Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) has helped to develop a “concrete screen” made from 3D-printed formwork.

Immensa Technology Labs, a UAE-based additive manufacturing expert, worked with CCC and Nowlab on the screen, which features modernised concrete casting techniques.

The Sensorial Adaptive Concrete Screen is made from 3D-printed formwork produced by Immensa’s BigRep One 3D printer.

Embedded with sensors, the screen is activated by touching the exterior of the concrete wall, which can help to control the grid’s hexagonal lighting fixtures.

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Eng Aref Boulawan, manager of management information systems (MIS) and business process re-engineering at CCC, said the screen’s sensors effectively allow “any piece of concrete to become a switch”.

He added: “Architects will now have direct control of the development of their designs, and this functionalisation of a concrete surface is the first of its kind.

“The potential impact of this technology is limitless, and we are truly proud to present these world-first results with Immensa.”

Commenting on the project, Fahmi Al-Shawwa, chief executive officer of Immensa, said: “This breakthrough signals the immense potential that 3D-printed formwork offers companies to significantly shorten and simplify their studio to site process.

“It brings proven concrete casting methods back to today’s building sites, renewed for the modern era and offering significant added value.”

CCC’s president of engineering and construction, Samer Khoury, ranked sixth on the 2018 Construction Week Power 100, published last week.

This is CCC’s second collaboration of late with Immensa. Earlier this year, the contracting giant announced plans to digitise its inventory in a bid to minimise imports and physical parts stocks, as well as produce parts as required through a 'virtual warehouse'.

Immensa will provide its Inventory Digitisation platform to CCC, which will allow the contractor to create a digital inventory of its spare parts and components.

Inventory Digitisation will allow CCC's spare parts and components that were traditionally stored in physical warehouses to be converted into a digital format and stored in a 'virtual warehouse'.

Parts will only be produced when required using 3D printing and other processes that reduce the need for companies to carry inventories.

CCC’s Boualwan said digitisation, such as the technology used to create the Sensorial Adaptive Concrete Screen, is “crucial” to meet the needs of the global engineering sector.

“The age of construction and engineering is dramatically changing – and we are ready at the forefront, working with leading organisations to seize opportunities that will truly transform our industry and society in coming years.”