Once completed, the Dubai Municipality will become the world’s largest 3D printed building, standing tall at 9.5 meters with an area of 640 square meters. Executed by Apis Cor, a U.S.-based company, the structure was directly built on-site.
Apis Cor, the first company to develop specialized equipment for 3D printing in the construction industry, completed the 3D printed wall structures of a two-story administrative building for the Dubai Municipality. The innovative 3D printer used allowed the structure to be built directly in place, without any extra assembly works. Spread over 640 sq. meters, the total area of the edifice is “larger than the printing area accessible when the Apis Cor’s 3D printer is stationary”.
The mobile machinery moved around the site by crane, to be able to cover the whole printed area, bigger than its normal reach. In fact, only 3 workers and the machine were needed to 3D print wall structures of the entire building. Located in critical environmental conditions for 3D printing material, the Apis Cor 3D printer “was able to conduct extensive R&D dedicated to testing the equipment under harsh climatic conditions and developing the 3D printing material”.
Construction 3D printing technology is only at the early stages of development. 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. -- Nikita Cheniuntai, CEO&Founder of Apis Cor.
The foundation of the building is a conventional construction whereas walls are 3D printed and reinforcement put in place are “3D-printed formwork for columns manually filled with rebar and regular concrete”. For this venture, the 3D Printing material used is a gypsum-based mixture developed by Apis Cor and produced locally.