World's largest 3D-printed building completed in Dubai
3D printing specialist Apis Cor has completed what it calls the world's largest 3D-printed building. Located in Dubai, the basic structure of the administrative building was constructed using just one 3D printer, though involvement of human builders was significant.
The two-story administrative building measures 9.5 m (31 ft) in height and has a total floorspace of 640 sq m (roughly 6,900 sq ft).
Its construction was much like the other 3D-printed projects we've reported on and involved a cement mixture being extruded through a nozzle in layers to build up the basic structure of the administrative building. Because the building is so large, Apis Cor's 3D-printer, which is portable, was moved around on a crane, allowing it to build one section at a time. Just three of Apis Cor's workers were on-site to operate the machine and, according to Dwell, the entire project took three weeks.
Though the project, along with New Story's 3D-printed neighborhood, represents another step forward in 3D-printed architecture, it's important to note that there was significant human work involved. In addition to laying the foundations, adding the windows, doors and roof, plus wiring and the like, construction workers also added rebar and hand-poured concrete for structural support.
"Construction 3D printing technology is only at the early stages of development," says Nikita Cheniuntai, CEO and founder of the firm. "We do extensive R&D work to make the technology available for mass use. We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Dubai Municipality. The project gave us unique knowledge and invaluable experience that will help us improve our technology and develop a new version of our 3D printer. The improved version will be more reliable and time efficient (twice as fast). Moreover, during the project we tested and improved our own-developed 3D mixture. This project is a huge step forward in the concrete 3D printing industry."
Apis Cor previously printed a 3D-printed tiny house and won NASA's space habitat challenge. Looking to the future, the firm plans to build affordable housing projects in California, Louisiana, and Florida next year. It's currently busy researching how to ensure its 3D-printed homes meet building codes.
Source: Apis Cor