Additive Manufacturing Strategies

DEWA to Construct 3D Printed Laboratories in Dubai’s Solar Park

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Image Source: Littlegate Publishing

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park [Image Source: Littlegate Publishing]

When the city state Dubai—which is the most wealthy and luxurious of the seven city states making up the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—is brought up in conversation, the discussion generally leans towards the sky-toppling architecture or high-end shopping stores. But, for those who have been following the latest in the ongoing advancement of additive manufacturing, you may have heard about Dubai’s speedy transformation into one of the most promising 3D printing hubs in the world.

Over the last month alone, the UAE has made projections that 3D printed homes will soon take up of sizable portion of their housing market, the global investment group Dubai Holding launched plans to construct the International Centre for 3D Printing within Dubai Industrial City, and earlier this week, the city state also inaugurated their first-ever 3D printed office building. Now, it looks as if Dubai will soon have 3D printed laboratories at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, a solar power plan that was named after His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

logo_dewaThe project will be planned and constructed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which just released an Expression of Interest (EOI) to build the 3D printed laboratories into the Research & Development (R&D) Centre of the solar park. The Emirate of Dubai views this ambitious project as a case study of sorts, one that will take the 3D printing capabilities of R&D centers located both in Dubai and across the world to new levels of advancement. The project will be constructed using 3D printing, and will be the home for further research on 3D printing technologies and drones. The planned test labs will essentially be broken down into four sections:

  • The Electronics Laboratory: This lab will handle electrical design and repair services for drones, and will also provide the DEWA staff the ability to design and build customized circuits for various drone applications.
  • The Software Laboratory: This section will develop and provide the DEWA team with software-based products, research, and educational systems, and will also serve as the home for tests on avionic systems, flight controls, and electric power units.
  • The Mechanical Laboratory: This lab will conduct research and experiments on the behavior of and relationship between certain materials and combustion.
  • The Prototype Laboratory: will develop prototypes for different products that allow engineers to further develop their ideas.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

“The EOI to construct the 3D-printed labs at the solar park reflects our efforts to achieve the directives of our wise government. The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy is a unique global initiative to use technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by 2030,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the CEO of DEWA.

The 3D printed construction project will also include plans for an outdoor flight-testing facility for drone research with a sensor-embedded landing area, and will also offer researchers an area to test different sensors, actuators, and systems. The DEWA envisions a number of clean energy R&D laboratories to accommodate Dubai’s expansive research on solar power, smart grids, energy efficiency research, drone research, and solar-powered desalination.

According to Al Tayer, the total investment for the project will cost around AED 500 million (approximately $136,122,960), and will complement the Dubai Plan 2021, a foresighted plan aiming to transform the city state into one of the most environmentally sustainable and technologically innovative hubs in the world. As Dubai continues transitioning into 3D printed houses, offices, and now, laboratories, the rest of us 3D printing enthusiasts around the world can only sit back in awe and watch as the Emirate of Dubai becomes a 3D printed city in and of itself. Have you been following Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy? Discuss further in the 3D Printed Dubai Labs forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: DEWA Press Release via ZAWYA]

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