Sharjah: The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) is increasing the investment in 3D printing with the goal of promoting innovation in a number of sectors and industries, including the crucial manufacturing sector.

With the UAE becoming a global competitor in the field of 3D printing, Sharjah is steadily moving toward taking a frontline position in this field. SRTI Park, as part of its ambition to be the hub for 3D printing technology, has built a unique structure on its premises using 3D- technology, which is one of the prominent technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution related to construction.

Mr. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, said: “3D printing is a priority area in our investment plan for 2023, because we see great potential for transforming the manufacturing sector through this technology. Integrating 3D printing into production processes reduces costs and eases logistical challenges related to shipping and product scarcity as the required parts can be printed immediately. It also provides unlimited freedom in designing any piece or geometric shape, and allows it to be produced with various materials such as metal powders, plastics, ceramics, and others.”

As part of SRTIP’s vision to be one of the largest and most advanced 3D printing technology platforms in the region, it has collaborated with global companies to establish a unit specialized in additive manufacturing.

The complex has attracted a number of leading international companies in this field, among them General Electric (GE), the American industrial and technology giant, which operates within SRTI’s additive manufacturing unit through a number of advanced devices; and 3DTIV Tech, a division of Modest Company Group, which has been providing a range of products and services to companies in the MENA region, including clients in the oil, gas and construction industry for several years.

Driving the forward-looking companies is SRTI Park’s Sharjah Open Innovation Lab (SOILAB), the first applied incubator for start-ups and innovative companies to create prototypes, in addition to the Middle East Center for Additive Manufacturing, which was launched to advance the UAE's goal of becoming a global hub for 3D printing.

According to an international survey conducted in February 2022, the overall 3D printing market will grow by 24% to reach $44.5 billion by 2026, and 68% of engineering businesses surveyed said they used 3D printing more in 2021 than in 2020.

There is also a phenomenal growth in the demand for 3D printing in the automotive industry as it continues to innovate in creating components and patterns for metal castings, parts and other vehicle components.