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Will 3D printing revolutionise construction?

August 21, 2019 / Richard Brown
SHARESHARESHARE

Squeezing a house through a nozzle, like a pâtissier pumping fondant cream from a piping bag, may not be everyone’s idea of cutting-edge construction. But in Dubai, it’s all part of the plan. The glitzy emirate aspires to have a quarter of all new buildings constructed via 3D printing by 2030. Emaar, one of the Arabian Gulf’s leading property developers, is heralding its nascent Arabian Ranches III residential project as offering Dubai’s first such dwelling. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, itself is not a new technology, harking back to the 1980s. Fabricating a three-dimensional model, or prototype, from a computer-aided design by adding successive layers of material is now standard practice in many industries, ranging from aerospace and architecture to medicine and high-end manufacturing.