Dubai is spending AED 20 million on a new 3D printing center that will make lightweight aircraft parts. This is a step towards making the aviation industry more sustainable because air travel contributes about 3% of global carbon emissions.
The aviation industry is still figuring out ways to develop electric planes, but a more immediate way to reduce its environmental impact is to improve the current aircraft that are made and maintained.
The Paradigm 3D printing hub in Jebel Ali is at the forefront of this change. It is using 3D printing to create lighter replacement parts for aircraft much faster than traditional methods.
In practical terms, imagine airplane seats weighing up to 60% less. This translates to lighter planes and, crucially, less fuel burnt.
With its advanced 3D printers, from the renowned Stratasys Ltd, Paradigm 3D printing center hopes to produce 2,000 parts each year. But it has set its sights higher, targeting 20,000 components yearly within a decade.
Being based in Dubai, one of the world’s major aviation hubs, brings its own advantages. It means fewer hold-ups from importing parts and guarantees a smoother supply chain.
The Paradigm 3D printing hub in Jebel Ali is the first in the Middle East to produce aircraft parts that meet EASA Part 21G aerospace regulations, which are the highest standards of safety in the industry.
The hub produces a wide range of parts, from in-flight bathroom components to cooling systems. A standard Airbus A320 has around 340,000 individual components, and the 3D-printed parts from the Jebel Ali hub match the strength and safety standards of traditionally made components.