Dubai-based AM company Immensa Technology Labs has become the first UAE company to submit a patent related to additive manufacturing. Founded in 2016, the company was also the UAE’s first privately owned company to specialize in AM technologies.
The recently filed patent is for a proprietary method developed by Immensa for producing 3D printed molds for concrete or other aggregate structures. The company plans to introduce the process to regional construction and engineering companies with the goal of revolutionizing construction methods. Notably, Immensa’s 3D printed molds could open up creative applications in the construction field, such as producing complex or intricate structures made from concrete or other materials.
“We are proud to represent this great nation by filing the first 3D printing related patent from a UAE-based company,” said Fahmi Al-Shawwa, CEO of Immensa Technology Labs. “This process being patented is at the forefront of engineering innovation, and aligns with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai 3D Printing Strategy. At Immensa, we constantly encourage our engineers to surpass their potentials, and we strive to offer them a positive and reinforcing environment for them to create and work in.”
The 3D Printing Strategy mentioned by Al-Shawwa is a long-term initiative aimed at positioning Dubai as a hub for 3D printing. A key part of this plan is centered on the construction industry, as the city has stated its plans to 3D print 25% of all new buildings by the year 2025. It already made some headway on this front with the unveiling of the first 3D printed office building in 2016.
Immensa, for its part, is aiming to add another dimension to 3D printed construction with its mold-making process. Developed by engineers Edem Dugenboo and Elias El Dik, the process uses a combination of 3D printing techniques for the creation of construction molds for the casting of concrete, cement and gypsum materials. The process is reportedly capable of manufacturing complexly designed shapes and forms much faster than existing traditional methods and at a lower cost than traditional molds. Immensa adds that its 3D printed molds are made from an eco-friendly material which can easily be reused.
“We came upon the process for this mould while working on various projects related to concrete casting,” elaborated Dugenboo. “After facing many challenges, we utilized a unique process that comprised a number of different elements and individual processes to come up with a full and effective solution using 3D printers.”
El Dik added: “We will continue to invest resources in developing further applications for 3D printing in the construction sector. Immensa works closely with its partners on construction-related R&D projects, and we believe there are many applicable uses for 3D printing in the sector. This process is still nascent and the possibilities for its use are just revealing themselves to us.”
Immensa’s UAE facility already houses a range of additive manufacturing technologies, including selective laser sintering (SLS), stereolithography (SLA), FDM and material jetting, which it uses for delivering 3D printed parts to customers.