The first fully-operational 3D-printed building opened in Dubai as the United Arab Emirates indicates plans to use this technology in a quarter of new buildings by 2030.
It took 17 days to print and build the “Office of the Future” a 250sq m building with flexible office space, meeting rooms, exhibition space and public cafe located at the foot of the Emirates Towers.
The building officially nabbed the Guinness World Record for “the world’s first 3D printed commercial building” in February.
The one-storey building on Sheikh Zayed Road was dwarfed by neighbouring buildings including the Burj Khalifa, officially the tallest building in the world at 163-storeys and 830 metres high since 2010.
However the Dubai Creek Tower is expected to eclipse this record by 100 metres along with the $3.5 billion project to create the world’s biggest shopping mall.
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UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the office was part of Dubai’s greater 3D printing strategy.
“We see this project as a case study that will provide valuable lessons for the entire construction industry,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“It will also benefit governments around the world as they seek to better understand and take advantage of this important technology.”
A 3D-printer measuring 20 feet high, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide was used to print the building.
The labour cost of creating the office was cut in half compared to traditional building methods—a technician monitored the printing, then over two days the building was installed on site.
The building was also created with energy efficiency in mind with digitally sculpted overhangs above the windows, LED lighting and orientation to minimise direct solar heating.
The building was constructed as part of the Dubai Future Agenda with the hopes the process could be extended to other construction, real estate, consumer and medical needs.