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3D Printing

Student-Designed ‘Humanoid’ Wins Top Award at the World 3D Printing Olympiad in Dubai



Fifty different innovative products, all designed, and 3D printed by school going students from across the UAE was the hallmark of the second 3D Printing Olympiad organised by ATLAB on Friday in Dubai. The top award in the competition went to a 15-year old Grade X student from GEMS Millenium School – Sharjah, who had developed a working model of a humanoid robot – almost complete with its torso and head.

Rishabh Jave with his robot.

Another winner Mumukshya Baitharu from primary school segment presented an interesting concept where she had redesigned a chess board and replaced the chess pieces with prominent and historical towers within the UAE. More than 150 entries were submitted from students of various schools across the UAE, of which only 50 managed to reach the final round of the competition.

Senthil Kugan, Director of Atlab.

ATLAB, the technology-based company focusing on developing custom applications dedicated to humanoid robots and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and innovation labs for corporates and educational institutions, has been the brain behind the World 3D Printing Olympiad.

Senthil Kugan, Director, ATLAB says the idea of the competition, inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of innovation, is to encourage and inculcate innovativeness among students. “This is the second year of the competition and the entries this year are a clear indication of significant improvement in the participation and the quality of presentations.”

This year’s competition saw participation from three different categories – elementary, junior high and high secondary school, with the junior high leading the list with maximum number of participants. Rishab Java who designed the 3D printed humanoid says he has been working on the project for the past eight months. The humanoid whose legs and arms are still not ready was presented to judges as a functional model that can be scaled up as per requirements.

The humanoid’s body was completely built using a 3D printer. “The only exceptions were the motors and the Microsoft Surface tablet that powers the system. I plan to self-design the robot’s arms and legs in the future,” says the 15-year-old Grade X student.  “The robot I have built is a cost-effective solution and at Dh1,800 including the tablet, is a much cheaper option. I have the arms designed and since the design was not my own I am not including it for the competition. Once the arms and legs are built, it could be about six feet tall. I have used open source software already available online to build the humanoid,” he adds.

The boy had also won last year’s Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad having presented a 3D printed bionic arm. The fully functional bionic arm is now ready to be fitted onto a human body. “We are in discussions with a government-run hospital in India, where an amputee who lost his hand in an industrial accident could soon be using the custom built bionic arm, the one similar to what was showcased during last year’s competition,” he says.

Among the other innovative designs included an innovative wheelbase for a motor vehicle with six wheels and a 3D printed model of a recycle bin with multiple segregations including one for infectious waste. The participants were judged by a panel of nine judges who based their decision on the uniqueness of the design, research and development process as presented, the value and potential impact of the design, and the ability to communicate or demonstrate the features.

ATLAB is also a pioneer in delivering STEM solutions to classrooms. An associate of the Centena Group, ATLAB has partnered with some of the world’s leading manufacturers and solution providers such as LEGO Education, PITSCO Education and PASCO Scientific, among others to bring best-of-class solutions to classrooms. It launched the Atlab Teach Assist, the region`s first robotic teaching assistant during GESS 2017 and has now completed the advanced integration of the system, and will soon deploy the first set of units into UAE schools.

“The idea to hold the 3D Printing Olympiad is aimed at encouraging students to come out with fresh new ideas, nurture them to design new products and guide them to be the innovators of the future. It is important to inculcate these qualities when they are young,” says Sanjay Raghunath, MD of Centena Group.

Starting this year, 3D Printing Olympiad has a World prefix to it, thereby transforming it into a global competition. The 2018 event is expected to be much larger and will be hosted by the UAE Ministry of Education in partnership with ATLAB. “We are expanding the competition from next year, leaving it open to international participation. We expect more entries from around the world making it a more global event,” says Kugan. This year’s event was held at North London Collegiate School in Nad al Sheba.

