Concreative’s first concrete printing factory has been inaugurated this week in Dubai, where it will offer an integrated service, from design to on-site installation.
Dubai introduced a strategic 3D-printing strategy in 2016 with the goal of basing a quarter of its new buildings on 3D printing technology by 2030 and thus becoming a leading global hub for the technology by the end of the next decade.
Concreative uses a technology patented by XtreeE, a start-up in which Vinci Construction is a partner and shareholder. The technology involves extruding concrete layer by layer, with each layer printed via a digitally controlled nozzle.
Vinci said that the technology frees architects from the restrictions of standardised formwork and offers a way to design and build complex concrete architectural and structural elements. It added that advantages include cement savings of up to 70%, construction close to where it is needed and less arduous, less dangerous sites.
“Concreative is the result of a combination of two favourable circumstances: the arrival at maturity of the technology a year ago, and the decision by the United Arab Emirates to become a major construction market using and promoting 3D printing," said Khalil Doghri, Middle East India area director at Freyssinet. “We applied the global approach that we are used to taking in our specialist civil engineering business activity. Beyond the technology provided by XtreeE, we developed the upstream and downstream services needed to put the architects' ideas and the engineers' requirements together and to put the goals of the Emirates into practice.”