May 24, 2016 | By Alec

It looks like Dubai’s ambitious 3D printing strategy wasn’t just aimed at the future. Just a month ago, Dubai announced their plans to turn the Gulf nation into the world’s 3D printing capital by 2030, and the first result of their efforts can already be admired. The 3D printed ‘Office of the Future’, a 250 square meter structure, has been built in just 17 days and is already equipped to function as the temporary office of the Dubai Future Foundation in the Emirates Towers premises. This really raises expectations for other Dubai 3D printing initiatives.

The building itself is impressive and has been constructed using a special mixture of cement and a set of building materials made in the UAE and the US. These materials were extensively tested by Chinese and British specialists to ensure reliability. A custom robotic 3D printing platform that is 20 feet high, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide was used to 3D print the building. Other mobile 3D printers were also present at the construction side to help facilitate construction processes. According to the official news agency WAM, even electricity, water, telecommunications and air-conditioning systems have been realized with the help of 3D printing.

What’s more, the design itself is also functional. The arc shape was specifically chosen to optimize safety, while it also ensures stability. The interior, meanwhile, showcases a shift from traditional work environments to a more interactive setting, which stimulates innovation and communication between teams. The office also houses opportunities for joint projects from around the world, and acts, its designers say, as a platform to inspire ideas and develop relations between employees. Room for exhibitions, workshops and other events is also provided.

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that the interior and exterior features were 3D printed in just 17 days, while all the office features were installed in another two days. During that whole process, labor costs were even cut by 50 percent in comparison with conventional construction options. Only required were one 3D printing specialist, a seven-man installation group and ten electricians. Among others, they have also installed energy reduction features, such as custom window shades that protect from direct sunlight, while various office management information systems have also been adopted.

These immense production speeds are even more remarkable due to the fact that the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has only just kicked off. One of the biggest 3D printing adoption programs the world has seen so far, it aims to make the country the 3D printing capital of the world by 2030 and a major incubator for innovation and next-gen technology. Unveiled just last month by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, this strategy will affect three main sectors in society: construction, medical products and consumer products.

It’s a strategy that was not completely unexpected, as the country has been a strong promotor of 3D printing initiatives. As Dubai is known for its immense man-made islands, construction-based 3D printing solutions have already been on the country’s agenda for some time, including plans for Dubai’s Museum of the Future. This first fully functional 3D printed office building has also been planned some time ago.

The building itself was unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed on Tuesday. “We announce today the opening of the first 3D-printed office in the world, after less than a month of launching Dubai 3D printing strategy which showcases a modern model of construction. This is an experience we present to the world on implementing future technology in our lives, and it represents a new milestone for the UAE as a global leader in strategic achievements,” he said at the unveiling.

The Sheikh further argued that this immense development pace will be characteristic for their subsequent projects. “We implement what we plan, and we pursue actions not theories. The rapidly changing world requires us to accelerate our pace of development, for history does not recognize our plans but our achievements,” the country’s ruler said. “We see this project as a case study that will benefit regulators as well as research and development centers at the regional and international levels on real application of 3-D printing technology. We are documenting this experience and building on it to take advantage of the most important lessons, which will serve as reference points to take this technology to new levels.”

Sheikh Mohammed further pointed out that this project perfectly showcases the competitive advantages of 3D printing; especially the lower costs and faster delivery times, he said, should help make the United Arab Emirates one of the world’s most important sustainable economic hubs. While 2030 is still years away, this fantastic no-nonsense attitude towards 3D printing does make us very curious about what else can be expected of Dubai in the near future.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Maeva wrote at 5/24/2016 6:20:39 PM:

The silvered hand is the hand used in "The voice".

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