One year ago, top UAE additive manufacturing company Immensa Technology Labs, which is focused on 3D printing research and development, opened the doors to the first 3D printing facility in Dubai. Immensa is the first privately owned company to specialize in the development and advancement of 3D printing in the UAE, and opening its new state-of-the-art facility was keeping in line with Dubai’s multi-tiered 3D Printing Strategy, which was launched two years ago by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Immensa was also the first company in the country to provide 3D printed parts for a race car, and has just checked off another first – it’s now the first UAE-headquartered company to file for a 3D printing patent.The patent is for the company’s proprietary method for 3D printing molds for concrete and other aggregates, and could shake up how regional engineering and construction companies look at urban design. Immensa’s innovative technique will open the door for multiple creative applications, while also reducing the burdens of current methods of mold-making.
The company’s multi-discipline engineers, who are already familiar with construction 3D printing, focus on providing the best and most viable 3D printing solutions. The 3D printed concrete mold method for which the patent was filed involves environmentally friendly material, is more cost-efficient than molds made through traditional forms of manufacturing, and is also reusable.
“We are proud to represent this great nation by filing the first 3D printing related patent from a UAE-based company,” said Fahmi Al-Shawwa, the CEO of Immensa Technology Labs. “This process being patented is at the forefront of engineering innovation, and aligns with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai 3D Printing Strategy. At Immensa, we constantly encourage our engineers to surpass their potentials, and we strive to offer them a positive and reinforcing environment for them to create and work in.”
“We came upon the process for this mould while working on various projects related to concrete casting,” explained Immensa engineer Edem Dugenboo. “After facing many challenges, we utilised a unique process that comprised a number of different elements and individual processes to come up with a full and effective solution using 3D printers.”
Dugenboo and fellow Immensa engineer Elias El Dik worked together to develop the company’s proprietary mold-making process. They used multiple 3D printing methods to create molds used by construction and fit-out companies to cast cement, concrete, and gypsum materials in complex forms and shapes, and the process has a much quicker turnaround than mold-making through other conventional methods.
“We will continue to invest resources in developing further applications for 3D printing in the construction sector,” said El Dik. “Immensa works closely with its partners on construction-related R&D projects, and we believe there are many applicable uses for 3D printing in the sector. This process is still nascent and the possibilities for its use are just revealing themselves to us.”
The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has a goal of exploiting the technology to promote the status of the UAE, and Dubai itself, as a top 3D printing hub by 2030. The initiative also aims to use 3D printing to better serve humanity. As 3D printing continues to make its environmentally conscious mark in the construction industry, particularly with concrete, many around the world can benefit from its zero waste and design freedom attributes.
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