World's first 3D-printed office building completed in Dubai

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The basic building took 17 days to print but then needed to be finished both internally and externally(Credit: Government of Dubai)

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3D printing technology promises to revolutionize architecture in the near-future, allowing designers to literally click-and-print complex buildings at a lower cost and faster speed than traditional construction methods allow. Another step forward in the field comes via Dubai, where what's hailed as the world's first 3D-printed office was recently completed.

We first reported on what's now dubbed the Office of the Future back in 2015. Taking up a footprint of 250 sq m (2,690 sq ft), the building is located within Dubai's Emirates Towers complex and will serve as a fully-functional office.

A very large 3D printer measuring 20 x 120 x 40 ft (6 x 36 x 12 m) did most of the work, printing the building by extruding a cement mixture layer by layer, in a similar method by which WinSun's 3D-printed homes were made (WinSun is involved in this project too). There were also some additional smaller mobile 3D-printers used too, however.

It took 17 days to print the basic building, but it then required finishing both internally and externally. Though not detailed by the source, it seems that, like WinSun's 3D-printed homes, the building was printed in sections elsewhere before being assembled over two days on-site. We've reached out to the Dubai government to try and glean more information on this aspect.

We don't know the budget for the project, but the Dubai government says that the labor cost came in at half of what it would be for a building of similar size made using traditional methods.

The workforce included a single staff member monitoring the printer's progress, seven people to install the building components, and 10 electricians and other specialists to handle more technical issues, such as installing the building's electrical systems, for example.

The Office of the Future project is part of a wider push to make Dubai and the United Arab Emirates a world leader in 3D-printing. The scheme is focusing on construction, medical products, and consumer products.

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