When the government-initiated 3D printed ‘Office of the Future’ was inaugurated in Dubai back in 2016, it was confidently stated that “25% of Dubai Buildings will be 3D printed by 2030.”The first building manufactured to scale and with full functionality, it promised to solve the many problems associated with the rapid growth in construction, providing a more sustainable and efficient solution. But how has the industry evolved over the past few years?
It appears that the region has firmed up its early interest in 3D printed buildings, with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid issuing a Decree that is aimed to promote Dubai as the regional and global hub of the industry. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has also been actively moving forward, with the Elite for Construction & Development Company purchasing a BOD2 modular machine that is capable of printing buildings measuring 88 feet long and 33 feet tall. It has stated that it hopes to build approximately 1.5 million homes in the next decade.
3Dprinted buildings are going to provide plenty of unique benefits, not least homes, offices, and other structures that are quicker to create and cheaper to produce. A Swedish company, for instance, has recently printed an entire home out of concrete for $10,000.
Creativity is being shown in the material used for3D printing too. TECLA houses in Italy are made of clay (TECLA is an acronym for technology and clay). Situated in Massa Lombarda, near Bologna in Italy, these homes can be built in just 200 hours and are made entirely from local raw earth.
But with the dramatic growth and construction work going on in GCC countries, it appears that the Middle East is currently the most exciting market. This is particularly true in Dubai, where the government’s enthusiasm will not only hasten the technology's development, resulting in significantly reduced costs, but also encourage construction firms to invest in the equipment because there is going to be a huge demand. WSA will be at the forefront of this revolution, believing that as the technology continues to develop, the possibilities for implementation and growth will also increase considerably. How big can you dream?