Landscape of Additive Manufacturing in Middle East

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Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.


In recent years, the Middle East has witnessed a surge in the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM), across various sectors. From healthcare and dental applications to aviation, defense, oil, gas, energy, and beyond, the region is experiencing a transformative shift driven by the potentials of this revolutionary technology. This article delves into the insights and advancements observed in different industries across the Middle East, highlighting the role of AM in shaping a new era of innovation and growth.

Notable Additive Manufacturing Advancements in the Middle East

In Middle east several Government and Private initiatives have been taken to forward the additive manufacturing technology in the region. The UAE government has put programs in place to encourage additive manufacturing’s adoption and growth because it realizes the enormous potential of the technology. The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy and the Dubai 3D Printing Strategic Alliance are two notable government efforts. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy in 2016. In accordance with the strategy by 2030, Dubai plans to become the top 3D printing metropolis in the world.

In order to take advantage of the possibilities of this cutting-edge technology, Austria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have worked together to develop partnerships in additive manufacturing. These initiatives show a shared dedication to technical innovation across diverse industries. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, announced in 2020 the formation of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategic Alliance (DPSA), a government-led effort. To hasten the uptake and application of 3D printing technology, the DPSA brings together governmental organizations, academic institutions, and 3D printing businesses from around the globe. Other notable initiative is the opening of the Emirati 3D Printing Center of Excellence by Tawazun Council represents a significant development in the UAE’s pursuit of cutting-edge technology. The center intends to maximize 3D printing’s potential across a range of industries, with an emphasis on aerospace and defense.

Over the past few years, Egypt has seen a steady increase in the use of additive manufacturing. The additive manufacturing industry in Egypt is seeing impressive growth and potential thanks to technological advancements and a rising interest in innovation. An ever-evolving example of application of additive manufacturing is medical 3D printing. This is assisting in raising the standard of medical care in Egypt. Metal additive manufacturing has been used by the Egyptian British Bureau for Additive Manufacturing Services (EBBAMS) to meet a variety of medical industry requirements.

The National Research Centre (NRC) is a government-funded research organization that is actively engaged in 3D printing research. A group of researchers at NRC are creating 3D printing technologies that can be applied in numerous sectors of the economy.

Saudi Arabia has started a quest to adopt this cutting-edge method of production after realizing the enormous potential of additive manufacturing. The market for 3D printing is expected to rise from its current estimated value of $58 million to $134 million by 2025, at a rate of 18% annual growth, according to Invest Saudi. Bandar Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, spoke at a panel discussion on “Dealing with the Unpredictable Economic Consequences of 4IR Technological Progress” during the second LEAP Tech Conference, which had the topic “Into New Worlds” and was held in Riyadh. Introducing its cutting-edge additive manufacturing facility, NAMI, a major innovation-driven firm in Saudi Arabia, has demonstrated the Kingdom’s dedication to digitization and industrial advancement. under the sponsorship of Bandar I. Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, and H.R.H. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

A Center of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing has been established by KACST, a national research and development agency. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Investments has given Immensa Technology Labs permission to use additive manufacturing. The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), which prioritizes industry 4.0 with industrial 3D printing and attracts foreign companies like Immensa to the Kingdom to localize advanced manufacturing technologies, and “Vision 2030” are both in line with this license, which is the first of its kind to be granted in Saudi Arabia.

Turkey has emerged as a key regional player in additive manufacturing for Middle East with a growing focus on industries like aerospace, automotive, and healthcare. The country’s commitment to technological advancement is evident through initiatives such as the “Turkey’s 2023 Vision,” which emphasizes the development of high-tech industries, including 3D printing.

The Oman’s government’s “Oman Vision 2040” outlines a strategy to diversify the economy, with AM playing a crucial role. The country is investing in research centers and educational programs to nurture a skilled workforce capable of harnessing the potential of 3D printing.

Qatar is mainly utilizing additive manufacturing to reshape its construction sector and beyond. The government’s “National Vision 2030” emphasizes sustainable development and economic diversification, with AM contributing to these goals. Additionally, Israel’s reputation as a technological powerhouse extends to additive manufacturing as well. The Israeli government’s focus on innovation and research has paved the way for significant advancements in AM. The nation’s aerospace and defense industries are utilizing 3D printing to produce intricate and high-performance components, enabling Israel to maintain its competitive edge.

