Dubai has unveiled the world’s first 3D printed office that will form the home of the Dubai Future Foundation.
Sheikh Mohammed, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, officially opened the building that represents a show of strength when it comes to 3D printing in the UAE.
The four pod-style buildings have not followed the original plans. Initially there was a concept for a two-storey building alongside the sleek curved centrepiece.
So the taller building has not materialised in the gardens of Emirates Towers, which is owned by the Jumieirah Group that also owns the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel. It is still an almighty feat of engineering, though, which required a 20-foot tall 3D printer with a robotic arm that was 120 feet long.
Just 18 people involved in the construction
One person monitored the printer during the build process and 17 more were involved in the installation. From start to finish the whole project took 17 days and the 250 square meter office had running water, electricity and air conditioning installed from the off.
The materials are a combination of Special Reinforced Concrete, Fiber Reinforced Plastic and Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum and the walls contain a lattice structure that reduces material waste. The whole project reinforced the basic belief that 3D printing can cut construction waste by up to 60%, cut production time by up to 70% and reduce labour costs by as much as 80%.
“We implement what we plan, and we pursue actions not theories. The rapidly changing world requires us to accelerate our pace of development, for history does not recognize our plans but our achievements,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said at the opening of the ‘Office of the Future’.
A local office, a global collaboration
WinSun Global, arguably the world’s leading authority on 3D printed construction, worked with leading architects and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti and Syska Hennessy to create this vision of a future workplace. It will now be more than an office and the home of the Dubai Future Foundation. It will host a number of events and will also provide a digital fabrication facility and a 3D printing exhibition space.
Dubai has embraced the industry and recently revealed plans to form a global hub of 3D printing, with up to 700 firms taking residence. The ruling family also recently announced it wants at least 25% of construction to be 3D printed by 2030.
The ruler envisages a future where each industry gets its own city. 3D printed construction is a simple, cost effective and efficient way to make that happen.
A new path for an oil nation
It is impressive that a nation that was built on oil, a dwindling resource that represents the old world, has shown a real determination to embrace future tech.
The Dubai Future Foundation is a new initiative that will work with companies around the world to implement high tech solutions to fix old problems. It has already signed deals to work with companies in aviation, computing and 3D printing.
“The future is not built on possibilities and numbers but on clarity of vision, planning, action and implementation. Science and technology are changing the world at an accelerating pace, and the choice is to either play the role of influencers or get confined to the position of the affected,” Sheikh Mohammad added.
“Dubai has a modern infrastructure and appropriate legislative structure which can promote its position as a global hub for the making of the future in the region and the world. Shaping the future is not a new concept for Dubai. The city has achieved significant experience in aviation, trade, financial services and technology.”