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DEWA to build 3D printed laboratory

Lab will be printed on site at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

DEWA to build 3D printed laboratory
The DEWA lab will use 3D printing construction, as seen in these 3D printed houses.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is set to build the first 3D-printed laboratory in the world.

The lab, which will be used for research into drones and 3D printing, will be constructed by Convrgnt Value Engineering (LLC), as part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The lab will also be the first building in the UAE to be fully printed on site.

"DEWA's vision is inspired by the wise words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who said that, "The future will depend on 3D printing technologies in all aspects of our life, starting from houses we live in, the streets we use, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the food we eat,"" said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

"The construction of the 3D-printed lab, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, reflects our on-going efforts to achieve the directives of our wise government. 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 for 3D printing technology by 2030," added Al Tayer.

The laboratory will conduct research on drones and 3D-printing technology to support DEWA's ongoing projects. The lab will use drones to support developments in photovoltaic panel technology.

The lab will also include four sub-laboratories, the Electronics Lab, the Software Lab, the Mechanical Lab, and the Prototype Lab, as well as an outdoor testing facility. The sub labs will enable DEWA staff to repair drones, as well as to develop electrical, mechanical and software design and engineering work to build custom drone systems.

The lab will solve issues and develop solutions to meet national objectives and DEWA's requirements, and will run tests on avionic systems, flight controls, and electric power units. The Software Lab will research the design, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of software systems. Particular areas of interest include operating systems, mobile computing, cloud computing, virtualisation, distribution systems, and software engineering. The Mechanical Lab will conduct theoretical and experimental research into phenomena related to the behaviour of certain materials. This lab will develop prototypes for different products that allow engineers to further develop their ideas. The outdoor flight-testing facility will feature a landing area equipped with sensors, and a power, water, and data line.

"We are extremely pleased with the award and even more so since this will be the first 3D printed laboratory in the world and the first 3D building in the UAE that is fully-printed onsite. 3D printed building technology is not only new to the Gulf but also the world and we are fortunate to be at the forefront with this project," said Vibin Paul, Convrgnt.

"The building will be printed using a system of robotic arms at the desert location. The risks of working in an unshielded open environment have to be addressed and the logistics accurately controlled during the printing operation," added Paul.

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