Prize winners

Primary (ages 10-12)
1st prize – Hana Kabir
2nd prize –  Mumukshya Baitharu

Middle (ages 13-15)
1st prize – Arqk Maheshwary
2nd prize – Mariyam Mister and Mishka Jethwani

High School (ages 16-19)
1st prize –  Rishabh Java
2nd prize –  Omar Kabir

3D Printing

Anker Innovations Launches AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the United Arab Emirates



Anker Innovations (Anker) has announced the launch of its latest innovation under the new AnkerMake 3D Printing brand, the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer, in the United Arab Emirates. Combining speed, precision, and user-friendly features, the AnkerMake M5 is set to revolutionise the world of 3D printing and empower artists, inventors, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts with a high-value desktop printer. The AnkerMake M5 is designed to address the challenges faced by desktop 3D printer users, including slow print speeds, complex operations, and poor print quality. With the aim of providing an exceptional user experience, Anker Innovations has integrated cutting-edge technology into the M5, ensuring a seamless printing process.

One of the key highlights of the AnkerMake M5 is its remarkable speed. With print speeds 5 times faster than the industry average, the M5 utilizes Anker Innovations’ proprietary Powerboost™ technology to reduce print time by up to 70%. This groundbreaking advancement allows users to print up to 2,500 mm/s2, achieving faster turnaround times for their projects, maximising productivity and efficiency. However, speed isn’t the only aspect being enhanced—the AnkerMake M5 also prioritizes energy efficiency, reducing energy use by an impressive 59 percent. By embracing this device, users not only benefit from faster project turnaround times but also actively contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

To ensure precise and detailed prints at high speeds, the AnkerMake M5 incorporates a state-of-the-art visual recognition system. This advanced feature keeps the print on track, minimizing errors and delivering superior print quality. Combined with a robust hardware design and user-friendly software, the M5 guarantees exceptional results, even for those new to 3D printing. The AnkerMake M5 also incorporates a user-friendly 4.3″ touch screen, further simplifying the printing process. With this smart and colorful LCD touchscreen, users can effortlessly navigate through the printer’s functions and perform common tasks with ease. Additionally, the M5 offers a Night Mode option, which helps reduce eye strain during late-night printing sessions.

“As we launch the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the UAE, we are excited to offer a powerful tool that combines speed, precision, and ease of use,” said Faraz Mehdi, General Manager of Anker Innovations for the MENA region. “We believe that the AnkerMake M5 will empower individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses in the UAE to bring their ideas to life with unprecedented efficiency and creativity. Moreover, we are proud to contribute to the UAE’s sustainability initiatives by providing a solution that promotes resource efficiency and supports the nation’s ambitions of becoming a global leader in sustainability.”

The launch of the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the UAE comes at an ideal time as the nation celebrates the ‘Year of Sustainability’ and prepares to host COP28. The UAE has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable practices and environmental conservation. By providing a 3D printer that reduces print time and promotes efficient resource management, AnkerMake M5 aligns perfectly with the UAE’s vision for a sustainable future.

With the AnkerMake M5, users can contribute to sustainable practices by reducing material waste and energy consumption. With a built-in 1080P HD camera, users can remotely monitor the printing process, reducing the need for constant supervision and minimizing resource wastage. The M5’s auto-shut-off feature detects print errors and automatically pauses the process, allowing for timely intervention and minimizing material waste.

The printer’s innovative features, such as auto-leveling, auto-resume after power outages, and simple filament loading and extraction, make it user-friendly and guarantees a simple and straightforward printing experience. The AnkerMake M5 also supports WiFi and USB connectivity, enabling smooth integration with various devices. Additionally, the AnkerMake mobile app and slicing software allow users to initiate print jobs remotely and monitor progress via live video streaming.

To keep users informed and updated throughout the printing process, the AnkerMake M5 offers multiple notification options. Users can choose their preferred method of receiving updates, whether it’s through an LED light visible from a distance of 33 ft (10 m), an audible beep, or an app alert. This flexibility ensures that users stay informed and in control, regardless of their preferred mode of notification.

