- Dutch company CyBe Construction, which specializes in 3-D concrete printing, has completed fabrication of a 1,808-square-foot drone research and development laboratory for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, according to 3D Printing Industry.
- CyBe transported its RC 3Dp mobile 3-D printer — which moves on caterpillar tracks — to the Dubai job site. It took approximately three weeks to complete the project, touted as the world's first 3-D printed laboratory.
- The project team also included general contractor Convrgnt, architect Wanders & Wagner and contractual design engineer Witteveen+Bos.
The lab project is a component of Dubai's larger initiative to 3-D print 25% of all city buildings by 2030. Dubai Future Agenda officials predict the 3-D printing industry will contribute $300 billion to the global economy by 2025.
Dubai has become a leader in the 3-D printing space, as it is also home to the world's first 3-D printed office building, completed in 2016. The 2,000-square-foot building, designed by Gensler, Thornton Tomasetti and Syska Hennessy, took 17 days to build and houses the Dubai Future Foundation.
While other countries — especially in the Middle East — are accelerating their research into 3-D printing entire buildings, groups in the U.S. are looking more into how the technology could disrupt conventional building methods by offering new alternatives related to onsite manufacturing, modular construction and the on-demand creation of parts and tools.
During the ConExpo/ConAgg event in Las Vegas earlier this year, researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled the world's first fully functional 3-D printed excavator. While the entire machine wasn't 3-D printed, its printed components included the cab, the hydraulic oil reservoir, the steel boom, the heat exchanger and the cooling system.
And last year, Tennessee-based Branch Technology announced that it would build the winning design of its first 3-D printed, single-family home design competition — architecture firm WATG Chicago's "Curve Appeal" — this year. Curve Appeal will also serve as a testing ground for Branch's cellular fabrication technology.