3D Printing

Dubai releases tender for 3D-printed R&D

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has released an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the construction of 3D-printed Laboratories, to conduct research on drones and 3D-printing technologies, at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site project in the world. The Solar Park will generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.

The park will feature the new lab, build with 3D-printing technology, under the umbrella of the Research & Development (R&D) Centre. The labs will conduct research on drones, and 3D-printing technology to support DEWA’s ongoing projects. The lab will conduct research on the use of drones to develop the performance of photovoltaic panels to increase their efficiency, credibility, and lower their cost, as well as study and test different photovoltaic technologies. DEWA has been using drones for the last three years to monitor its electricity and water production, transmission and distribution systems.


“The EOI to construct the 3D-printed labs at the solar park reflects our 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 of 3D printing technology by 2030,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“In adherence with the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai gives priority to environmental sustainability and the happiness of its citizens, residents and visitors, w to provide a healthy environment for the public. This supports the Dubai Plan 2021 to make Dubai a smart, integrated, connected city that is clean, healthy, and sustainable. DEWA gives priority to R&D, sustainability, renewable energy, and photovoltaic technology, in adherence with DEWA’s vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility, and the Dubai Innovation Strategy to make the Emirate one of the most innovative cities in the world. DEWA’s Innovation Centre includes a number of clean energy R&D laboratories for solar power, smart grids, energy efficiency research, drone research, and solar-powered desalination. The total investment on the centre will be AED 500 million. This reflects DEWA’s commitment to improve innovation standards,” added Al Tayer.

The test labs will be constructed using 3D-printing technology. The 4 main labs include the Electronics Laboratory, the Software Laboratory, the Mechanical Laboratory, and the Prototype Laboratory. The project will also include an outdoor-testing facility. The Electronics Laboratory will conduct electrical design and repair services for drones that can be used by R&D staff, and DEWA employees. Our staff will be able to design and build customised circuits for different drone applications. The Software Laboratory will develop and provide DEWA with innovative products, research, and educational solutions. 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 Laboratory pursues basic research in all aspects of 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 Laboratory will conduct theoretical and experimental investigations into phenomena related the behaviour of certain materials, and combustion. 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. This area will allow researchers to test different sensors, actuators, and systems, and will cover a ground space of 20×20 metres.

The closing date is 11pm on 31 May 2016.