Nov 15, 2017 | By David

One of the Middle East’s financial powerhouses, Dubai, has long been at the forefront of 3D printing developments, particularly in terms of implementing the technology into local infrastructure. The world’s first 3D printed office building was installed in the city back in May of this year, having taken just 17 days to put together, and world’s first 3D printed skyscraper has already been proposed. The latest announcement, from the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), suggests that 3D printed transport structures could become a reality in the next few years.

The RTA has been one of the key organizations responsible for Dubai’s reputation around the world as a technology hub and as one of the global leaders in infrastructure achievements. The Dubai metro system was recognized back in 2012 as the world's longest driverless metro network with a route length of 75 kilometres (47 miles). This record was held until the end of last year, when it was overtaken by the Vancouver SkyTrain in Canada.

According to Abdul Reda Abul Hassan, Executive Director of Rail Projects, Planning & Development at the Rails Agency and Chair of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy Implementation Committee at the RTA, “The new initiatives the RTA intends to implement using the 3D printing technology will span various projects such as a pedestrian bridge, Hatta Gates, bus stop, and marine transport station....Using 3D printing technology in implementing these projects will help developing innovative methods capable of contributing effectively to promoting Dubai as the smartest city; a global hub for tourists, visitors, investors and businessmen and a leading financial, tourism and service centre in the world''.

The Hatta Gates project was in fact introduced for the first time in December of last year, as a major new addition to public art in Dubai. It will be located on the main Dubai to Hatta road According to Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, “Hatta Gate Project boasts of a unique design that reflects the identity of Hatta and its nature in a modern and innovative setting. The design of the Gate replicates the gorgeous and exciting topography of the area, dotted with mountains and cliffs in a creative style with successive columns of different configurations depicting the unique nature of the area....The vertical high shape symbolises the stiff, towering mountains of Hatta, creating unforgettable memories for visitors.”

The increased design freedom offered by 3D printing technology’s digital manufacturing process, as well as the reduced costs and production time, means that the way large structures are being put together worldwide is changing rapidly. Waste can be almost entirely eliminated by 3D printing, and the automation of the process means that the amount of labour required is significantly reduced. More and more architecture firms and civil engineering projects are being drawn to implement 3D printing’s direct construction solution. The installation of a robotic 3D printer on a construction site, which can selectively extrude cement that will harden into an elaborate concrete structure, is an everyday event all over the world now.

Back in April 2016, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said that by 2030, 25 per cent of all construction in the emirate must make use of the cutting-edge manufacturing technique. This announcement was part of the launch of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, a unique global initiative that is intended to restructure the economy and labor markets, improving productivity and making Dubai the world’s 3D printing hub. The International Centre for 3-D Printing at Dubai Industrial City was launched shortly after this. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has also declared that the technology will add $300 billion (Dh1.1 trillion) to the world economy by 2025.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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