Of all the geographical locations that bring us 3D printing news on a regular basis, Dubai is almost certainly the most consistent. Since the United Arab Emirates city-state announced its 3D Printing Strategy with the goal of becoming the global leader in 3D printing by 2030, we have been consistently inundated with updates as the government’s plans unfold. It’s been truly exciting to watch as the city progresses towards becoming a 3D printing capital, the likes of which we have never seen before.
As with everything, however, there’s a downside to the 3D printing technology sweeping across Dubai’s infrastructure. It’s the same downside that we see with 3D printing as a whole: security concerns. As 3D printing technology becomes more connected and widespread, the risks of hacking increase, as well as the possibility of counterfeit products, which can carry real dangers by introducing poor-quality imitations into high-risk fields such as aerospace and medicine.
Dubai’s government is being proactive, though, preparing for the risks of 3D printing as thoroughly as they’re preparing for the benefits. Dubai Police recently partnered with safety science firm Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to hold a two-day workshop on the 3D printing industry and how to prepare for its effects, both positive and negative.
“3D printing, or additive manufacturing, will change the world in the years to come offering huge steps forward in manufacturing, construction, medical care and many other sectors,” said Hamid Syed, Vice President and GM of UL Middle East. “However, as with all new technology it must be understood to be implemented safely. By understanding why the necessary training is important and what type of training individuals need, we can safely move this innovative technology in the right direction as it is applied across different industries and applications.
“It’s fantastic to see forward thinking authorities such as Dubai Police not only embracing this exciting technology, but doing so in such a controlled and well thought out manner.”
All parties involved in the workshop agreed that understanding is key. 3D printing is a technology that holds a lot of power, and its influence is growing into every sector and industry, with huge global effects. A disproportionate number of people, however, still don’t understand 3D printing, which could potentially have a negative effect on the industry, said keynote speaker Dr. Khalid Rafi. Dr. Rafi is the Lead Development Engineer at UL’s Global Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Singapore.
“We estimate that 40 per cent of the global manufacturing industry don’t know what 3D printing is in any detail,” he said. “All stakeholders involved in this technology should have some basic understanding of it in order for it to progress and grow, which is why we came up with a workshop that helps to go some way in teaching the basic principles of the technology.”
The workshop gave an overview of the 3D printing industry including processes, materials, and quality issues in addition to safety concerns. As more and more GCC countries announce plans to invest heavily in 3D printing over the next ten years, Dubai hopes to set a good example by encouraging knowledge and responsibility as they lead the way.
“3D printing technology is advancing rapidly across the world and Dubai Police are committed to being forerunners in the 3D generation by highlighting the world’s best practices adopted in the public safety industry,” said Colonel Badran Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of the General Department of Training at Dubai Police.
Discuss in the Dubai Police forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Image: Emirates 24/7]
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