World’s first 3-D printed office to be built in Dubai

In a world first, the oil-rich Emirates state of Dubai has announced plans to construct an entire office complex using 3-D printing.

The one-story office will have around 2,000 square feet of floor space and will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3-D printer, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) official news agency said this week. Once the building is constructed, all the furniture and interior fixtures will also be built using 3-D printing.

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"This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3-D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors," said Mohamed Al Gergawi, chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee.

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Dubai has partnered with WinSun Global, a Chinese construction firm, to complete the project using the innovative printing method. The buildings will be made from reinforced concrete, gypsum reinforced with glass fiber and plastic.

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WinSun has made headlines in the past by using 3-D printing to create 10 small houses in 24 hours, as well as building the world's tallest 3-D printed building— a five-story apartment block.

Previously, WinSun has used 3-D printing to create individual components of these buildings, which are then put together, but for the Dubai project the entire structure will be 3-D printed as one complete building.

Assembly of the project is expected to take just a few weeks and labor costs are seen being reduced by 50 to 80 percent by the use of 3-D printing.