Largest 3D-printed municipality building in Dubai
At 31 feet tall and 6,900 square feet, a new building in Dubai is the largest 3D-printed building in the world — and the first two-story structure of its kind.
The most impressive part of the project? U.S. company Apis Cor built the structure using only three workers and one printer.
Proving that the printer could handle a harsh environment, Apis Cor did the printing outdoors where there was no temperature or humidity control.
However, there was a logistical issue the printer did have to tackle: The square foot area of the building was larger than the printing area of the stationary machine. To solve this technological obstacle, a crane moved the 3D printer around the site.
Building the Largest 3D Printed Building in the World
The company created a gypsum-based material to course through the printer. First, the 3D-printed walls were put on a concrete foundation, and then they were reinforced with rebar and concrete. The floors were made from pre-cast slabs. A contractor added conventional windows and roofing after the walls were printed.
Making use of local materials and insulation that reduces energy requirements, the building is sustainable.
So what exciting plans are in store for this engineering feat? Well, tourists probably won’t be flocking to see it. The municipality will use the building for administrative purposes.
Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, has now set a goal to make 25% of its buildings 3D-printed by 2030.
The Middle Eastern city consistently innovates, pushing architectural boundaries of all kinds. The world’s tallest structure climbs high into the sky in Dubai: Burj Khalifa, opened in 2010, stands at a height of 2,717 feet. Then in 2016, Dubai became home to the world’s very first 3D-printed office building.
Though the Guinness World Records lists the Dubai Municipality as the largest 3D-printed structure by volume, China made headlines in 2015 for becoming home to the world’s tallest 3D-printed building. In Suzhou Industrial Park in the Jiangsu province, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. constructed a five-story apartment block. In contrast to the Dubai building that was built on-site, the Chinese apartment block was printed in a factory and then assembled at the site.
Apis Cor claims to be “the first company to develop a specialized equipment for 3D printing in the construction industry.” Based in the Boston area, the company was founded in 2016 by Nikita Chen-iun-tai. According to the its website, the company comprises “a small team of 8 highly talented, highly motivated people, all under the age of 35.”
The race is on to see who will break the next record in 3D printing.