The Jordan’s government’s commitment to innovation is evident through initiatives like the “Jordan Vision 2025,” which prioritizes knowledge-based industries. The policy is helping regional AM companies to come up as an global player.

Additive Manufacturing for Healthcare, Defense, Energy and Aerospace in Middle East

Due to the adoption of 3D printing technology, the Middle Eastern healthcare sector is going through substantial change. With never-before-seen precision, customized medical implants, prosthetics, and even surgical guides are being made, improving patient care and results in Middle East.

Use of additive manufacturing at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Credits: Al Jazeera

A hospital in Jordan run by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) offers 3D-printed prosthesis to Syrian patients who have been injured in battle. For patients who have had amputations or limb injuries as a result of combat, the use of additive manufacturing technology makes it possible to create personalized prosthetics that improve their mobility and comfort. The hospital offers a quick and affordable option by using 3D printing, cutting down on wait times and giving people in need of specialized care. The effort serves as an example of how technology may improve the lives of war victims by restoring their mobility and raising their standard of living in areas that have experienced conflict.

United Arab Emirates

The market for orthotics and prosthetics in the United Arab Emirates is established, and highly qualified individuals collaborate closely with orthopedic physicians and hospitals. In the UAE alone, there are about 25 clinics that specialize in O&P devices. Insoles, Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO), Knee and Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFO), Night Splints, Cranial Helmets, Scoliosis Braces, and Immobilizer Devices are the main products manufactured.

In the United Arab Emirates, the market for orthotics and prosthetics is well-established, and skilled professionals work closely with orthopedic clinics and hospitals. There are roughly 25 clinics specializing in O&P devices in the UAE alone. The major items produced are insoles, ankle foot orthoses (AFO), knee and ankle foot orthoses (KAFO), night splints, skull helmets, scoliosis braces, and immobilizer devices.

Figure 1: Video Monitor Shrouds by Emirates, Source: 3D Systems

A good example is Emirates’ design and development of video monitor covers. Emirates is creating TV monitor shrouds using selective laser sintering (SLS), a novel 3D printing method. In comparison to older shrouds, the newer shrouds for video monitors have shown to function better.

AM has become a game-changer in the rapidly developing aviation and defense industries, enabling the quick manufacturing of complicated components, cutting down on lead times, and offering cost-effective solutions. The essay examines how the Middle East’s aviation and defense sectors are using additive manufacturing to improve operational readiness, optimize supply networks, and even push the limits of aircraft design. AM is reaching new heights in the Middle East, with applications ranging from compact yet durable parts to simplified maintenance procedures.

The oil, gas, and energy sectors have long been considered to be centered on the Middle East. Additive manufacturing, often known as 3D printing, has become a game-changer in several industries due to the quick development of technology.

In order to specify safety and efficiency requirements for 3D printed items in the oil and gas and general energy production sectors, DNV issued a technical standard (DNVGL-SE-0568) in March 2023. The standard intends to encourage the industry’s adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) technology so that it can improve productivity and cut costs.

Sensors and other electronics may be seamlessly included into tools and constructions thanks to additive manufacturing. With the use of this capacity, data gathering and monitoring are improved, allowing for real-time condition monitoring, preventative maintenance, and improved operating efficiency.

The 3D printed water bushing (lower left) on board the EIG Elgin-Franklin rig. Photo via Vallourec.

Oil and gas company Vallourec has 3D printed the first ever pressure-containing energy component in Middle East. The component, known as a water bushing, is utilized to stop hydrocarbon surges from wells while they are being built. It was created utilizing 3D printing technology called Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), which provided a whole new level of geometric freedom.

In conclusion, additive manufacturing is reshaping the landscape of industries across the Middle East. From healthcare and aviation to energy and beyond, the region is harnessing the power of 3D printing to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and foster sustainable growth. As the Middle East continues to embrace additive manufacturing, it is positioning itself as a global leader in technological advancement, propelling industries into a future defined by creativity, precision, and boundless possibilities.

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Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.