GUtech and COBOD set 3D printing of buildings world record

Omani university and Danish 3D printing specialist claim to have taken just eight days to print three new 173sqm structures in Duqm

The German Technology University of Oman (GUtech) has said that it has set a world record for the fastest 3D printing of buildings on site, claiming to have taken just eight days to print three new 173 square metre structures, using a construction printer from Cobod International, the Danish firm.

Located in the Special Economic Zone of Duqm, 540 kilometres from the capital Muscat, the project was carried out in cooperation with Teejan, a locally based general contractor, and the cost of the concrete for the project was only US$3,600, a statement claimed.

Dr. Yousuf Al Bulushi, GUtech said: “GUtech has introduced the 3D concrete printing in the sultanate of Oman and shows how we could adopt the newest construction technology and employ it so we can get the most out of it. With the record fast printing in Duqm we have proven the potential of 3D construction printing. We have a huge faith in our Omani expert team, and we are aiming to achieve beyond expected”

The first of the new 3D printed buildings was a world first in the form of a 3D printed commercial coffee shop with a floor area of 81 square metres. The total printing time was 22 hours and the GU Tech team managed to finish the construction within three days, allocating eight hours of work per day. The construction has a height of 3.7 metres, while materials consumption totalled 19.6 cubic metres of concrete. 

The second new building is a public toilet with a total area of 20 square metres. The total printing time amounted to 13 hours, divided into two days. The total height of the building is 3.5 metres and for this construction 10.6 cubic metres of concrete was used.

The last 3D printed building is a Fisherman’s house with an area of 72 square metres. To complete the building, GUtech specialists needed only 19 hours of printing, divided into 2 days. This one-story house is 3 metres in height and to make the building 17.3 cubic metres of concrete was used, COBOD said.

Realising the Future

Duqm is similar to NEOM in Saudi Arabia, in that it is a new development area, based around several economic, tourism and development zones. These zones include a multipurpose port, a dry dock for ship repairs, a fishing port, a regional airport and tourist, industrial and logistical areas.

The authorities of Duqm approved the 3D printed construction method and provided the permits for the 3D printed buildings. 

Zaid Marmash, head architect and responsible for the Middle East at COBOD said: “I am proud to have co-designed the buildings 3D printed by GUtech and approved in Duqm. With the use of curves and unconventional shapes, the buildings match the futuristic and aspirational nature of Duqm. 3D concrete printing, as well as Duqm, are both very promising, and GUtech is providing the proof that the promises are being realised.”

The buildings were 3D printed with locally available raw materials and the Dfab solution developed by COBOD and CEMEX, which makes it possible to 3D print concrete with 99% locally sourced materials at a very low cost, the statement explained, adding that all buildings have load bearing walls with no columns, roof slabs and 3D printed parapets.

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