Dubai 3D prints an office with plumbing, electrics and lighting

Need new working space? This monstrous 3D printer could build you a new office

Need a new office? They're being 3D printed in Dubai. 

Unveiled this week, the 3D printed office will be home - rather fittingly - to the Dubai Future Foundation. 

It was printed in 17 days using a cement mixture, rather than the plastic most desktop 3D printers use. Indeed, the printer used was 20 feet tall, 120 feet long and 40 feet across. 

The one-story building is 250 square metres, holding a few offices, desk space for staff, and rooms for workshops. 

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UAE officials described it as "fully functioning" though it appears the exterior shell was 3D printed while the electrical, telecoms and other utilities were added after. 

"We have witnessed some attempts in different countries of 3D printed buildings but we noted that they are not functional," said Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation. "When I say functional, they should have MEP [mechanical, electrical and plumbing], air-conditioning, lighting, so it's an actual functioning building that you can use."

The main 3D printing took just one person to oversee over the course of 15 days, with seven assemblers taking two days to put it together. An additional ten staff worked on plumbing and electrics. 

In total, that is half the number that would normally be required to build an office of that size. 

The building was printed offsite, but Al Aleeli said the aim is to print onsite in the future. 

Dubai hopes to have 25 per cent of its buildings 3D printed by 2030 - though it may need an even larger printer to create the towers it is famous for. 

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