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Six must-have construction tech tools in the GCC

by CW Staff on May 17, 2015


3D printing is taking off in the GCC.
3D printing is taking off in the GCC.
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3D printing

American sitcom The Big Bang Theory shed light on 3D printing’s fascinating abilities to mould just about anything out of the right materials with a compatible printer in 2013, and global construction markets seem to have caught on since.

In January 2015, tech website CNET reported Chinese firm WinSun had completed the construction of a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre (11,840 square foot) villa using a 3D printer. WinSun had, in March 2014, also constructed 10 “full-sized houses within just one day”, according to Chinese news website Xinhuanet.

Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, launched in April 2016, will support the emirate's drive to 3D print 25% of its buildings by 2030. The initiative was unveiled by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Ever since, 3D printing has found uptake with international firms such as Arup and Autodesk, who have considerable projects in the region. Arup, in 2015, announced it had used 3D printing techniques to create structural elements which could reduce the overall weight of a total structure by 40%.

READ: UAE's first 3D printing patent filed for construction moulds

Salomé Galjaard, team leader at Arup said: "In the case of this particular piece, the height is approximately half that of one designed for traditional production methods, while the direct weight reduction per node is 75%. But the really exciting part is that this technique can potentially be applied to any industry that uses complex, high quality, metal products."

Reduction of material wastage has been touted as one of 3D printing’s greatest advantages, but the GCC’s fast-paced construction industry may do well by using 3D printers to accomplish its targets at increased speed with reduced project costs.



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