The world of construction sets a new record as GUtech 3D prints three buildings in just 8 days

GUtech, the German Technology University of Oman, completed the 3D printing of three new buildings in Duqm, 540 km from Oman’s capital, where GUtech is located.

The new 3D printed buildings were created in Oman’s Special Economic Zone, in collaboration with General Contractor Teejan and with the assistance of a construction printer provided by COBOD, a Denmark-based 3D construction printing company.

Dr. Yousuf Al Bulushi, GUtech said: “GUtech has introduced 3D concrete printing in the sultanate of Oman and shows how we could adopt the newest construction technology and employ it so we can get the most out of it. With record-fast printing in Duqm, we have proven the potential of 3D construction printing. We have huge faith in our Omani expert team, and we are aiming to achieve beyond expected.”

“I am proud to have co-designed the buildings 3D printed by GUtech and approved in Duqm. With the use of curves and unconventional shapes, the buildings match the futuristic and aspirational nature of Duqm. 3D concrete printing, as well as Duqm, are both very promising, and GUtech is providing the proof that the promises are being realized,” said Zaid Marmash, head architect and responsible for the Middle East at COBOD.

GUtech's Omani home and the BOD 2 3D printer used to build it.
GUtech’s Omani home and the BOD 2 3D printer used to build it. Image via COBOD.

How are these 3D printed buildings unique?

The debut of the novel 3D printed buildings was a global first in the form of an 81 m2 3D printed commercial coffee shop (871 SF). The overall printing time was 22 hours, and the GU Tech team completed the construction in three days, working eight hours per day. The structure stands 37 m tall (12 feet). COBOD’s Dfab solution was developed in partnership with Cemex, and the materials consumption totaled 19.6 m3 of concrete made from 99% locally available raw materials.

The second new structure, measuring 20 m2, is a public toilet (215 SF). The total printing time was 13 hours, distributed over two days. The building’s overall height is 3.5 m (11 feet), and 10.6 m3 of concrete was used in its construction.

The final 3D printed structure is a 72 m2 Fisherman’s house (775 SF). GUtech specialists required only 19 hours of printing over two days to complete the structure. This one-story house stands 3m (10 feet) tall and was built with 17.3 m3 of concrete.

All of the 3D printed structures were created in collaboration with Teejan, a general contractor. The buildings were 3D printed using locally available raw materials and the Dfab solution created by COBOD and CEMEX, which allows for low-cost 3D printing of concrete using 99% locally sourced materials. The concrete for the three buildings cost only $3,600 USD in total. Load-bearing walls without columns, roof slabs, and 3D printed parapets are used in all buildings.

COBOD and CEMEX's 3D printed house in Angola.
COBOD and CEMEX’s 3D printed house in Angola. Image via BimPlus.

Construction via additive manufacturing

Previously, CyBe, a global 3D concrete printing company, announced plans to build the world’s first 3D printed four-story apartment in partnership with Lab040, an Eindhoven-based housing developer. The Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) method will be used for the CyBe project.

Furthermore, Mighty Buildings, a California-based construction startup, revealed the delivery of the world’s first 3D printed zero net energy home. The two-bed, two-bath home, built from 3D printed prefab panels, is set to be the first in a community of at least 40 housing units at a site in Southern California. In addition to finishing the structure, which generates as much energy as it consumes, the company announced plans to increase its B2B offering in order to deliver eco-friendly homes on a larger scale.

Elsewhere, the non-profit Team4Humanity (TEAM4UA) announced plans to build Europe’s first 3D printed school on the war-torn streets of Ukraine. Over 2,000 schools have reportedly been damaged or destroyed since Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, as Ukrainians return to the relative safety of Lviv, a western city bordering Poland, Team4Humanity is said to be planning to rebuild the country’s infrastructure using 3D printing.

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