Parisian large scale 3D printing firm XtreeE has received a major investment from TTWiiN Investment Partners, an investment arm of the US-based engineering consulting firm Thornton Tomasetti, in the company’s latest round of funding. The details of the funding round have not been disclosed, but additional investment was made by Shibumi International, subsidiary of international construction firm Gulermak Heavy Industries, and UK-based construction company Vinci Construction, an existing investor.
In addition, XtreeE has announced a collaboration with Concreative, a concrete 3D printing company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to open a new 3D printing production unit in Dubai.
“There is a huge misconception within the AEC industry that 3D printing is a technology only of the future,” remarked Ray Daddazio, the president of Thornton Tomasetti. “We see it as a technology of today. We are pleased to help XtreeE pioneer new applications that will enable project teams to push the frontiers of design through digital fabrication.”
“XtreeE is not only on the leading edge of this technology, but has the capability to deliver optimized structures.”
Global network of 3D construction
Founded in 2015, XtreeE has focused its large-scale additive manufacturing capabilities within the realms of concrete construction. The company operates via two services. Clients can rent and gain access to its large-scale 3D printing systems, like the six-axis 3D printing robot, which is capable of 3D printing concrete and clay with high precision. Or, XtreeE also offers to assist clients with collaborative design and large-scale prototype manufacturing, helping them determine the benefits of large-scale 3D printing. For example, in 2018, XtreeE collaborated with Berlin-based designers Studio 7.5 to create a series of continuously 3D printed concrete woven-patterned benches for a custom-made urban furniture collection.
The new production unit in the UAE will incorporate XtreeE’s 3D printing technology, and will be operated by Concreative.
Cement structure 3D printed by XtreeE. Photo via XtreeE3D printed construction in the Middle East
The establishment of the 3D printing production unit from XtreeE and Concreative in the UAE comes amidst a drive towards implementing the technology for construction within the whole Middle East region. Both companies are adhering to Dubai’s ambitious mission to implement 3D printing in 25% of new construction over the next six years.
Other initiatives taken to help fulfil Dubai’s vision comes from 3D printing service bureau 3DVinci Creations, which has 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. 3DVinci creations has also agreed to supply a 3D printer to the newly established Center for 3D Concrete Printing and Digital Construction at the American University in Dubai (AUD), which aims to drive the use of 3D printing concrete technology.
Outside of the UAE, Saudi Arabia has also established its own vision for 2030 to improve the country’s economy and housing through pillars of innovations, i.e., modern construction techniques. Saudi Arabian construction company Elite for Construction & Development Co. placed an order for the BOD2 3D printer from COBOD this year to help realize the country’s aim.
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Featured image shows the 3D printing construction unit in Dubai. Image via XtreeE.