Mar 13, 2017 | By Benedict

Cazza Construction Technologies, an architectural 3D printing startup that is currently working with the Dubai Government, says it is planning to build the world’s first 3D printed skyscraper. The company will purportedly use a new 3D printing technique called “crane printing.”

3D printing startup Cazza Construction Technologies is planning to 3D print skyscrapers

For a company whose 3D printing technology has never been seen in public, Silicone Valley 3D printing startup Cazza Construction Technologies certainly seems to inspire faith in people. After drumming up a lot of interest over the last year or so, Cazza announced at the end of 2016 that it had been contracted by the Dubai Government to start 3D printing buildings there. (Dubai, of course, famously claimed that 25% of its buildings would be 3D printed by the year 2030.) Cazza now says it has the technology to 3D print skyscrapers.

In an interview with Construction Week Online, Cazza’s wunderkind CEO Chris Kelsey explained that his company’s new “crane printing” technique could be used to create high rises at least 80 meters tall. “When we first thought of implementing 3D printing technologies, we were mostly thinking of houses and low-rise buildings,” Kelsey said. “Developers kept asking us if it was possible to build a 3D printed skyscraper. This led us to begin researching how we could adapt the technologies for taller structures.”

This all sounds very exciting, but how will it work? What even is “crane printing”? The company says that the 3D printing process can be used to make structures made of concrete and steel. It also says that, while specific parts of a building will be 3D printed, other parts will be made using existing construction methods.

In other words, we don’t really know anything about how the technology will work, besides the fact it can be “easily adopted with existing cranes” and that something called “layer smoothing” will be used. That’s according to Cazza COO Fernando De Los Rios, who added: “We are adding new features to make it adaptable to high wind speeds along with the use of our layer smoothing system that creates completely flat surfaces. You won’t know [it’s] 3D printed.”

Renderings of (shorter) buildings that could someday be 3D printed by Cazza

While it’s easy to get excited about the idea of a 3D printed skyscraper, it’s just as easy to be skeptical—especially when you can’t see the much-hyped technology in front of you. The Cazza website, of course, gives nothing away, marrying a slick corporate design with airy phrases like “A sustainable future is impossible without significant change.” Clearly something about Cazza has attracted interest (and large financial offers) from the industry, but the company is keeping its cards close to its chest.

“Through our technologies, we will be able to build architecturally complex buildings at never-before seen speeds,” Kelsey added. “It is all about economies of scale where the initial high technology costs will reduce as we enter the mass-production phase.”

Cazza’s first 3D printed skyscraper will purportedly be built in the UAE, though details about that project are yet to be revealed.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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