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World's First 3-D Printed Lab Completed in Dubai

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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A Dutch company has finished construction on the world’s first onsite 3-D printed laboratory.

R&Drone Laboratory, built by CyBe Construction, will conduct research on drones and 3-D printing technology. The project is part of Dubai’s incentive to incorporate 3-D printing in 25 percent of its buildings by 2030, and according to CyBe, the structure is the world’s first laboratory to be 3-D printed onsite. CyBe was responsible for designing, engineering and printing the lab.

CyBe Construction

Situated in Solar Park, the laboratory is 168 square meters (1800 square feet), and was 3-D printed onsite in just three weeks.

Situated in Solar Park, the laboratory is 168 square meters (1800 square feet), and was 3-D printed onsite in just three weeks. The entire process took place in 27 different parts, with internal and external walls printed separately before parapets were produced. Each step was completed in a controlled environment, involving the use of a tent in the desert. This way, each step could be protected from outside conditions.

The mobile 3-D printer responsible for this feat is known as the CyBe RC 3Dp machine. Traditional 3-D printing has its limitations, but, since the RC 3Dp is equipped with caterpillar tracks to allow for maximum mobility, CyBe’s creation gives onsite construction a whole new level of flexibility.

Tackling the Terrain

On top of cutting down on construction time, the RC 3Dp also contributes to reduced CO2 emissions and waste. The mobile machine can also be paired with extendable legs to tackle a variety of terrains, and by extending the undercarriage, the machine can reach up to 4.5 meters (14 feet) tall.

The key to the success of the RC 3Dp is in the use of CyBe’s fast-drying concrete mortar, which dries at a rate of 200 millimeters per second, with an enhanced rate of 600 millimeters per second. This means that load-bearing structures can be formed within an hour of being printed.

CyBe’s 3-D printer can also produce walls, sewer pits, floors and more. The early stages of 3-D printing with concrete are not known for producing an aesthetically pleasing end result, but there is the potential to print with smooth-finish concrete.

While the cement skeleton of the building has been completed by CyBe, CONVRGNT, the project’s contractor, will be adding the finishing touches—a roof, doors, stairs and sanitary facilities. Wanders Wagner Architects served as the project’s architect.


Tagged categories: 3D Printing; concrete; Project Management

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