Concrete drone lab is 1,808-square-feet of 3D printed infrastructure completed in 3 weeks’ time
After only four months since the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced their grand plans to 3D print the world’s first Research and Development Laboratories in April, they finally did it. And by finally, we mean extraordinarily fast. The honor of the concrete drone lab goes primarily to Dutch company, CyBe Construction; with the project team also including UAE-based construction firm Convrgnt Value Engineering. In April of this year, Convrgnt won the initial bid for the concrete drone lab from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
At a total of 1,808-square-feet, the process was no small feat. The technology behind the process was even bigger, and included the use of CyBe’s RC 3Dp mobile printer. The machine responsible for 3D printing Dubai’s concrete drone lab features rubber wheel tracks. The wheels allow it to roam job sites at its own will.
In addition to the printer’s eco-friendly sustainable way of printing (which is a plus for the sustainably-minded operative of Dubai) and its mobile convenience, it boasts fast printing time. At printing speeds of about 24 inches printed per second, the Dutch team was able to pump out the concrete drone lab in just three short weeks.
Made up of 27 different parts, the concrete drone lab was 3D printed in a controlled environment, beneath a large tent that was erected in the middle of the Dubai desert. This is how CyBe protected the building from external influencing factors. According to CyBe, the building is the “very first laboratory which has been fully printed onsite in the world.”
This should come as little surprise after the UAE’s announcement in April that they also wanted to 3D print the world’s first skyscraper. Through 3D printing, Dubai has publically said they want to achieve 75% self-sustainability, reduce their carbon footprint in the world, and ideally 3D print a quarter of all of its infrastructure by 2030.
Although their goal may seem ambitious, they have already completed multiple 3D printed projects.
Some of their accomplishments include a $500 million project entitled “Museum of the Future,” where much of the cladding was entirely 3D printed. They were also among the first to the 3D print an entire office building. Not only was the exterior 3D printed, but so was the interior and all of its furnishings.
CyBe has completed designing, engineering, and 3D printing the concrete drone lab. Now, construction contractor CONVRGNT is in the process of adding the final veneer: roofing, stairs, and doors.
If Dubai continues at the speed they’re working at, the future they wish to create in construction is close. And the progress they make will continue to innovate and contribute to the construction industry.