July 1, 2015 | By Alec

In the world of innovation, being the first to do achieve something is of crucial importance and this is something that the people of the United Arab Emirates understand like no other. As a result, the seven Emirates that make up this Gulf State are typically home to fantastic architectural and technological innovations – of which the famous Palm Island is the best example. In that respect, it is hardly surprising to learn that Dubai – one of the two most important emirates – is entering the 3D printed building race. Their goal? To build a 2,000 square feet functional building using nothing but 3D printing technology.

This ambitious project is the first major initiative to come out of a recent innovation scheme launched across Dubai known as the ‘Museum of the Future’. This project was launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. According to UAE National Innovation Committee chairman Mohamed Al Gergawi, this ambitious 3D printing project is part of the a plan to make the Emirates a global center of technology, architecture and design. ‘We are keen to use the latest technologies to simplify people’s lives and to serve them better. This project is part of our overall innovation strategy to create new designs and new solutions in education, healthcare and cities. Our goal is to increase the happiness and wellbeing of our residents and to pioneer new solutions for the world,’ Al Gergawi said. There are also economic benefits involved.

While a number of interesting 3D printed building projects are already underway, this Emirati building will also be unique as it will actually be taken into use; it will serve as the temporary headquarters of the Museum of the Future, while a larger permanent museum will be constructed in the near future. ‘This project reflects the vision of our leadership here in Dubai,’ Al Gergawi added. ‘This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors. We aim to take advantage of this growth by becoming a global hub for innovation and 3D printing. This is the first step of many more to come.’

As you can imagine, this project is quite an undertaking. With designs aiming for approximately 2,000 square feet, an FDM machine is being assembled on sight that is expected to be 20 feet tall. What’s more, all components of the structure are set to be 3D printed, which means using a combination of specially reinforced concrete, glass fiber reinforced gypsum and special polymers for various parts of the structure.

Dubai’s Ministry of Cabinet Affairs told reporters that the building will be a ‘testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology.’ It is also expected to give a major boost to local construction and design industries. To ensure success, the Dubai innovators have already enlisted the services of WinSun Global (known for their 3D printed building in China) as well as architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti and Syska Hennessy.

So what about the building itself? Well, this 3D printed structure is set to be built ‘in the heart of Dubai’, and at a busy intersection to ensure it can be used for a wide range of public events as well. The building itself has been designed to be open, flexible and multi-functional. It will also feature a  small on-site digital fabrication facility and an exhibition space about 3D printing technology. In short, it looks like Dubai is about to gain another very special tourist attraction.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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