Vinci’s civil engineering subsidiary Freyssinet has set up a new company and factory in Dubai to 3D print concrete building elements for the United Arab Emirates’ construction market.
The new company, "Concreative", will print structural elements such as columns, helical stairs, beams, walls and facade panels, as well as furnishing and architectural elements.
Two other co-founders are Dubai-based engineering consultancy E-Construct, and Draw Link, an interior design firm also based in Dubai.
They chose Dubai because in 2016 the emirate determined that a quarter of all new buildings would be printed by 2030.
Using technology patented by French start-up, XtreeE, Concreative will use a 6-axis robotised arm equipped with a print nozzle to print bespoke structural elements with high performance concrete.
In size, the elements can be up to 5m long and 3m high.
"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, Freyssinet’s area director, at the 18 June launch.
He added: "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."
Image: Example of a printed concrete element (Concreative)