Remember the Chinese company said to 3D print buildings? Now their next project takes place in Dubai.
WinSun Global’s approach is to 3D print common building components at a central factory, whereupon they are transferred to the building site for assembly. This provides a means for rapid erection of the entire structure. It’s important to note that the 3D printing material used by WinSun is partially recycled products, including ““rubble, fibreglass, steel, cement and binder”. The process involves 3D printing a hollow components with a corrugated interior to provide sufficient strength.
The project is unfortunately billed as “world’s first office building made using three-dimensional printer technology”, but is in fact a modest 2,000 sf building that will serve as the initial temporary home base for a new museum in Dubai that opens in two years.
We say “unfortunately”, as we feel this project is likely a stunt designed to attract media attention. From what we’ve seen from WinSun’s previous project in China, the buildings constructed from this process are little different from conventionally built structures, thus no advantage is taken from 3D printing technology. Theoretically, it might be possible to build structures that are not possible with other approaches, but we see no evidence that’s happening here.
The other outstanding question is whether this process actually delivers buildings at a price less than conventional approaches. If the buildings are mostly the same, then it had better be done at lower cost. But again we see no indication this is the case.
Image Credit: Wikipedia