The AnkerMake M5 is available for purchase from Sharaf DG, Virgin, Jumbo, and the Anker store in Mirdif City Center or online on for AED 2,799. As part of Anker Innovations’ commitment to customer satisfaction, the printer comes with a 12-month warranty and access to hassle-free customer service. AnkerMake M5’s launch in the UAE underscores Anker Innovations’ commitment to providing cutting-edge technology solutions that empowers individuals to embrace innovation and sustainable practices. By investing in advanced research and development, Anker Innovations continues to push boundaries and deliver products that cater to the evolving needs of its customers.

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3D Printing

Abu Dhabi-Based Khalifa University Develops 3D-Printed Glasses to Help Correct Colour Blindness



Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a consistently top-ranked research-intensive university based in Abu Dhabi, has developed a new method to manufacture customized glasses using 3D printing that could help people with colour blindness. Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) is an inherited ocular disorder that manifests itself by limiting the retina cones’ ability to transmit the whole spectrum of colours.

With red-green colour blindness being the most prevalent form of CVD, the most common way of dealing with everyday difficulties is by wearing tinted glasses. Now, a team of researchers from Khalifa University has developed lenses using transparent resin mixed with two wavelength-filtering dyes to provide a tinting effect. To customise the lenses and make them as similar as possible to commercially available products, the team used two dyes – one blocked the undesired wavelengths for red-green patients, while the other filtered unwanted wavelengths for yellow-blue patients, with volunteers for both groups attesting to the lenses’ efficacy.

Even though glasses based on this method are commercially available at present, they are not comfortable for wearing, nor optimizable. However, the Khalifa University research team has developed its own frames for the lenses, using 3D printing to optimize the frames for comfort and usability, making them as close as possible to regular glasses.

Dr. Haider Butt, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University, said, “Our results showed that 3D printing had no influence on the wavelength-filtering properties of the dyes. In fact, the dyes remained unchanged as they were integrated with the resin and 3D printed. When we compared the optical performance of our glasses with commercial glasses for colour blindness, our results indicated that our 3D-printed glasses were more selective in filtering undesired wavelengths than the commercially available options. They have great potential in treating colour blindness, and their ease of fabrication and customization means they can be tailored to suit each individual patient.”

The glasses underwent several tests to address toxicity, durability, and longevity concerns. These tests included storing the glasses in water for over a week to analyze whether any dye would leak and leaving them out in the open under ambient conditions for another week. The glasses exhibited tensile strength and flexibility, proving their stability and long-lasting properties.

Khalifa University’s research outcome presents an opportunity for people with color blindness to mitigate their inability to distinguish between shades of certain colours that could restrict them from working in fields where color recognition is critical, in addition to carrying out everyday tasks. The research was funded by organizations from Abu Dhabi, including real estate developer Aldar Properties, and Sandooq Al Watan, a social initiative.

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3D Printing

Airbus to Produce 3D-Printed Hospital Visors in Fight Against Covid-19



The majority of Airbus sites in Spain have joined forces to produce 3D printed visor frames, providing healthcare personnel with individual protection equipment in the fight against Covid-19. More than twenty 3D printers are working day and night. Hundreds of visors have already been produced and dispatched to hospitals close to the Airbus facilities in Spain. Airbus leverages a patented design to manufacture the visor frames, using PLA plastics.

“One of the reasons I love my job is the capability we have for advanced design and quick manufacture. Overnight, we have gone from making aerospace concepts to medical equipment. This genuinely makes a difference in the fight against the pandemic and I couldn’t be prouder of our teams working day and night on this Airbus project,” said Alvaro Jara, Head of Airbus Protospace, in Getafe, Madrid.

Despite the pause of the majority of production at Airbus’ sites in Spain following the Royal Decree of 29 March, Airbus employees are allowed on site to continue with this essential activity. In addition, Airbus in Germany also joined the project. The Airbus Protospace Germany and the Airbus Composite Technology Centre (CTC) in Stade, together with the 3D-printing network named “Mobility goes Additive,” are now supporting this project in Spain, also coordinating the collection and transport of visors to the Madrid region.

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