Dubai is to house the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building.
So how exactly will this work? The structure will be produced layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer. In a matter of only a few weeks the building will then be assembled on site. It will be the first building of its kind at this scale and put into real use.
Not only is the building in 3D print but all interior furniture, details, and other structural components will use the technology.
Those assembling it will use a mixture of Special Reinforced Concrete (SRC), Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GRG) and Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP). This combination will make it the most advanced 3D printed structure ever built at this scale and the first to be put into actual use.
The new technology will not only undoubtedly look incredible but it aims to improve people’s lives and to develop the economy.
As part of the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, people living in this country are expected to have an improved sense of wellbeing.
‘We are keen to use the latest technologies to simplify people’s lives and to serve them better,’ His Excellency Mohamed Al Gergawi, the Chairman UAE National Innovation Committee, said. ‘This project is part of our overall innovation strategy to create new designs and new solutions in education, healthcare and cities. Our goal is to increase the happiness and wellbeing of our residents and to pioneer new solutions for the world.’
3D printing technology could reduce the production time of buildings by 50 to 70 per cent, in turn reducing labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent, and saving between 30 and 60 per cent of construction waste.
The result of that would mean enhanced productivity, higher economic return, and increased sustainability.
‘The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,’ His Excellency Al Gergawi said. ‘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.’
The upcoming building - approximately 2,000 square feet and located at a busy intersection the heart of the city - will be the hub for staff at the Museum of the Future while that is in progress, and there will be a digital fabrication facility plus a 3D printing exhibition space.