Dubai Sets Out to Become the World’s 3D Printing Hub

The small emirate Dubai has got an ambitious plan: In 2030, it wants to be the world’s leading 3D printing capital. By then, 25 % of every new building in Dubai shall be constructed by means of 3D printing.

The small emirate Dubai aims high regarding the usage of three-dimensional printing technology: In 2030, the popular travel destination at the Persian Gulf wants to be the world’s leading 3D printing capital. The trend-setting technology shall primarily improve the emirate’s consumer and health care sectors as well as the construction industry. These goals are defined by the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ which was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, in 2016.

Generous Sponsorships for 3D Printing Industry

In order to push ahead its ambitious plan, Dubai promises generous sponsorship for established companies, but above all for startups in the 3D printing industry. Additionally, the Emirate offers them spacious premises in industrial and technology parks that are being built on the outskirts of the capital. In fact, 3D printing has already begun to renew many industries. Next year, the company Polymaker plans to launch the first 3D-printed car compatible for mass production. In the health care sector, numerous prostheses are now being adjusted to patients with laser scan and 3D printers. Entire organs are already manufactured by means of modern 3D-printing technology for pre-operative planning purposes.

The most spectacular 3D printing innovations are yet to be found in the construction industry. In May 2016, a fully functional 3D-printed office building, including furniture and interior design, opened its doors in Dubai. The ‘Office of the Future’ was realized by a 20 feet high, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide 3D printer including an automated robotic arm to implement the printing process. Within only 17 days, the entire structure of the building was printed by this giant cement printer. Two more days were needed for the installation of the printed parts on site plus approximately three months for all subsequent work such as interiors, building services and landscape.

3D Printing Offers Immense Time- and Cost-Savings Potential

The ‘Office of the Future’ is a shining example of Dubai’s deep commitment to 3D printing. Another proof of how serious Dubai takes the promotion of 3D-printing technologies is reflected again in the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’: According to this initiative, 25 percent of every new building in Dubai shall be constructed by means of 3D printing technology by 2025, starting in 2019 at 2 percent with a gradual increase to the strategic goal. Thereby, construction costs shall be reduced by up to 70 percent, time reduction is estimated to be up to 80 percent.

As we have seen in this article 3D printing offers great opportunities in different sectors. Where do you see its highest potential?

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