New mantra for Middle East builders: Design, download and print

Three-dimensional printing in the building trade is gaining traction as construction enterprises put the technology to use in real-life projects.

construction site / abstract spiral / transformation / innovation
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On a sunny November afternoon last year, a small crew of workers descended on a deserted land near Saudi Arabia’s international airport to set up the foundation for a building. Five days later, a single-bedroom house consisting of several walls and parapets stood ready to be examined by visitors.

The workers at the site wore the logo of a Dutch company called Cybe, which was contracted to build Saudi Arabia’s first 3D-printed house in its capital, Riyadh. Such sights are becoming more frequent in the kingdom and the wider region as government and private players adapt 3D-printing technology at a faster rate to cut costs and counter the sluggish pace of construction activity.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. In construction, the technology is used to fabricate buildings and construction components with the aid of robots, gantry systems and tethered autonomous vehicles.

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