Dubai has announced its intentions to become a world leader in 3D printing technology, with its application in construction at the forefront of its strategy.
New Dubai Municipality regulations will mean in 2025 every new building will be required to be 25% 3D printed. This move will start from 2019, starting at 2% with a gradual increase to the strategic goal.
The 3D printing quota is expected to be met through the creation of lighting products, bases and foundations, construction joints, facilities and parks, buildings for humanitarian causes and mobile homes in addition to galleries, stores and residential villas.
The Government of Dubai hopes 3D printing technology will cut construction costs by 50%-70%, and labour costs by 50%-80%. In addition, the technology could help reduce waste produced in construction operations by up to 60%.
The Government of Dubai predicts the value of 3D printing technology-based construction in the state to be about AED 2.2bn by 2025.
The 3D Printing Strategy also outlines uses for the technology in medicine, such as creating artificial organs, teeth and bones quickly and affordably. It further suggests how 3D printing will be used in the consumer products sector, creating household items, optics, fashion jewellery, and children’s games.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “Through the 3D Printing Strategy, we aim to make Dubai a global hub for the development of this technology and a base for research and development in this area. We aim to provide the best opportunities for innovation and optimal application of this technology worldwide. Our goal is raise the level of services provided to the people and harness 3D printing for the benefit of the entire community.”
The 5 pillars of the strategy
The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has 5 main pillars, namely:
Infrastructure – aiming to provide the right infrastructure and the support of research and development to attract the world’s largest companies in this field
Legislative – focussing on the development of regulatory framework for the use of 3D printing technology within various sectors and the specifications of materials that will be used in the printing process
Funding – providing financing alternatives as well as investment support to develop this technology and expand its scope of application
Talent – building local talent capabilities of researchers, designers and innovators and bringing the best minds from around the world in 3D printing field
Market demand – promoting the application of this technology within various sectors to bring prices of products to competitive levels while maintaining quality
The first 3D printed office
Dubai has already set a precedent, with its 3D-printed Office of the Future which it claims to be the “first fully functional, inhabited 3D printed building ever”. A 3D cement printer measuring 20 ft high, 120 ft long and 40 ft wide was used to print the pod-shaped office building. Printing took 17 days and was installed on in 2 days. Subsequent work on the building services, interiors, and landscape took approximately 3 months.
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