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At the Forefront of 3D Printing in Oman

An exclusive interview with Engineer Othman Maktoum Al-Mundhri, CEO of Innotech

Innotech is a leading Omani company established in 2013, specialized in modern manufacturing technologies and 3D printing.  It is the first company in Oman that provides a wide range of services including 3D printing, artificial intelligence applications and modern education technologies. The company was established by a group of Omani engineers interested in the manufacturing sector and education, ambitious young people who seek to bring about technological progress at the industrial and societal level. The company also supports other institutions operating in the same field by supplying 3D printers, manufacturing equipment and devices, and providing maintenance services and spare parts for 3D printers.

To find out more about what motivates the company to keep innovating and introducing modern technology to sultanate of Oman we had a chat with Engineer Othman Maktoum Al-Mundhri. Here are the excerpts:

How did you end up manufacturing 3D printers?

Our company started in the year 2013 by three Omani engineers including me who graduated from Sultan Qaboos University in different engineering disciplines. The idea of how we can contribute to the modernization of our country as entrepreneurs grew and grew inside all of us. Following exhaustive research and analysis the idea took shape in form of solutions that could contribute to fill the gap between theoretical and practical aspects of academic education in different industrial fields including electricity, electrical circuits and electronics. We realized that the solution is prototyping, which enabled the R&D department to carry out different tests on the product prior to launching it to the market.

The founders of the company, then, turned their focus on 3D printing process. It is a disruptive modern technology in the Gulf region in general and Sultanate of Oman in particular. The company’s love affair with 3D printing technology began in the year 2013, with the conviction that this technology will provide creative solutions for many industries

What kind of 3D printing processes your company use for additive manufacturing?

We use FDM – DLP – SLS technologies, and the company is constantly expanding and launching new technologies in the field of 3D printing.

What kind of 3D printing applications are more popular in your country?

There are several areas: education, healthcare, scientific research, innovative manufacturing and consumer products.

Are you able to provide services to all these sectors?

Yes, we are. Our company equipped, operated and managed the Exploratory Child Center, the first of its kind in the Gulf region. Our company also operates a mobile Fablab, as well as manufacturing prototypes and supplying spare parts and machinery for manufacturing processes. Within healthcare sector our company has provided several exclusive and state of the art devices.

Did you launch any product that could bring relief to Coronavirus patients?

Yes. Our company has provided many products, including ventilators, in a time that our hospitals were struggling with the severe shortage of these life saving devices. We also provided vehicle sterilization for Amman airports, as well as muzzle stabilizer and face protection mask, all made using 3D printing technologies.

How did your company ensure that it has an effective community role using your expertise in printing industry?

We have launched many programs for our community including, Sustainable Knowledge Program, Children’s Camp Exploration Program and Knowledge World Program. All these programs target school students, encouraging them to build models using simple raw materials and focus on sustainability and renewable energy. A number of companies and governmental organizations such as Bee’ah Company, OQ and Petroleum Development Oman sponsored and supported these programs.

Do you think that 3D printing is becoming more popular?

Yes. There was little interest in the beginning, but in recent years the 3D printing created lots of buzz. In our case we were able to create awareness regarding the technology by organizing workshops, events, programs, camps and other activities. More than 30,000 people participated in these events and activities.

Do you think 3D printing should be taught in schools?

Yes, technology should be taught in schools. It will contribute significantly to creative development of students. That is why we at Innotech created Fablab for the first time in Sultanate of Oman. Fablab is a mobile laboratory that goes to schools providing knowledge and skills in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing to all students. We teach them how to convert their ideas into real products and tools by offering them the necessary tools, equipment and devices in this laboratory. Fablab was launched in 2019.  We participated in many local exhibitions and festivals at the local level, and we received a huge response from the students and administrative staff of schools.

Have you recently invested in new equipment for your industry?

Yes, we have invested in a new printing machines.

What is your plan for future investment?

Our investment plan will be broad, and well thought out. It will be line with the company’s growth strategy as well as the growth of the 3D printing sector around the world.

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