Today, 3D printed buildings do not come as a surprise to people. However, a few years back, it was. Knowing what all we could do with 3D printing, there are new opportunities awaiting to be unveiled. And, bigger printed houses are just a part of it. We have witnessed many 3D printed houses being planned and created. As we keep on dreaming for more, the new records are constantly being made and broken. Being said that, the latest record set in Dubai confirms that we are not going to stop trying for better results pertaining to the application of additive manufacturing within construction industry.
The completion of Dubai’s 3D printed building brings with itself a lot of newer challenges for related upcoming projects. With the largest volume of 6,900 square feet, the building sure becomes a rival for the tallest 3D printed building created in Suzhou, China in the year 2015 and is 31 foot long.
So, why not find out more about this biggest building created with the help of one of the most revolutionary technology, 3D printing.
The Biggest 3D Printed Building – Dubai
This particular project, in collaboration with Dubai municipality was completed by the company called Apis Cor. It is worthy to note that this building flaunts the largest space among all the 3D printed constructions. It is 9.5 meters tall and occupies an area of 640 square meters.
Instead of harsh climate with scorching heat, the company was able to conduct the entire project with complete satisfaction. Apis Cor accomplished the overall R&D to ensure that the equipment worked under such unfavourable climatic conditions before giving a green signal for complete construction. The company tested the 3D printing material along with the other equipment to make sure that the project completes without any trouble.
So far, there is no 3D Printing machine that can complete the entire building with 6900 square foot area by standing at one place. Or to be precise, in just one go. Hence, the 3D printer used for the construction of Dubai’s biggest 3D printed building was moved a lot during the process. By using a crane, the machine was shifted to different segments of the design, while able to build the space, layer by layer. The machine used gypsum-based mixture to complete the successive layers of the building.
To give the building the necessary strength, the company has gone with the pre-cast concrete to put the foundation. And, has worked with rebar along with concrete for reinforcement. After the completion of the walls, the company roof and the windows were added.
Challenges When 3D Printing the Building in Dubai
While praising Apis cor for the successful completion of this large 3D printed building, it is important to count the challenges that the company went through. However effortless the entire project looks from outside; the project wasn’t that easy to complete. All thanks to the noteworthy experience and technological expertise the company carries.
The Harsh Climate Condition
Starting with the difficult climatic condition, it was not easy to tame the material at such uncontrolled temperature and humidity. When constructing the house located in Russia, Apis cor had to deal with dead winter. It had to cover the entire building site using a heated tent. In Dubai, the climate is completely contrasting with an average of 100 degrees Fahrenheit temperature sustaining for most of the months. But the company did not install a huge air conditioner at the building’s site. On the contrary, with its extensive R&D, it was able to complete the construction in open under the natural conditions.
Large Space to Print
Not to forget, we already mentioned that before: Building such a huge space isn’t the work of a single machine stationed in one place. And, same is true for the 3D printer being used for this construction. Hence, there was a lot of moving the machine from one segment to another. Understanding the need of the hour, Apis Cor managed things without a pinch of doubt. Using crane to shift the machine from one place to another made the job easier. And, there was no assembling required after constructing the parts elsewhere.
Dubai – The Future Endeavors
According to the estimates by Dubai government, after being able to complete 25 percent of the buildings with the help of 3D printing, it would be able to cut the labour demand by 70 percent. Moreover, the costs would reduce by 90 percent in construction of buildings. Not to forget, the time for construction will also be considerably reduced by 80 percent.
Hence, the government has planned to complete a quarter of the building projects done through 3D printing technology by 2030. Dubai government believes that it would also be able to fight the inflating housing budgets by offering people affordable houses.
After such successful projects, Apis Cor is also planning for its next move. This time, it is aiming to construct a demo house in the United States. The demand for houses with amicable budgets is increasing as people are moving to cities. With the promising results, 3D printing technology seems to be one stop solution for solving that need.
There is a lot more that we would witness in the coming years. And, 3D printing would stay as the core attraction for the same. It has proved its worth by letting different nations realize how quick and creative 3D printing can get. That is why a lot of countries are wanting to make use of technology for different applications. And, construction is one of the most talked topics among all. The number of 3D Printed buildings is surging around the world. It does offer us an insight into what most of the houses would look like in the near future. And, how these will provide us an affordable choice of living. Until then, let us praise the works happening around. Witness the records of largest buildings being made and broken. And, look for better milestones being set every now and then. Because 3D printing has a lot to do than we can imagine today.