Imagine printing a new house, gadget, that broken piece of kitchen appliance, jewelry or even a healthy heart from your home. The ‘disruptive’ influence of 3D printing is being followed closely around the world, while the UAE is working to create its part in the revolutionary technology. "The impact could reach across all sectors", says Ross Maclean, digital and innovation leader for EY MENA. He also adds, "pharmacies and clinics could be 3D printing personalized drug treatments on a multinational level within a few years".

A Changing Industry

The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has five main pillars: Infrastructure, Legislative structure, Funding, Talent and market demand. There is a growing consensus that 3D printing technologies will be one of the next major technological revolutions. Advertising too, will position itself to incorporate the new wave of 3D printing technology, where consumers may get discounts on future purchases through their 3D printers. At its core, 3-D printing foretells of a philosophical shift beyond flat-dimension brand expression—2-D ad slicks, taglines, pictures of things—toward the embrace and execution of 3-dimensional expression: tactile baubles and mementos and experiences. This is no longer just pictures and drawings of things; this is real things. Everything from new car models to food and clothing will be designed more rapidly, helping to bring innovations to the industry faster. Since 3D printers reduces the time needed to transform from a concept to a product, designers will be able to focus more on the actual function of the product. Hence, designers will be able to instantly reprint designs as they work with other designers at the table – a process that would have taken days if not weeks in the past when it had to be made by hand. This will grow the economy at a faster pace, and will let creative genius flourish.

Changing Demands

At present, reliability and consistency are priorities for companies using 3D printers. Businesses are starting to prioritize strength, durability, or a good surface finish, depending on the use of the product. Adaptability is also becoming an increasing concern – with companies and organizations having bespoke requirements. Customer needs are changing too. In future, the focus will be not only on prototyping, but also on low volume manufacturing and tooling. This will be pri