Recently I had the pleasure of having Ali Mustafa on the automated construction podcast to talk about his involvement as project manager on the Biggest 3D printed building in the world which was built in Dubai. This Large 10,000 sqft building set the Guinness world record for the biggest 3d printed building back in 2017, a record which has not been beaten since.
The project was completed using an apis cor printer operated by 3 people on site.
Many people are aware that Dubai has outwardly spoken about an initiative to increase the use of 3D printing in construction. Because of this expressed interest, there are now a handful of buildings in Dubai constructed using 3d printing.
Dubai has so much innovative construction pushing the limits of engineering. The well known Burj kalifa is the tallest building in the world. The speed at which the city of Dubai rose from the desert shows the speed at which they build and Ali believes that 3D printing will accelerate the building process further.
You may be wondering how such a small printer can build such a large building. The key lies in its manageable size. It is a small unit that does not require tedious assembly on site unlike the larger gantry style printers. This unit functions like a robotic arm extending its nozzle from a central point. Need to build bigger than its radius? No problem. Simply move the printer to the next point on the build and resume printing.
Apis Cor is currently working on a project in Louisiana where they are hoping to complete 2 big firsts. If successful, their project will be the first regularly permitted building in America and also the first 2 story 3D printed house in America. All the other 3D printed houses currently completed in America have had special circumstances around them making their construction possible. Once there is a precedent in the permitting system it will become significantly easier to win permits in the future. Many potential buyers are dissuaded by the concept of 3D printing a building because they fear the permitting issue, once more projects have been completed that fear will dwindle down and the industry will move into a more mature stage.
During the construction process Apis Cor will be doing an instructional workshop on printer operation for companies that have put a $3000 down payment on the Apis Cor printer. The potential for an event like this is exponential because the number of people with a deep understanding of the tech will drastically increase. At this point, education is one of the most critical aspects of growing the automated construction space. The most fun part of my job is being surrounded by brilliant forward thinking risk takers. Everyone involved in the construction innovation revolution shares a common willingness to challenge the status quo and tackle the most critical issues head on.