3D printing is taking the world by storm. We will now be admiring the world’s first 3D printed office building which opened this week in Dubai. It’s a 2,700 square foot, single story built that was built using a gigantic, 20 foot tall 3D printer spitting out a special mix of concrete, fiber reinforced plastic and glass fiber reinforced gypsum. The structure signifies a new stage in modular, prefab construction, while also cutting the labor costs in half and reducing material costs by more than 30 percent. The absolutely amazing fact about this feat is that it was accomplished in only 17 days and the project only cost $140,000.
The chic building was constructed by Chinese company, Yingchuang Technology Co. Limited. It had to pass stability tests in both the United Kingdom and China. The floor, walls and ceiling are all printed on their side in 2D layer by layer, then tilted vertically. The office’s interior was also printed in the same way as the exterior. The modules were built in the factory in China, cut in half so that they could be shipped more easily and reassembled on site.
Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was there for the opening and said, “We announce today the opening of the first 3D printed office in the world, after less than a month of launching Dubai 3D printing strategy which showcases a modern model of construction. This is an experience we present the world on utilizing future technology in people’s lives.”
Apparently the building will function as an exhibition and seminar space as it is located next to the Emirates Towers. Dubai home to make the city into a center filled with 3D technologies before 2030 and this building was the stepping stone. 3D printing is estimated to cut construction time by 50-70% and labor costs by 50-80%. Mohammed Al Gergawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the Federal Government of the UAE said “It is not just a building, but also has functional offices and people working in it. We believe it is just the beginning, the world will change.”
Richard Hammond led the design team for the building and he says, “With the introduction of this kind of technology, architects become guides for the experience of creating buildings, not just experts in building structures.” Said al-Aleeli, CEO of a government initiative called the Dubai Future Foundation that is behind the project said “The future will be 3D printed, I won’t be surprised if in 20 years down the road whole cities will be 3D printed.”