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3D Printing

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

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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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3D Printing

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

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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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Emaar to Build the First 3D Printed Home in Dubai’s Arabian Ranches III

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Setting a new milestone in residential property development, global real estate developer Emaar Properties has announced plans to build its first 3D printed home in Dubai. This is the first step towards Emaar’s ambition to be a leading adopter of advanced construction technologies.

Following a global competition, in which the world’s leading 3D printing technology providers participated, Emaar has awarded the contract to 3D print a model home in Arabian Ranches III. The construction will be facilitated using a local contractor with the goal of building in-country competencies in 3D printing for the property sector.

Building the first 3D printed model home underlines Emaar’s commitment to adopt innovative construction methods to build faster and at a lower cost while achieving higher design and architectural flexibility. Emaar’s use of 3D printing technology will also promote the sustainable use of resources by reducing waste of construction materials and noise pollution.

Upon completion, the 3D printed model home will serve as a reference point for investors to further understand the concept and appreciate the value add that advanced technology brings to the real estate sector. The general public can register their interest to learn more about Emaar’s 3D printed home, here or at Emaar’s sales centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said, “As the pioneer of integrated communities in Dubai and the trend-setter in the region’s property sector, our plans to embrace 3D printing of homes is an integral part of our digital-first and customer-first strategy. Through this, we are not only positioning ourselves as an early adopter of advanced technology but also creating long-term value for our customers as 3D printing brings numerous advantages such as reduced cost of construction, more efficient use of materials and higher levels of sustainability. With 3D printing technology, to be implemented locally using international expertise, we are also supporting the vision of the leadership to build ‘Smart and Sustainable Cities’ that are tech-driven and meet the aspirations of the new generation of customers. It will also help accelerate the innovation ecosystem in Dubai, inspiring start-ups to contribute towards advanced construction technology.”

With this pioneering initiative, Emaar aims to set the region’s benchmark in construction best practices as 3D printed homes bring several benefits including accelerated delivery of homes and more flexibility in design. 3D printing is also environment-friendly, with sustainable home construction techniques significantly lowering waste and noise pollution during wall construction. 3D printed homes will contribute to lower cooling costs as customers can choose the thickness and type of insulation that goes into the walls; the thicker the insulation used, the lower the cooling costs.

By embracing 3D printing, Emaar’s goal is to create a real estate landscape in the future where customers can ‘design, download and print’ their homes in the future across Emaar’s diverse portfolio of master-planned developments. As the leading developer of integrated lifestyle destinations, Emaar has delivered world-class communities such as Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Arabian Ranches and Emirates Living and is also shaping the future of the city with iconic projects such as Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai Hills Estate, Emaar South, Emaar Beachfront, Arabian Ranches III and the recently unveiled Mina Rashid.

Arabian Ranches III, which was launched last year, has already gained overwhelming response for its residential communities that are defined by exceptional lifestyle amenities such as a central park, a 4 km long boulevard, a lazy river and a wide choice of outdoor sports facilities.

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3D Printing

Concreative to Launch its Concrete 3D Printing Service in the UAE Tomorrow

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Concreative, founded by the Freyssinet civil engineering company (Vinci Construction group), is inaugurating a new large scale additive manufacturing unit in Dubai, UAE, tomorrow. This is an integrated design, production, and installation service of 3D printed architectural and structural elements.

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