Dubai's 3D printed building

If Apple’s motto was “Think Different,” Dubai’s motto should be “Think Very Different.”

With a beautiful innovative design, is 3D printing destined to be the prototype for all future architecture? Will your city’s skyline soon be expanding?

The Dubai project will be a fully functional office building to house the staff of the nearby and newly constructed “Museum of the Future,” opening in 2017-18. The museum will be located in the Emirates Towers near busy Shaikh Zayed Road. Visitors will be able to experience innovation through cutting-edge simulations and interactive demonstrations about smart cities, health and education, transportation, and energy.

Dubai's New Skyline

Approximately 2,000 square feet, the one story building will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer. Assembled on-site, the process is similar to baking a really elaborate cake. All interior furniture and structures will also be printed using the technology and reinforced with concrete and gypsum made of fiberglass and plastic. Other ambitious 3D home and apartment projects exist around the world, but this is the first architectural endeavor to date that will use the technology for 100% of the interior and exterior elements, beyond just the frame. Fittingly, the building will also house an exhibit on 3D printing.

The concept of 3D printing is equally cool and confusing. Starting with a 3D rendering of the object you want to create, this virtual design is dissected into cross sections that are printed in slices of hundreds of thousands of horizontal layers. The technology is designed to cut labor costs by 50-80% and construction time by 50-70%, making building projects much more accessible and manageable.

Welcome to the future.