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World’s biggest 3D printed building opens in Dubai, a 6,900 square-foot government office

The world’s largest 3D printed building has officially been completed in Dubai.

The two-story 6,900 square foot structure will be used as an office for general administrative functions by the Dubai Municipality.

It was designed in collaboration with Apis Cor, a 3D printing and construction company in Boston.

While there is a taller 3D printed building in the world, a five story apartment building Suzhou, China that tops 90 feet, the Dubai building has the largest square footage, according to Singularity Hub.

The building was erected on a pre-cast concrete foundation, atop which the 3D printer built up hollow walls using a fast-drying mixture of recycled construction debris, cement, gypsum, and other compounds.

The 3D printing material is roughly 50 percent lighter than conventional concrete and substantially more durable.

The 3D printer outlined the walls with layers of the material a few inches thick, then slowly built upward, until the walls were at full height.

When the walls were completed, human construction crews took over, installing the roof, cutting out spaces for windows, and filling the walls in with insulation.

With structures under 500 square feet, builders can set the 3D printer on a pre-set track and let it run on its own, but in Dubai the builders had to set up a large crane to move the 3D printer as it built up the structure. 

For the Dubai Municipality, the project is just the beginning of what it hopes will be a long commitment to 3D printed buildings.

City officials say they want 25 percent of all new construction to be 3D printed buildings by 2030.

According to city estimates, moving to 3D printing will reduce the labor necessary for building construction by 70 percent and cut construction costs by 90 percent.

‘Construction 3D printing technology is only at the early stages of development,’ Apis Cor CEO Nikita Cheniuntai said, in a statement on the company website.

‘We do extensive R&D work to make the technology available for mass use. We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Dubai Municipality.’

‘The project gave us unique knowledge and invaluable experience that will help us improve our technology and develop a new version of our 3D printer.’

The company says its next projects will be built in Louisiana and California, and it’s also working to develop an affordable 500 square-foot house that can be 3D-printed in 24 hours.

 

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