By now the thought of a 3D printed structure like a home or an apartment building doesn’t surprise most of us. After all, we know for a fact that several ambitious projects to construct such structures are currently underway. With that said, the majority of these buildings only utilize 3D printing for their exterior walls, as sort of a replacement for the use of concrete block or wood framing.
This morning, however, the United Arab Emirates National Innovation Committee has revealed a project which will take things a step or two further. The committee, as well as Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, wants to transform the UAE into a technological center of the world when it comes to architecture and design, and has set forth a plan to 3D print an entire office building. Not only will the exterior walls be printed, but so too will the interior walls, and furniture.
Leading this project will be WinSun Global, a company who has 3D printed an apartment building as well as a home late last year in China, as well as Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy, all which are leading engineering and architecture firms.
“This project reflects the vision of our leadership here in Dubai,” Al Gergawi, the Chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee explained. “The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,” he added. “This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors. We aim to take advantage of this growth by becoming a global hub for innovation and 3D printing. This is the first step of many more to come.”
To print the 2,000 square foot building, engineers will use a 20-foot tall 3D printer, which will be assembled on the build site, located at a busy intersection right in the heart of Dubai. They will use Special Reinforced Concrete (SRC), Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP), and Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GRG) to fabricate the various structural and decorative components of the structure. Total construction time will be just a few weeks, while labor costs will be reduced by 50-80% and construction waste will be reduced between 30-60%.
Once complete, the building, will be used for a variety of purposes and will feature its very own 3D printing exhibition inside. This is the first major project undertaken by the ‘Museum of the Future‘, a museum that began construction earlier in the year, with the promise that 3D printing will be utilized in its creation.
It will be very interesting to see just what else spawns from this project as Dubai aims to make a statement to the world about its technological prowess. It is also interesting to note that Winsun will be printing this office on-location rather than printing single walls and shipping them to the construction site, like they did with their other printed structures.
Let’s hear your thoughts on yet another incredible 3D printing project underway. Discuss in the Dubai 3D Printed Office forum thread on 3DPB.com.