Sustainable infrastructure solutions company Acciona has inaugurated a new global 3D printing centre in Dubai
Sustainable infrastructure solutions company Acciona has inaugurated a new global 3D printing centre in Dubai featuring what the company says is the world’s largest operational 3D printer using Powder Bed technology.
According to a statement by the Spanish multinational, the new facilities meet growing demand for 3D printed infrastructure and the technology is particularly suitable for generating highly resistant structural parts. In addition, the technique uses concrete as base material, which renders it an ideal solution for architectural, urban and building applications.
The printer, with dimensions of 6m by 3m by 2m, allows greater efficiency and automation of the construction processes, says Acciona, with 3D technology offering a freedom of architectural and urban design that had previously been unthinkable. It also opens the way to scientifically documenting heritage items and making replicas from their digital copies, which enables the public to contemplate identical reproductions.
The new production facility is the culmination of an internal development process in the Innovation area starting in 2016, which has enabled the technology to be fine-tuned for commercial use, added Acciona..
During this process, the company says it achieved milestones such as the first footbridge in the world made using 3D printing, in Alcobendas (Madrid, Spain), or the first architectural piece of cultural heritage made on a real scale using 3D printing on concrete – the Romanesque arch of San Pedro de las Duenas, in collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum of Spain.
Acciona says it has chosen Dubai to install its 3D printing centre in order to support the emirate’s commitment to deploying this technology in all economic fields, especially in the construction sector, with the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ integrated into the emirate’s strategic development plan for cost reduction, productivity and performance improvement of products and environmental impact mitigation. The Strategy aims to make Dubai a world-class 3D printing hub by the year 2030.
Among the concrete initiatives included in the Strategy is the introduction of a new law under which 25% of new buildings’ components must be manufactured with 3D technology by 2025.
Jesús Sancho, MD, Acciona Middle East, said: “Tthe arrival of the world´s largest 3D printing machine in Dubai´s Ras Al Khor Industrial Area represents the availability of this revolutionary and unique technology in the GCC. At Acciona, we are always pursuing the development of new and advanced know-how within our global goal to achieve a better planet.”
Luis Clemente, COO of Acciona 3D Printing, added: “We are delighted to present this initiative which represents a successful case of cutting edge technology developed at the Acciona’s R&D and Innovation Center being transferred to the market and making it accessible to all. Moreover, it reinforces Acciona’s image as an innovative company. Dubai is the place to be when it comes to state-of-the-art technologies, especially regarding concrete 3D printing, as it is underpinned by Dubai’s commitment in 3D Printing strategy.’