Dubai set to be 3D printing hub

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Dubai set to be 3D printing hub
Dubai hosts the world's first 3D printed office in Dubai on the premises of the Emirates Towers.

dubai - Initiatives will revolutionise its construction sector and witness innovations across other sectors

By Staff Report

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Published: Sat 30 Jul 2016, 6:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Aug 2016, 7:43 PM

Dubai's active initiatives toward encouraging 3D printing are set to make it the world's leading destination in this "additive manufacturing" technology, a 3D printing expert has said.

Dominic Wright, business development director at Generation 3D, a 3D printing specialist company, said during the monthly CIOMajlis session that Dubai's initiatives toward encouraging 3D printing will revolutionise its construction sector and witness innovations across other sectors, particularly medical and oil and gas.

"Dubai has already taken major steps toward using 3D printing - it's the world's first to have a 3D printing strategy and its measures to have clear plans in different sectors have already laid a strong foundation for the further growth of 3D printing across various sectors, including construction, oil and gas and medical," he said.

The CIOMajlis session was attended by more than 25 CIOs from different industry sectors, including oil and gas, infrastructure, logistics, finance, energy and IT from across the UAE.

Ahmed Al Mulla, chairman of CIOMajlis, who is also senior vice-president, corporate services at Emirates Global Aluminium, said: "We have already started to see the transformative impact 3D printing is creating."

According to Canalys, a market research firm, the global market for 3-D printers and services will grow from $2.5 billion in 2013 to $16.2 billion in 2018, a CAGR of 45.7 per cent.

Factors such as 3D printing evolving from developing prototypes to end-user products, mass customisation, production of complex parts, government investments in 3D printing projects and improvements in manufacturing efficiency are expected to drive the growth of the 3D printing market, according to another market research, which expects the 3D printing market to reach $30.19 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 28.5 per cent between 2016 and 2022.

"In terms of focusing on 3D printing, I would say Dubai is the best place to be. The government has definitive plans. Dubai in 3D printing will be one of the biggest players in the market - whether it is market for 3D printers, companies who use the technology," said Wright.

The major benefits of 3D printing, explained Wright, come in the way of cost saving, design flexibility and time effectiveness.

"You are not constrained to old methods, you can build shapes and designs that did not seem possible earlier. All you need to have is the design, in the right scenario, you can build something in one-tenth of the time and save even up to 80 per cent in costs, especially because you save a lot in terms of set-up costs involved in manufacturing," he added.

Companies need to start looking where it can be integrated and whether it is going to be relevant to their industry.

Among the challenges the industry in Dubai needs to be prepared for are technical support and availability of skilled manpower in this new industry.


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