Architecture

World's largest 3D-printed building completed in Dubai

World's largest 3D-printed bui...
The administrative building is the largest 3D-printed project we've seen to date
The administrative building is the largest 3D-printed project we've seen to date
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Apis Cor's 3D printer is portable and was moved around the building site using a crane during the
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Apis Cor's 3D printer is portable and was moved around the building site using a crane during the construction process
The administrative building is the largest 3D-printed project we've seen to date
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The administrative building is the largest 3D-printed project we've seen to date
The 3D-printed administrative building was created using one 3D printer, as well as human construction workers
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The 3D-printed administrative building was created using one 3D printer, as well as human construction workers
The walls were built one layer at a time until the basic structure was finished
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The walls were built one layer at a time until the basic structure was finished
The 3D-printed administrative building
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The 3D-printed administrative building has a total floorspace of 640 sq m (roughly 6,900 sq ft)
The building has two floors
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The building has two floors
The building is located in Dubai
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The building is located in Dubai
Construction involved a cement mixture being extruded through a nozzle in layers to build up the basic structure of the administrative building
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Construction involved a cement mixture being extruded through a nozzle in layers to build up the basic structure of the administrative building
The building reportedly took three weeks to complete
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The building reportedly took three weeks to complete
Human builders finished the building by adding steel structural supports
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Human builders finished the building by adding steel structural supports
Apis Cor's 3D-printer, which is portable, was moved around on a crane to build the administrative building bit by bit
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Apis Cor's 3D-printer, which is portable, was moved around on a crane to build the administrative building bit by bit
View gallery - 11 images

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.

Apis Cor's 3D-printer, which is portable, was moved around on a crane to build the administrative building bit by bit
Apis Cor's 3D-printer, which is portable, was moved around on a crane to build the administrative building bit by bit

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

View gallery - 11 images
2 comments
Douglas Rogers
This looks a lot like a folding cardboard house that I wanted to make! The walls come compressed endwise with insulation inside.
Grunchy
Fused-deposition manufacturing is no good for structures. It is inherently full of failure planes, it's weaker than monolithic construction. You can make a far better house a lot faster and easier by using cast-in-place forms, see: https://youtu.be/UjZex0ne8GM