The future of 3D Printing looks bright in the UAE especially when it comes to its use in airspace parts, buildings or construction components.
3D Printing in the Aerospace Industry
UAE has become a global 3-D printing hub and a series of related announcements were released and made the news. The latest one was about 3D printed plastic frames used to house monitors in the back of Etihad passenger seats; they were shown at Abu Dhabi’s Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit 2017 where participants saw the 3D printed part first-hand.
Abu Dhabi Airline Etihad Airways sees great opportunities for 3D printing aircraft parts. This technology, in fact, allows parts to be produced quickly and on-demand eliminating the need for storing supplies and making repairs much faster.
3D-Printing is about to revolutionize the aerospace industry with a pilot project that involves producing aviation parts for aircraft cabin interiors and structural components using additive manufacturing elements: plastics, metals, and other materials. Following the pilot project, additional plans for the future include to print metallic outer parts for the plane which, however, still need to be designed and receive certification for use in aviation.
Aircraft manufacturers such as Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates is making this a reality. Strata is working together with Siemens Middle East (a firm advocate of 3D printing) and Etihad Airways under a strategic three-year joint roadmap. Etihad believes that this technology will be “enabling faster on-demand production of complex parts and discontinued parts, and making design improvements by airlines very feasible.”
Badr Al-Olama, CEO of Strata said “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize aerospace manufacturing. […]Aerospace industry will reach new heights with 3D printing.”
3D Printing in the Construction Industry
Imagine the automated fabrication of entire buildings; it’s been already done in the UAE. Sheikh Mohammed opened the Office of the Future in Dubai, the world’s first 3D-printed office and that consists of a 250-square-metre space (2,700 square foot). Forthcoming are other projects, like low-rise residential buildings meant for the housing market as well as high-rise residential buildings; for example, a skyscraper by Cazza, a firm that “announced plans to build the world’s first 3D printed skyscraper.”
The UAE has become a world leader in advanced 3D printed structures and is now also focusing on applying this innovative technology to other sectors including the medical field; creating customized prosthetics and implants, for example, would allow doctors to perform minimally invasive procedures.
United Arab Emirates has been working hard to become the 3D printing capital of the world and it is doing just that as seen from the projects, additional funding, and initiatives carried out.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched the “Dubai 3D Printing Strategy,” a unique global initiative that aims to exploit technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by the year 2030; the emirate would be a base for research and development (R&D) in the industry to introduce and establish the 3D printing strategy in constructions, the medical field, and consumer products by 2025.
“Our key goal is to ensure that 25% of buildings in Dubai are based on 3D printing technology by 2030, and we will raise this percentage with the development of global technology as well as growth of market demand,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “We believe that this technology is capable of transforming the construction sector by lowering costs and reducing the time it takes to implement projects. It will also help reduce manpower requirements as well as waste generated from construction which can be harmful to the environment,” he added. “The UAE is presenting to the world today the first integrated and comprehensive strategy to exploit 3D technology to serve humanity […] the future will depend on 3D printing technologies in all aspects of our life, starting from houses we live in…”