Art & Sculpture

“World’s biggest” 3D printed object under construction ahead of Qatar’s upcoming 3D printing hub

WOLF Group, a company comprised of three brands focused on 3D printing, art and design, and technology education, has partnered with the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) and real estate firm Msheireb Properties to design and build the “world’s biggest” 3D printed object from recycled PET.

In May, the partners also announced plans to establish a 3D Printing and Digitalization Hub in the Doha Design District at Msheireb Downtown Doha that will provide artists and enterprises in Qatar with access to innovative technologies such as 3D printing, scanning, and photogrammetry. 

Award-winning Polish architect Przemyslaw “Mac” Stopa of interior planning and design firm Massive Design is tasked with designing both the hub’s interior and the large 3D printed object, which, when completed, will feed into Qatar’s National Vision 2030 to drive sustainable development and balance the country’s growth needs with protecting the environment.

“We are pleased to welcome WOLF Group to Qatar Free Zones, in partnership with Msheireb Properties, as part of Qatar’s rapidly growing technology and creative ecosystem,” said Lim Meng Hui, CEO of GFZA. “The 3D Printing and Digitalization Hub is the first of its kind in Qatar and will be an invaluable resource for the design and creative community in the country.”

The ceremony announcing the partnership between QFZA, WOLF Group and Msheireb Properties was held in the Doha Design District. Photo via Qatar Free Zones.
The ceremony announcing the partnership between QFZA, WOLF Group and Msheireb Properties was held in the Doha Design District. Photo via QFZA.

Qatar’s 3D Printing and Digitalization Hub

Currently under construction, the new hub will strive to promote technological development and support modern art within Qatar and the broader region. Within the hub, WOLF Group will transform artists’ works from digital versions to physical forms, using 3D printing and a variety of materials, including those that have been recycled. 

The hub will also become a base for the development of large-format 3D printing technologies using recycled materials, such as PETG. Local and international artists will be able to design and produce functional furniture using 3D printing and recycled materials, and over the longer-term WOLF is planning to implement multi-series production into the hub’s capabilities. 

“The hub will also provide unique support to companies in our manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and biomedical sectors through the development and rapid prototyping and production of products using innovative, biocompatible materials,” Hui continued. “This will have a significant impact in terms of reducing production costs, enhancing lead times, and improving time-to-market for these companies.”

In light of the partnership, WOLF Group has become the first Free Zone company headquartered at Msheireb Properties as part of the Doha Design District. The company will look to create new job opportunities for local skilled workers while providing them with access to innovative technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. 

“3D printing and the re-use of recycled materials are at the heart of WOLF Group’s strategy,” said CEO and Founder, Mariusz Krol. “We are delighted to mark this strategic cooperation with Msheireb Properties to offer technological support as well as innovative solutions in different areas such as using recycled materials, furniture production, art, gaming, and animations.”

WOLF Group has previously fabricated the first 3D printed conference table in the world. Photo via WOLF Group.
WOLF Group has previously fabricated the first 3D printed conference table in the world. Photo via WOLF Group.

The “world’s biggest” PET printed object

In addition to the new 3D Printing and Digitalization Hub, the partners also revealed that, together with engineering design firm Seashore Group, they are working on what they claim will be the “world’s biggest” 3D printed object made from recycled PET. 

While the details are vague on what the object actually is, when complete it is set to become a significant tourist attraction and “major statement on sustainability” that adorns Doha’s skyline. The object will be designed by Stopa and 3D printed by WOLF, and is planned to be completed in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. 

“We thank QFZA and WOLF Group for this collaboration and for choosing Doha Design District as the location for this initiative,” said Ali Al-Kuwari, Acting CEO of Msheireb Properties. “Msheireb Downtown Doha is about design, creativity, and innovation, and we continue to host premium international design organizations from around the world to achieve our vision and create an excellent hub for the creative community in Qatar and the region.

“We are confident this will add great value to our local artists and business, who share common values about sustainability.”

3D printing furniture with recyclable materials

Recycling used plastics to make 3D printer feedstock continues to be an active area for material development companies, and several of these firms have looked to harness recycled materials to produce furniture. 

In 2019, London-based 3D printing service bureau Batch.works unveiled its first homeware collection 3D printed from recycled plastic, while Dutch research and design studio The New Raw launched its first zero waste lab in Greece enabling locals to utilize ordinary household plastic to design and 3D print benches. 

Since then, sustainable architecture firm Aectual has used plastic collected along the coast of a Belgian beach to 3D print a novel range of mussel-shaped plant holders, and scientists from MIT have developed lab-grown wood cells that could potentially be used to 3D print futuristic eco-friendly furniture.

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Featured image shows the ceremony announcing the partnership between QFZA, WOLF Group and Msheireb Properties was held in the Doha Design District. Photo via Qatar Free Zones.

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