World’s first 3D printed skyscraper?!

Dubai-based construction technologies firm, Cazza, plans to build the world’s first 3D printed skyscraper in the UAE using a new construction technique called ‘crane printing’.

Cazza will use cranes with added units that are specifically created for building 3D printed structures 80m and above.

The idea hadn’t always been to use 3D print technology to build soaring skyscrapers, explains Cazza CEO, Chris Kelsey. “When we first thought of implementing 3D printing technologies, we were mostly thinking of houses and low-rise buildings,” he said.

“Developers kept asking us if it was possible to build a 3D printed skyscraper. This led us to begin researching how we could adapt the technologies for taller structures.

“Through our technologies, we will be able to build architecturally complex buildings at never-before-seen speeds. It is all about economies of scale where the initial high technology costs will reduce as we enter the mass-production phase,” he added.

Cazza’s crane printing process

Cazza’s crane printing process includes all major structural components required for tall buildings, including reinforcement with steel rebar. The cranes will 3D print specific parts of buildings, with the rest of construction undertaken through existing methods.

Xavier Hernand, mechanical engineer at Cazza, explained how the material side left Cazza with “vast possibilities with concrete and steel being just one of many materials that can be used with 3D printing”.

And Fernando De Los Rios, chief operating officer at Cazza, said the crane printing system can be easily adopted with existing cranes “meaning we don’t have to build cranes from scratch.“

“We are adding new features to make it adaptable to high wind speeds along with the use of our layer smoothing system that creates completely flat surfaces.”

Cazza is known for producing a 3D printing construction system that combines the use of mobile 3D printing robots with existing construction methods to make construction processes faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.