The American University in Dubai (AUD) has announced the establishment of a scientific research centre for 3D printing concrete buildings. Called The Center for 3D Concrete Printing and Digital Construction, it is reportedly the first of its kind in the Middle East. 3DVinci Creations, a 3D printing service bureau based in Dubai, will supply the AUD center with a 3D printer as part of a cooperation agreement between the two entities. Arabtec Construction Company and Robert Bird Group, a global engineering consultancy firm, are also part of the agreement.
The Center will be built on the AUD campus, and aims to establish a consortium to drive the use of 3D printing concrete technology in construction within MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Edouard Baaklini, CEO of 3DVinci Creations, commented “With this cooperation agreement, we aim to perform strategic analyses of the present and future capabilities of 3D Concrete Printing and of digitally-driven construction systems.”
The Center for 3D Concrete Printing and Digital Construction
The Center for 3D Concrete Printing and Digital Construction will focus on researching innovative processes and developing products, materials, tools and business models for 3D printing.
In order to push its 3D printing research forward in the center, AUD will gather various individuals and entities from academic, industry and government fields. Furthermore, the university plans to run various educational and training workshops/seminars in 3D concrete printing for both local and regional communities.
Students of AUD, the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, and researchers from 3DVinci Creations, Arabtec and Robert Bird will be able to use the services of the Center. AUD hope that this will help boost the development and adoption of specifications for 3D printing processes. The university will also promote a ‘3D printing culture’ in the construction industry with help from state officials. Baaklini explains further:
“The Center will work with local regulatory bodies to develop newly updated building codes that pertain to 3D printed buildings and structures. We will also develop cost models of 3D Printed Concrete buildings and structures together with tools for value analysis vis-à-vis traditional construction methodologies.”
An educational step forward for 3D printing construction in the Middle East
Both Saudi Arabia and Dubai have established initiatives to push forward the construction of buildings with 3D printing technology, and various companies have since aimed to fulfill these visions.
3DVinci Creations has already played a part in helping to realize Dubai’s vision for 2025, in which at least 25% of every new building in the city will feature the use of 3D printing. The service bureau recently signed distribution agreements with Danish 3D printing construction company COBOD International and London large-scale 3D printer provider Ai Build to sell their systems within the UAE.
In addition, Saudi Arabian construction company Elite for Construction & Development Co. placed an order for the BOD2 3D printer from COBOD as well. With the order, Elite hope to realize Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to improve the country’s economy and housing through pillars of innovations, i.e., modern construction techniques.
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Featured image shows AUD signing a cooperation agreement with Arabtec Construction Company, 3DVinci Creations and Robert Bird Group. Photo via 3DVinci Creations.