UAE Focus

An artist’s impression of the 3D printed building.

An artist’s impression of the 3D printed building.

Dubai to launch world’s first 3D printed building

August 2015

The world’s first fully functional 3D printed building is set to come up in Dubai, it has been revealed.

The plans for the office building were unveiled in the emirate in a move that is expected to establish the country’s position as the global centre of technology in architecture, construction and design.

The ‘office’ will be approximately 2,000 sq ft in size and will be printed layer by layer using a 20-ft-tall 3D printer, then assembled on site in Dubai in just a few weeks, according to the UAE Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

All interior furniture, detailing, and structural components will also be built using 3D printing technology, combining a mixture of special reinforced concrete (SRC), glass fibre-reinforced gypsum (GRG) and fibre-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 PMO said.

The building is the result of a partnership between Dubai and WinSun Global of China, along with leading global architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy, it stated.

In addition to prototyping new technology, the ‘office’ reflects the latest input from experts and researchers in workplace design and the future of work.

Located at a busy intersection in the heart of Dubai, the ‘office’ is designed to bring together different professionals, community members, and experts through a mix of public events.

The space is open and flexible, allowing for a range of uses and team sizes. It will also feature a small digital fabrication facility and a 3D printing exhibition space, according to the PMO.

The project is the first major initiative of the ‘Museum of the Future’, launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

It highlights the organisation’s model of industry-government-designer collaboration, which is intended to develop and deploy cutting-edge prototypes across the city of Dubai. It will act as the temporary headquarters for the staff of the ‘Museum of the Future’ while the permanent museum is being built.

Chairman of UAE National Innovation Committee Mohamed Al Gergawi said: “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.

“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 the 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,” he added.

Experts estimate that 3D printing technology can reduce the production time of buildings by 50 to 70 per cent, reduce labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent, and can save between 30 and 60 per cent of construction waste. These savings translate to enhanced productivity, higher economic return, and increased sustainability.

More Stories