Dubai is constructing the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building as part of plans to become a global hub for innovation.
The office will be approximately 2,000 square feet in size and printed lay-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer assembled on site in Dubai in a few weeks.
All interior furnishing, detailing and structural components will also be built using 3D printing technology, with a combination of special reinforced concrete, glass fibre reinforced gypsum and fibre reinforced plastic.
Dubai’s Ministry of Cabinet Affairs claimed this would make it the most advanced 3D printed structure ever built at this scale, and the first to be put into actual use.
The building is a result of a partnership between Dubai and WinSun Global, along with architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti and Syska Hennessy.
UAE National Innovation Committee chairman Mohamed Al Gergawi said the move was part of plans to make the UAE a global centre of technology in architecture construction and design.
“We are keen to use the latest technologies to simplify people’s lives and to serve them better. 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,” Al Gergawi said.
He added that the building would be a “testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology” that could play a major role in reshaping the construction and design sectors.
Some estimates suggest 3D printing technology can reduce building production time by 50 to 70 per cent, reduce labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent and save between 30 to 60 per cent of construction waste.
The site will be located at a busy intersection “in the heart of Dubai” and is designed for a range of uses including public events. It will also feature a small digital fabrication facility and 3D printing exhibition space.
The 3D-printed office is the first major initiative of the ‘Museum of the Future’, a scheme to develop and deploy cutting edge prototypes across Dubai, launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.
It will also act as the temporary headquarters for staff of the ‘Museum of the Future’ while the permanent museum is built.