Mar 28, 2017 | By Benedict

Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), the Dubai Future Foundation, and GE Additive have joined forces to establish the first 3D printing microfactories in the UAE. The trio plan to start with microfactories in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Additive manufacturing news from Dubai, the UAE, and the entire Middle East region is coming thick and fast these days, largely thanks to the huge financial incentives being dangled by Dubai’s Emir, vice president, and prime minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as other powerful figures in the region, in order to drive growth and innovation. With Dubai and the rest of the UAE doing everything it can to become a global 3D printing powerhouse, companies are seizing their chance to be a part of this exciting (if somewhat forced) phase of additive manufacturing history in the Middle East.

Today, Mubadala, the Dubai Future Foundation, and GE Additive have joined forces to develop the UAE’s first 3D printing microfactories, which will be used to accelerate additive design, customer innovation, and digital manufacturing technologies. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself was on hand to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the parties. As part of the agreement, the trio will build an Abu Dhabi-based microfactory focused on serving industrial companies, as well as a Dubai-based microfactory that will focus on consumer goods and services companies.

These proposed 3D printing microfactories will purportedly help the UAE towards its Vision 2021 plan to develop itself into one of “the best countries in the world.” According to the parties involved, microfactories will permit the upscaling of design and manufacturing capabilities in the UAE and the Middle East, allowing innovative companies and organizations to nurture their ideas while using cutting-edge additive manufacturing technology to produce specialized components. Microfactories, occupying a space between workshops and industrial-size factories, will bridge the gap to production through small-batch manufacturing, and will support ecosystem development, customer co-creation, and the unlocking of new growth sectors.

“As a nation, our remit is a clear one: identify and act upon unique and sustainable partnerships that provide significant advancements across all sectors, in line with Vision 2021,” said Mohamed Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and vice chairman and managing director of the Dubai Future Foundation, who was also present at the signing of the MoU. “The leadership of the UAE is a firm believer in the exceptional opportunities presented by a proactive and future focused strategy, enabling individuals, companies, sectors and the nation to progress through the use of innovative and collaborative tools and platforms.”

Importantly, the parties involved say these future UAE 3D printing microfactories won’t just be about making fast money for big corporations, but will also encourage education and “capability building.” They say that a unique crowdsourcing platform will be used to bring together the brightest minds in the industry, no matter their background, allowing companies and organizations to recruit skilled additive manufacturing workers for particular projects. “These Microfactories are a glimpse of what the future represents, combining innovation and educational ecosystems with fast, efficient, and sustainable manufacturing capabilities,” Al Gergawi added. “The possibilities are truly limitless.”

American corporation GE, whose 3D printing arm GE Additive will help develop the new microfactories, has invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies at its Global Research Center (GRC) as it looks to become a serious global player in the industry. The corporation now has additive manufacturing applications across six GE businesses.

“The Microfactories are a concrete example of the results that can be achieved when innovation can take transformative and tangible form,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President of GE Additive. “We are phenomenally proud and optimistic about what it can deliver against UAE’s Vision 2021 and the country’s economic goals.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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