Skip to main content

The largest printed 3D building in the world opens in Dubai | 3D printing technology

3D printing technology - also known as additive manufacturing - invented in the 1980s by Chuck Hall, an engineer and physicist, is a process in which an object is produced by applying a layer of material.

World's largest 3D-printed building, Dubai.
World's largest 3D-printed building, Dubai.

 Dubai has opened the world's largest 3D printed building, a two-story government building with 6,900 square meters of floor space, as part of a plan to build 25% of the new building with 3D printers by 2030.

Dubai City Council has completed the world's largest 3D printed building.

⬛ It was built using a crane-mounted 3D printer with a special plaster composition.
⬛ The building was designed by the Boston-based technology company Apis Cor.
⬛ Dubai says that by 2030, 25% of new construction projects should use 3D printing.

The world's largest three-dimensional printed building was officially completed in Dubai.

The two-story building of 6,900 square meters will be used by the Dubai City Council as an office for general administrative functions.

It was designed in collaboration with Apis Cor, a 3D printing and construction company in Boston.

Just as an inkjet printer adds separate ink dots for imaging, the 3D printer adds material where it is needed based on a digital file.

According to the Tennessee Department of Energy Oak ridge National Laboratory, many traditional industrial processes consist of cutting from waste materials to produce a detail that can result in a loss of up to 13.6 kg (30 pounds) per pound of useful material.

In contrast, some 3D printing processes consume about 98 percent of the raw material in the finished part, and the process can be used to make small components from plastics and metal powders, and with some experimenting with chocolate and other foods, as well as biomaterials that resemble human cells.

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

3D printers are used to make all types of prostheses to robots, and this process follows these basic steps:

  1. Create a 3D drawing with CAD software.
  2. Preparing the printer, including refilling raw materials such as plastics, metal powders and binders.
  3. Start the printing process by the machine that builds the object.
  4. The processes of the 3D press can be different, but the most widespread is the extrusion of a material that functions as an adhesive gun: the printing material heats up to thinning and is pressed out through a pressure nozzle.
  5. Using information from a digital file, the project is broken down into two-dimensional cross-sections so that print shops know where to put the material.
  6. The nozzle applies the polymer in thin layers, often 0.1 millimeters (0.004 inches) thick.
  7. The polymer cures quickly by sticking it to the bottom layer before lowering the build platform and adding another layer to the printhead (depending on the object, the whole process can take from minutes to days).
  8. After printing is complete, each item requires some rework, from removing the attachment of the item to the mounting platform, removing the bracket, and removing excess powder.