Spain-based sustainable infrastructure company ACCIONA has opened a new global 3D printing center in Dubai, which houses the world’s largest operational 3D printer based on powder bed technology. The new center will be used to 3D print infrastructure elements to meet the growing demand for construction 3D printing in the region (in line with Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy).
The impressive 3D printer installed at the new facility spans 6 x 3 x 2 meters and uses a concrete base material to produce parts and structures for architectural, urban and building applications. The 3D printer unlocks exciting new design opportunities for structural components, while still offering the resistance and strength required for architectural applications. One key area that will be addressed by ACCIONA at the center is the digital documentation and 3D reproduction of heritage items and architectural artefacts.
Many who have heard of ACCIONA will remember that the Spanish company unveiled a full-scale replica of the San Pedro de las Dueñas arch, an architectural gem that dates back to the 12th century. The arch was made in collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum of Spain (MAN). The company also constructed a 3D printed pedestrian bridge in 2016 in Alcobendas (Madrid, Spain) using its large-scale 3D printing technology.
The new facility in Dubai, which has been in the works since 2016, will enable ACCIONA to build upon its existing achievements by producing 3D printed structures in a region of the world that has been a big proponent for the technology. As the company says, it chose Dubai for its 3D printing center because it supports the city’s commitment to using 3D printing in the construction sector as well as other industries.
ACCIONA has had a presence in the UAE for some time now, as it opened its first Middle Eastern office in Dubai in 2008. Its projects in the region include the extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line for Expo 2020 and the modernization of its Red and Green Lines. The company is also building one of the world’s biggest photovoltaic plants (the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park) in Dubai.