The Government of Dubai recently unveiled a Robotics & Drone laboratory at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Research & Development Centre. The DEWA in its official release reported that the Robotics & Drone laboratory is the first building in the UAE to be fully printed onsite, and the first such 3D-printed lab in the world. The lab houses rovers and drones that are designed and built in-house.
The 3D printed lab is located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park which supports innovation in all production and operational areas. Through its R&D Centre, DEWA has developed advanced infrastructure and specialised software in 3D printing and additive manufacturing. DEWA is the first organisation in the GCC to deploy Markforged Metalx 3D printing based on wire/filament. This technology is highly accurate; reduces time and cost, improves efficiency and productivity and enhances innovation at DEWA.
DEWA uses 3D printers to produce prototypes and spare parts for its generation, transmission, and distribution divisions, and to support the digitisation of its inventory. The R&D Centre supports rapid changes through its 3D printer advanced features. It also provides technical solutions, training, knowledge sharing, mechanical testing, techno-economic analysis, and research and development in additive manufacturing.
“The R&D Centre supports DEWA’s efforts in innovation which is a key pillar of its work. 3D printing projects launched by DEWA are widely recognised by utilities worldwide. DEWA works to enhance its production and operational capacity by investing in these technologies. This is through its 3D printing programme which has been selected as one of the Dubai 10X initiative projects,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
“The initiative was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which mandates the Government of Dubai to be a global leader that is 10 years ahead of all other cities. The programme also supports the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which is a unique global initiative to use technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a global hub for 3D printing technology, by 2030,” added HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.
Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, referred to the importance of the R&D Centre in providing self-sufficiency for DEWA in terms of developing innovative solutions and technologies.
The centre adopts the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, including the 3D printers, such as reinforced plastic printers using a mixture of carbon fibre or fibreglass; CYBE printers; and Markforged Metalx metal printers.
The Centre strengthens capabilities in 3D printing, through workshops and training sessions. Besides, it develops the experiences of its engineers and researchers and consolidates their knowledge of additive manufacturing, which supports national capabilities. The number of Emirati researchers at the Centre has reached 70%.
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