A 250 sq m structure in the grounds of the Emirates Towers, containing offices and two multi-use spaces for exhibitions and workshops, has been described as the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building.
The single story office was printed using a 6m high, 12m wide and 37m long platform that used an automated robotic arm to extrude a mixture of cement and additives.
The building will be the temporary headquarters of the Dubai Future Foundation, which recently threw its weight behind a contest to design a virtual reality hyperloop.
The structure of the building took 17 days to print, after which the internal and external finishes were added, and two days to assemble on site. According to Dubai’s official news agency WAM, even electricity, water, telecommunications and air-conditioning systems have been realised with the help of 3D printing.
The office looks set to be the first of many 3D printed buildings to be built in Dubai. Last month, prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that Dubai plans to print 25% of its buildings by 2030 as part of its 3D Printing Strategy.
At the opening of the office, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We announce today the opening of the first 3D-printed office in the world, after less than one month of launching [our] Dubai 3D Printing Strategy which showcases a modern model of construction.
“This is an experience we present to the world on utilising future technology in people’s lives. It also represents a new milestone for the UAE as a global leader in strategic achievements.”
He continued: “We see this project as a case study that will benefit regulators as well as research and development centres at the regional and international levels on real application of 3D printing technology. We are documenting this experience and building on it to take advantage of the most important lessons, which will serve as reference points to take this technology to new levels.”
BIM+ understands that the office was created by WinSun Global, the international division of China’s 3D printing pioneer WinSun, in partnership with global architecture firm Gensler, London-based structural engineer Thornton Thomasetti, and New York-based consultant Syska Hennessy.