The inaugural Additive Manufacturing Conclave Middle East Conference and Exhibition opened on 13th September at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), drawing big industry names from the regions end user industry.

The event saw the attendance of established global technology leaders such as EOS, Stratasys, SLM Solutions, 3DSystems, Indo MIM, Markforged, Immensa as well as rapidly growing companies such as CEAD, Additec, NAMI, LVLTech, Matrix Nano, Continuum, Primaeam and Caracol, all keen to expand their products and services into the region. The event also saw two local powerhouses – Al Seer Marine and Technology Innovation Institute join as Founding Partners. As well as the established and new international brands, the event attracted local stakeholders including representatives from government entities, defence, oil & gas majors in the region, research institutes, service bureaus and the first UAE-based 3D printer manufacturer.

National Additive Manufacturing & Innovation Company “NAMI” represented the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem from Saudi Arabia at the event, which highlighted the effort of AM Conclave to bring regional stakeholders together in the Middle East.

All in all, the 2 day event served as a platform for sharing ideas, discussing opportunities, and networking for those interested in expanding their presence in the region, and in some cases, expanding outwards.

Here are the highlights of the event, which was spread across 2 days with a conference featuring keynote talks, panel discussions and expert talks and an exhibition, where local and international entities showcased their expertise and capabilities.

The conference began on 13th September, and featured keynote speakers from the Technology Innovation Institute, Al Seer Marine, EOS, Khalifa University and ADNOC Group. The expert talks included insightful sessions by DNV, Etihad Engineering, NAMI, 3D Systems, Additec and SLM Solutions to name a few.  You can see the full AM Conclave 2022 agenda  here.

First on stage was Dr Nesma Aboulkhair, Director of Additive Manufacturing, Technology Innovation Institute (TII).

During the talk, Dr Aboulkhair provided a sneak peek of a new locally developed alloy for additive manufacturing, named AMALLOY. The proprietary AMALLOY material is the first metal developed for additive manufacturing in the Middle East, and is an aluminium-based alloy offering superior heat-resistance, high-strength, and low cost. The patent was filed the same day as the conference, so we were privileged to be the first to hear of it, in the public domain. We will publish an article on this new alloy very shortly.

“The AM conclave was a good start to bring the active players in the AM field together under one roof from a conference and exhibition viewpoints, and I’m looking forward to capitalising on the networking that happened during the event to push forward the additive manufacturing ecosystem within the UAE, and beyond,” says Aboulkhair. 

“It was an excellent opportunity to showcase the state-of-the-art work happening at TII, and supported by the ATRC. What we have seen at the AM Conclave ties in very nicely with the UAE’s vision of transition to a knowledge-based economy and the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative. We are proud to be part of this inspiring reshaping, and we look forward to the next edition of this event”

TII is part of Abu Dhabi Government’s Advanced Technology Research Council, which oversees technology research in the emirate.

Metal printer specialists EOS gave a keynote speech via Markus Glasser (Senior Vice President EMEA, EOS), which focused on how additive manufacturing can be helped to design products sustainably. Glasser emphasized how sustainability in 3D printing can be best achieved by responsible design, responsible value chains, and use of responsible materials.

As an example of responsible design, he highlighted how a latch shaft from the Airbus A380 was reduced from 10 parts to 1 single part, resulting in a 25% reduction in cost, a 45% reduction in weight which saved on fuel, and by extension, a reduction in 3,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions, per plane, per annum.

The final segment on responsible materials focused on how EOS sources their metal and polymer powders, and how they strive to reuse the materials in the most sustainable way.

Al Seer Marine (Abu Dhabi) are known for being home to the world’s largest robotic 3D printer system for polymers, and also for printing the world’s first autonomous surface water vessel.

To provide the keynote was Al Seer Marine’s Head of Innovation & Capability Development, Stefan Garbereder, who shared information about the capabilities of the company’s facility, as well as sharing insights on some interesting new projects, including the “Sukoon”, which is an eco-water taxi.

Al Seer Marine are designing and manufacturing the boat at their facility. Most of the main components of the 12 metre long vessel, including the main hull, will be 3D printed

The hull will be on display on display at the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Boat Show in November later this year.

“AM Conclave is the place where the brightest minds in additive manufacturing come together to share their knowledge and ideas,” said Stefan Garbereder, Head of Innovation & Capability Development, Al Seer Marine. “It is a unique opportunity to learn from the experts and to network with the people who are shaping the future of this technology”.

The concluding Keynote talk was delivered by Prof Rashid Abu Al-rub, Director, Advanced Digital & Additive Manufacturing Center, Khalifa University who delved into the Opportunities and Challenges for Increasing Adoption of Additive Manufacturing in Middle East and the various projects which Khalifa University is working on.

The Opening session aptly came to a close with an absorbing panel discussion moderated by Dr Sastry Kandukuri, SME – Additive Manufacturing, DNV and also saw Pedro Carreiras, Senior Specialist, Data Science (AI Integration Downstream), ADNOC Group join in along with the Key Note Speakers to work on a Roadmap to Scale Additive Manufacturing in the Middle East

The exhibition segment of AM Conclave Middle East featured a selection of companies and research institutes from UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Singapore, India and Germany. Here is some feedback from companies who were in attendance at the exhibition. 

Epitum, the first company manufacturing industrial grade 3D printers locally in Abu Dhabi was also part of the exhibition. The company offers a range of industrial printers with differently sized build envelopes at very competitive prices.

“It was an interesting opportunity for us to participate in this forum to get acquainted with local companies, projects and experts,” commented CEO Andrei Isupov. “As a local manufacturer, we are very excited to be part of the additive development of the region. We see the huge potential of the market and are ready to develop it together with our partners and customers.”

ADDiTEC, a leader in metal additive manufacturing solutions and applications based in the United States of America and who have also recently acquired the Liquid Metal Technology from Xerox were also part of the event.

Brian Matthews. CEO, Additec remarked about this event, “The AM Conclave has provided us with a remarkable platform to share our vision for the future of manufacturing. The Middle East’s enthusiasm for cutting-edge technologies is truly inspiring, and we’re honored to be part of this transformative journey. Together, we are shaping a future where precision and innovation redefine what’s possible in additive manufacturing.”

Italian company Caracol, were also present at AM Conclave through their local partner Passtech. The company specialises in large format robotic printers for printing polymers, composites and recently metals. 

“In just a few months in 2023, Caracol has entered the UAE market with multiple systems dedicated to different industries, through partnerships with local recognised players and end users,” says Caracol AM’s CCO Riccardo Nicastro. “We aim to advance the maturity of the technology in the region. To that end, the AM Conclave has been a focused event for discussing the state of the art of AM in the region with all of the main players.”

Continuum, part of the Molyworks group is a sustainable metal recycling company, with locations across the United States and in Singapore.

“Exhibiting at this event was a game-changer for Continuum,” says Albert Sutiono,Director and Singapore General Manager for Continuum.“It’s not just about showcasing our technology and company, but more importantly connecting with regional thought leaders who share our vision and passion. Here’s to fruitful partnerships and endless possibilities!”

AM Conclave Middle East will return on 18-19 September 2024 in Abu Dhabi to extend our commitment and effort to build a credible Additive Manufacturing ecosystem in the region with support from all the local stakeholders.