According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) the use of 3D printing saved Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) AED509,658 (approximately $138,000) in 2021 and 2022. DEWA built over 1,800 spare parts for the generation, transmission, and distribution divisions at the 3D printing lab at its R&D Center. This has also saved the effort and time required to replace spare parts – with the average time to provide printed spare parts being four days.
“We work in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to keep pace with the disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to provide world-class services that enhance the quality of life in Dubai. DEWA supports the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which aims to harness this promising technology to serve humanity and enhance the position of the UAE to become a global hub for the development of 3D printing technologies,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. “Through our R&D Center, we are keen to develop 3D printing technologies, additive manufacturing, and other innovative technologies that are used internally to print spare parts for devices and equipment. This reduces procurement time and cost, extends the lifespan of these devices, and promotes innovation at DEWA.”
Al Tayer noted that the R&D Center is equipped with multiple 3D printing systems that can manufacture spare parts for DEWA’s different business units – utilizing over 20 materials covering various engineering applications, including metal and high-performance thermoplastics.
Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, explained that DEWA adopts 3D printing technology as an innovative solution for building models and manufacturing spare parts internally. He noted that technical sectors worldwide face many challenges, such as equipment obsolescence or spare parts no longer being manufactured or sold, which comes with a higher cost to replace the entire system.
Since its launch, DEWA’s R&D Center at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has filed 23 patents, out of which six have been granted. Among the filed patents, three are specifically related to 3D printing. Additionally, the Center has published 157 research papers in international conferences, peer-reviewed journals, and publications. Among these publications, 14 research papers are focused on 3D printing.
The Center adopts the latest 3D printing technologies, including metal printers and reinforced plastic printers using a mixture of carbon fiber and fiberglass. The Center enhances the capabilities of DEWA’s engineers and researchers in 3D printing and additive manufacturing through workshops and training sessions in cooperation with major global companies and institutions.