks in the burgeoning field of 3D printed construction.

By both setting and adopting these standards, Dubai has poised itself to oversee and deploy a domestic stock of 3D printers that can meet their new standards. How these standards might impact the utilization and development of other large scale concrete 3D printers remains to be seen. Could some international firms alter their designs and concrete formulations to meet Dubai’s new standards, or will individual cities and nations adopt their own systems?

Dawoud Al Hajiri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, believes that the adoption of this system highlights Dubai’s commitment to its Dubai 3D Printing Strategy 2030, a long touted plan that seeks to add a minimum of 25 percent of 3D printed buildings within the emirate by 2030.

The core focus areas of this new system include:

  • Assessing product and raw material quality
  • Ensuring the efficiency of manufacturing equipment and machinery
  • Defining technical standards for manufacturing operations at each stage,
  • Ensuring the efficiency of management systems within factories.

The exact specifications of these standards will be made public via Dubai Municipality’s website.

It seems appropriate for Dubai to take this step considering the number of 3D printed buildings both present in the city already and planned for construction. Dubai is home to many of the world’s 3D printed structures, giving them access to a litany of ‘firsts’: The Dubai Municipality building, which houses the city government, was called the “largest” 3D printed structure in the world at the time that it was made (a title that currently belongs to a luxury horse barn in Florida). A Gensler designed building – featured at the top of this post – holds the title of the world’s first 3D printed office.  The city is also home to R&Drone Laboratory, a research center for 3D printing and drone technology designed by CyBe Construction. R&Drone also holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s first 3D concrete printed laboratory.

In an era where the capability of cities to undertake large-scale construction is often at its minimum, Dubai’s commitment to its long term 3D printing strategy provides something to be optimistic about. The introduction of this 3D printing certification system is not merely a local development; it is potentially a glimpse into the future of construction technology and employment on a global scale.

Feature image courtesy of WASP

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