From Wolverine-inspired prosthetic limbs to electric cars containing only 40 parts, 3D printing seems to be all the rage today. While the technology has previously been used in architecture, Dubai’s latest development project aims at creating the first ever fully 3D printed office building, by the end of 2017. Unlike similar projects elsewhere in the world, this one-of-a-kind undertaking plans on 3D printing an office building, including everything inside it.
Part of the famous Museum of the Future plan, the project seeks to establish the UAE as the new global center for innovation, be it in architecture, design or even technology. The contract has been awarded to WinSun, a well-known Chinese company that actively uses three-dimensional printing in the field of architecture. What is more, the firm already has a specially-designed, 20-feet-tall printer at its disposal.
Measuring up to 2000-sq-ft in area, the office building will be printed, one layer at a time, with the help of WinSun’s state-of-the-art 3D printer. According to the company’s spokesperson, each of the structural components, as well as the furniture, will be built using a combination of glass fiber reinforced gypsum (GFRG), fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) and concrete. The pre-fabricated structures will then be assembled at the site, in under several weeks. Apart from reducing building time by an impressive 50 to 70-percent, the new technology is also expected to cut down labor-related expense by 50 to 80-percent. Speaking about the project, UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohammed 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 building will likely serve as the temporary headquarters of Dubai’s much-anticipated technological museum, the Museum of the Future. Unfortunately, information regarding the project’s total cost is currently unavailable.