RTA, Serco build Dubai Metro spare parts using 3D printing

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has made significant progress in the manufacturing of Dubai Metro spare parts using 3D printing technology, during the exceptional circumstances forced by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

RTA has been cooperating with Serco – the Dubai Metro maintenance contractor – in the manufacturing of materials and spare parts required for the metro and associated systems using 3D printing.

Serco has developed several models – each considered a first-of-its-kind in the region – for use in several areas, including trains, communication systems, and ticket vending machines.

Commenting on the benefits of 3D printing technology, the director of Maintenance at RTA’s Rail Agency, Mohammed Al Amiri, said: “The technology succeeded in providing some metro spare parts in a record time that saved 90% of the time needed to source those parts through conventional means. It also saved 50% of the original cost.

“RTA is always keen on applying the latest technology in various processes including 3D printing. The drive is compatible with Dubai’s 3D printing strategy.”

In addition, RTA’s maintenance teams have also provided support to frontline personnel during the lockdown by manufacturing ‘Mask Strap Clips’ and ‘Button Pushers’.

Al Amiri added: “The use of 3D printing in several projects and applications helps developing new techniques and creative means capable of contributing effectively to making Dubai the smartest city in the world.

“3D printing is progressing at an increasing rate all over the world. RTA intends to play a leading role in the development and optimal use of these technologies as part of its efforts to use the best global practices of the public transport industry and the required infrastructure.”

RTA and Serco are cooperating with a specialist firm under an MoU designating that firm as a technology partner in this field. The firm has been instrumental in lending support to the manufacturing of the required parts using 3D printing.

“Through the use of cutting-edge 3D printing technology, RTA aims to support the maintenance teams and extend the life cycle of assets as well,” Amiri concluded.

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