- Dubai officials have announced an accelerated strategy for a massive 3-D printing plan with the goal of 3-D printing 25% of all buildings in the city by 2030.
- Sheikh Mohammed, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, said he predicts 3-D printing will contribute $300 billion to the worldwide economy by 2025, according to Construction Week Online.
- The Dubai Future Agenda includes a 3-D printing plan for everything from buildings to medical industry bones and teeth, and officials said the plan has the cooperation of all levels of the country’s government, the private sector and universities.
Sheikh Mohammed described the 3-D agenda, launched only this month, as an "integrated and comprehensive strategy to exploit 3-D technology to serve humanity." Within the construction portion of the plan, lighting manufacturing, humanitarian buildings, retail space, art galleries and homes will all be 3-D printed. Officials said 3-D printing takes 10% of the time that standard construction methods take.
Implementation of the plan, officials said, will progress in four parts — establishment (a study of 3-D printing, particularly as it relates to construction), qualification (development of codes and standards), implementation (creation of prototypes) and development (evaluation of previous phases and future development).
Dubai has emerged as a leader in 3-D printing efforts, as the city revealed plans last year to build the world's first 3-D-printed office building. The UAE's minister of cabinet affairs called the 2,000-square-foot building, which will become a temporary headquarters for the staff of Dubai’s Museum of the Future, "the most advanced 3-D printed structure ever built at this scale and the first to be put into actual use."
Innovators are finding ways to use 3-D printers for concrete, housing, hotels,office buildings and even satellites in outer space, and those new technologies could have a major impact on the daily operations of the construction industry. On a smaller scale in comparison with Dubai's ambitious plan, WASP — the developer of the tower 3-D printer known as Big Delta — announced its plans last month to 3-D print an entire Italian village, including the town's buildings and furnishings. WASP said the village, dubbed Shambhala, will be high-tech, sustainable and self-sufficient.