French company Vinci Construction’s subsidiary Freyssinet, along with E Construct and interior design firm Draw Link Group, has launched Concreative, a manufacturer of 3D-printed concrete that will offer design and installation services, and for which a factory has been opened in Dubai, Construction Week reported.
Concreative’s tech is patented by Xtree, a start-up in which Vinci Construction holds a stake, and which will deliver services such as layer-wise concrete extrusion, with each layer printed through a digitally controlled nozzle.
The company said its technology would free architects from the restrictions of standardised formwork, offering “a way to design and build complex concrete architectural and structural elements" that also consume fewer raw materials.
Commenting on the factory's launch in a statement, Khalil Doghri, director of the Middle East and India areas at Freyssinet, said: “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 UAE to become a major construction market using and promoting 3D printing.
"Beyond the technology provided by Xtree, we have 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.”
The Gulf region has been seeing an increased investment in 3D printing, with recent news including Arabtec backing a 3D concrete printing centre for American University in Dubai, Saudi Arabia purchasing the world's largest 3D printer; and Sharjah announcing plans to build the first 3D-printed house by mid-2019.