May 23, 2016 | By Benedict

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has released a tender for the construction of new 3D printed laboratories at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The 3D printed laboratories, which would require $136M USD investment, would be used to research drones and 3D printing technology.

With its seemingly limitless financial resources and official directive to 3D print 25% of its buildings by the year 2030, Dubai looks set to become a hive of additive manufacturing activity in the not-too-distant future. In recent months, the emirate has seen global investment holding group Dubai Holding propose a massive International Center for 3D printing, metal 3D printing startup Sinterex set up shop in the city, and one of the world’s first candy 3D printers arrive at the Dubai Mall—to the delight of residents and tourists alike. In keeping with this trend of 3D printing innovation, the UAE’s most populous city could soon have a fully 3D printed research laboratory, should DEWA’s recently announced Expression of Interest attract sufficient backing.

DEWA has proposed that a 3D printed laboratory, consisting of four main facilities, be built at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects. The Solar Park, located around 50 miles south of Dubai, is being developed to help the city meet its ambitious goal of 75% clean energy sources by 2050—a surprising yet commendable target given the the area’s association with the oil trade. According to its developers, the Solar Park will generate 1,000 megawatts by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030.

The 3D printed lab, dubbed the Research & Development Center, will be used to conduct research on drones and 3D printing technology, particularly in relation to solar power, smart grids, energy efficiency research, and solar-powered desalination. DEWA has been using drones for around three years to monitor production, transmission, and distribution systems for both water and electricity, but believes that further research could contribute to improved photovoltaic (solar) panels with greater efficiency and credibility, produced at a lower cost.

The expansive laboratories will be divided into four main facilities: the Electronics Laboratory, the Software Laboratory, the Mechanical Laboratory, and the Prototype Laboratory. A 20 x 20m outdoor flight testing facility will also be constructed at the site, featuring a sensor-equipped landing area and a power, water, and data line. Researchers will be able to test new sensors, actuators, and systems at this facility. “The total investment on the centre will be AED 500 million,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “This reflects DEWA's commitment to improve innovation standards.”

The Electronics Laboratory will be used as an area for electrical design and repair services for drones, building customized drone circuits for particular applications. The Software Laboratory will develop “innovative products, research, and educational solutions”, while running tests on avionic systems, electric power units, and flight controls. It will also conduct research into the design, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of different software systems. The Mechanical Laboratory will test materials and perform experiments on combustion, while the Prototype Laboratory will, as its name suggests, develop a range of prototypes which will help staff at all departments to further develop their own ideas and projects.

"The Expression of Interest to construct the 3D printed labs at the solar park reflects our efforts to achieve the directives of our wise government,” Al Tayer said. “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.”

The closing date for the tender is May 31, 2016.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive