Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Dubai gets closer to 3D printing metro spare parts

3D printing parts will save 90 per cent of the time taken to source those parts and 50 per cent of the original cost

The Roads and Transport Authority aims to 3D print spare parts for Dubai Metro. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The Roads and Transport Authority aims to 3D print spare parts for Dubai Metro. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Dubai is getting closer to using 3-D printing to manufacture spare parts for its metro.

On Friday, the Roads and Transport Authority said it had made "significant progress" using the technology despite setbacks caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

RTA and Serco, Dubai Metro's maintenance contractor, are working with a specialist company to advance the 3-D printing project.

"The use of 3D printing in several projects and applications helps develop new techniques and creative means capable of contributing effectively to making Dubai the smartest city in the world," said Mohammed Al Amiri, director of maintenance at the authority.

The RTA is working on 3D printing spare parts for Dubai Metro. Courtesy: Roads and Transport Authority
The RTA is working on 3D printing spare parts for Dubai Metro. Courtesy: Roads and Transport Authority

He said the RTA used 3-D printing to support frontline workers during the National Disinfection Programme by manufacturing mask strap clips.

Mr Al Amiri said they used the same technology to manufacture some metro spare parts that saved 90 per cent of the time usually taken up by sourcing the parts through conventional means.

It also saved 50 per cent of the original cost, he said.

The focus on adopting 3-D printing in transport followed a 2016 directive from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, for 25 per cent of all construction in the emirate to the technology by 2030.

Soon after, the RTA began planning to use 3-D printing to manufacture a pedestrian bridge, Hatta Gate, a bus stop and a marine station.

Last year, Dubai unveiled the largest 3-D printed building on the planet.

After a year of testing to ensure the project in Warsan meets strict building standards, the emirate’s latest hi-tech development went on public display in October last year.

Dubai Municipality said the building was now entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first two-storey printed building.

Updated: September 18, 2020 07:10 PM

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