Work Begins On World’s First 3D Printed Mosque
3D printing is an emerging technology in the field of construction and building, offering a more efficient workflow and the ability to construct on command. We’ve seen houses, offices, resorts, but soon will see another first: the world’s only 3D printed mosque. The project is based in Dubai and will be overseen by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities department of the UAE Government. Construction will start in October of this year and they aim to finish by 2025. The final mosque will have capacity for 600 worshippers, putting it on the smaller side: the largest mosque in the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, holds over 40,000 people.
The printing will be completed by three specialists using a combination of raw materials and a concrete mix. The 3D robotic printer will print at a rate of two square meters together, operated by three workers. In terms of design, architecture firm JT+Partners have created the look of the mosque. Their previous projects are diverse and include a luxury resort in the Seychelles and luxury hotels across the Middle East.
The building of the mosque will form part of the UAE 3D Printing Strategy, which aims to see 25% of construction in the country based on 3D printing by 2025. The Strategy focuses on three sectors: construction, medical, and consumer goods, with five pillars of infrastructure, legislative structure, funding, talent, and market demand. The Government has also formed the Strategic Alliance, which aims to promote additive manufacturing and the status of the UAE as a key hub for the technology by producing a wide range of products, supplies, and services.
“Building the first mosque in the world to be built with 3D printing technology is a distinguished project in the world built with this feature, and this work is a translation on the ground of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed,” explained IACAD director-general Hamad Al Shaibani.
With growing awareness of the UAE’s status as a 3D printing hub, let’s take a look at other examples of manufacturing in the region. A recently-announced joint venture between Australian AM specialists Amaero and Rabdan Industries PLC (of Abu Dhabi) has created Falcon Advanced Metals PLC, which will foster metal additive manufacturing, large format 3D printing, and metal powder production through the creation of a specialist center. Furthermore, a YouGov study has suggested that the majority of UAE residents believe that the government should invest in the technology. With government interest and popular support, it seems likely that additive manufacturing will become a crucial part of industry in this country.
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