• Monday May 23rd, 2016

‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ launched as the first initiative of its kind in the world

3dstrfeatureHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “Through the 3D Printing Strategy, we aim to make Dubai a global hub for the development of this technology and a base for research and development in this area. We aim to provide the best opportunities for innovation and optimal application of this technology worldwide. Our goal is raise the level of services provided to the people and harness 3D printing for the benefit of the entire community.”

His Highness called on all government agencies, private sector companies, universities and research centres to work as a team to establish a universal model in the UAE that will serve as a platform for innovators in this futuristic technology from all over the world.

Three key sectors and five pillars of the strategy:

Dubai 3D Printing Strategy will focus on three major sectors: Construction, Medical Products, Consumer Products.

The construction and building sector will focus on lighting products, bases and foundations, construction joints, facilities and parks, buildings for humanitarian causes and mobile homes in addition to galleries, stores and residential villas. The value of 3D printing technology based construction sector in Dubai is expected to be about AED 2.2 billion by 2025. The use of 3D printing in Dubai’s construction sector will increase by 2% starting 2019 and further in the coming years depending on the development of this technology and its future reliability.

Within the medical products sector, the focus will be on developing 3D printed products to promote Dubai’s competitiveness and enhance its leadership as a global centre of technology. By 2025, Dubai will produce 3D printed artificial organs costing less than AED 400. Other major benefits in this sector include the production of ceramic teeth in less than 20 minutes as well as the use of 3D printing technology in orthopedic surgeries to accelerate patient cure rates by 40 to 80%. Dubai aims to develop the use this technology in the medical products sector to achieve excellence in various surgical operations and in all medical specialties.

The consumer products sector will focus on household items, optics, fashion jewellery, children’s games and fast food. The volume of consumer products printed by 3D technology in Dubai is expected to be about AED 2.7 billion by 2025.

The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has five main pillars, namely: Infrastructure, Legislative Structure, Funding, Talent and Market Demand.

The Legislative Structure pillar will focus on the development of regulatory framework for the use of 3D printing technology within various sectors and the specifications of materials that will be used in the printing process.

The Infrastructure pillar will aim to provide the right infrastructure and the support of research and development to attract the world’s largest companies in this field.

Emphasis will be placed through the Talent pillar to build local talent capabilities of researchers, designers and innovators and bring the best minds from around the world in 3D printing field.

The Funding pillar will provide financing alternatives as well as investment support to develop this technology and expand its scope of application.

The Market Demand pillar will promote the application of this technology within various sectors to bring prices of products to competitive levels while maintaining quality.

Concerted efforts to achieve the objectives of the strategy

Dubai 3D Printing Strategy is aimed at integrating the efforts of government institutions and the private sector to enhance Dubai’s development by employing innovative local and global expertise in 3D technology. The Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation will play a major role in organizing these efforts and putting them within set frameworks to achieve the strategy.

Effective and innovative initiatives

Dubai Municipality will be one of the important government agencies involved in the implementation of Dubai 3D Printing Strategy through the use of existing technologies locally and attracting the leading global companies in this industry. It will also analyse the optimal mechanism to successfully transform traditional construction methods to construction using 3D printing technology.

Dubai Municipality will achieve the strategic targets by launching and organizing a number of projects and initiatives across four main stages. The Establishment Phase includes preparation of a comprehensive study for the 3D printing sector, especially in the field of building construction. It will contribute to the organization of the registration process and qualification and licensing, implementation and follow-up monitoring and modification and legislation, as well as coordination with the customers, government, developers, manufacturers, and information technology companies.

Qualification Phase aims to organise projects to put codes for 3D printing materials, systems and specifications, hardware and technical standards of sustainability and project maintenance. In addition, this phase will adopt registration and classification process and initiate measures to educate engineers and local and international companies. The phase will also see the preparation of laboratories for testing and measuring the material. It also includes local and international accreditation and processing and preparation of cadres and electronic systems for operations and inspection.

The third stage is the Implementation Phase which will begin with the launch of the first pilot project with Dubai Holding. During this phase, developers will be inspired to work on other prototype projects while the private sector and consultants will be encouraged to adopt the processes of transformation towards printing buildings through a combination of direct impact incentives.

The Development Phase includes assessment through several measures and performance indicators covering all the previous stages and developing them, and drafting work agreements with key developers to develop the 3D printing technology sector.

The Dubai Health Authority will establish strategic partnerships at the local, regional and international levels to develop projects and initiatives based on innovation and smart technologies and promote Dubai’s leadership globally as a producer and exporter of 3D printed medical products.

TECOM Investment Group will also play a key role in implementing Dubai’s strategic 3D printing through the launch of an innovative laboratory to embrace innovations and innovators and designers. It will establish a special centre for 3D printing and organize workshops and training courses. This is in addition to the establishment of a special fund to support pilot projects in a wide range of sectors including 3D printing.

The future of 3D printing

The global market for 3D printing is expected to reach US$ 120 billion by 2020 and about US$ 300 billion by 2025 driven by research and product development activities and the increasing need for more creativity in the design process. The 3D printing technology will ease the production process in various sectors, offering the prospects for major leaps in the world of industry.

Reports indicate that 3D printing technology will cut construction costs by 50% to 70%, and labour costs by 50% to 80%. In addition, the technology will help reduce waste produced in construction operations by up to 60%, which will reflect positively on the economic returns of the sector and contribute to sustainable development.

North America, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and other developed countries have allocated huge budgets in the development of 3D printing techniques in various fields such as medicine, industry, automotive and aviation.