The ‘Office’ will be approximately 2,000 square feet in size and will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer, then assembled on site in Dubai in just a few weeks.
Dubai – The world’s first fully 3D-printed office building will soon take shape in Dubai, officials announced on Tuesday.
The structural components, interior furniture and all the detailing will be constructed layer by layer using a massive 20-foot tall 3D printer. The finished parts will then be assembled at a busy intersection in Dubai over the span of few weeks.
Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee, said the structure is part of the UAE’s strategy to employ technology to improve the lives of residents and further develop the country’s economy.
“This project reflects the vision of our leadership here in Dubai,” 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. Our goal is to increase the happiness and well-being of our residents and to pioneer new solutions for the world.”
The building is a result of a partnership between Dubai, design engineering company WinSun Global, and architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy. The 3D office is the first major project undertaken by the Museum of the Future, launched in Dubai earlier this year.
According to experts, the use of 3D printing technology has the potential to reduce the construction time of buildings by between 50 and 70 per cent, reduce labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent, and can cut down on the amount of construction waste by 30 to 60 per cent, which means increased sustainability and increased economic return on the initial investment.
“The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,” Gergawi added. “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,” experts said.
Ifthikhar Abdul Nasser, a senior 3D designer and architectural visualiser at an architecture engineering consultant company, Archcorp, said: “3D printing has really progressed from the days the technology was used for presentations, and to print toys and key chains. A 3D office building life size will be really cool.”
He said he hadn’t heard of this and doesn’t know about the durability and sustainability of the components. “We use mostly a kind of plastic, and only for small scale 3D printing. But the world is developing rapidly.” He remembers, last year, reading about a man in Canada who designed a gun and used it using 3D technology. “People are using 3D printing also for medical advancements…for printing out artificial organs.” But a life size 3D office, he said, is a first in his field and exciting news.
In other parts of the world, 3D buildings have already been built for residential purposes. In China, WinSun successfully 3D printed 10 full-sized single storey houses in 2014, each costing less than $5,000. Additionally, the company has successfully built a three-storey, 11,840 square-foot mansion for a total cost $161,000, as well as a five-storey apartment block.