Construction

Dubai plans world’s first 3D-printed office

The 2,000 sq. ft. structure is set to be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot 3D printer

PHOTO: The building is planned under a partnership between Dubai and China’s WinSun Global. Credit: WAM

Dubai has unveiled plans to build the world’s first fully functional 3D-printed office, state news agency WAM reported.

The office will be about 2,000 sq. ft. (185.8sqm) in size and printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot-tall 3D printer. It will then be assembled on site in Dubai in a few weeks.

All interior furniture, detailing, and structural components will also be built using 3D-printing technology, combining a mixture of special reinforced concrete, glass-fibre reinforced gypsum, and fibre-reinforced plastic. 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, it was reported.

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

Commenting on the plans, Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee, said the country aims to deploy technology to improve people’s lives and develop its economy.

The project is part of an overall strategy to create new designs and solutions in education, healthcare and cities, he added.

“The idea of 3D printing buildings was once a dream, but today it has become a reality,” 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.”

According to expert estimates, 3D-printing technology can cut production time of buildings by 50-70%, reduce labour costs by 50-80% and save between 30-60% of construction waste. This in turn leads to enhanced productivity, greater economic returns and increased sustainability.

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