Region’s first 3D Printing Olympiad to be held in Dubai

ATLAB to sponsor an all-expense-paid trip for the winning team to participate in TCT Show + Personalize in the UK

Students from across the GCC will be participating in the region’s first 3D printing competition aimed at targeting young talent from schools and universities.

The Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad, inspired by the UAE Innovation Week, is the brainchild of ATLAB, a technology-based learning solutions company. The 3D printing contest is based on the theme, ‘Design Your Own Consumer Product’, where participants will have to design and 3D print an innovative consumer product, preferably something that can help people in their everyday lives.

The winners of the competition will be awarded attractive prizes including an all-expense-paid trip to attend the international 3D printing event, TCT Show + Personalize, in Birmingham, UK, in addition to 3D printers and cash rewards.

“This event is an opportunity for students to showcase their creativity, innovative thinking and design skills, in designing advanced 3D models and successfully printing them out in a three-dimensional format,” explains S. Senthil Kugan, General Manager of ATLAB.

For ATLAB, the initiative is mainly geared towards developing innovative thinking and design capabilities among students. “The event is inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of innovation. There is no better platform to inculcate this spirit than among the student community. Design is an important part of innovation and technology has enabled us to use 3D printing to bring to life our unique concepts,” says Kugan.

As he points out, 3D printing is a powerful tool and is getting more affordable. “Today it is possible for children to design a product and 3D print it. In the next few years, the affordability factor will further enhance the process of innovation,” he adds.

The 2015-16 Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad is open to all school and university students in the UAE aged between 10 and 25. Schools and universities will be able to enter the competition under one of the four categories. The school segment will include ‘Primary’ (ages 10-12), ‘Middle’ (ages 13-15) and ‘High School’ (ages 16-19) categories, while the ‘University’ category will include students aged 17-25. Schools and universities can participate in the event in teams of one or two students along with a coach.

Any design of a consumer product is eligible for entry. “All that they need to do is identify a necessity and fulfil it by designing something innovative. If it can be 3D printed, it qualifies,” says Kugan. For students who need help to 3D print their designs, ATLAB will be creating centres where students can print their designs at affordable rates.

Entries should be submitted by March 30, 2016. Participants will be judged on parameters such as creativity, precision, originality, inventiveness, execution as well as the quality of the presentation.  The winners and runners-up will be selected from all four categories by a panel comprising experts from the fields of design, technology and science. The awards will be presented at the finale of the Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad in April 2016.

The winners and runners-up from each category will be given a 3D printer as well as cash prizes of AED10,000 for winners and AED5,000 for runners-up. In addition to individual awards, a 3D-printed rolling trophy would be awarded to the school/university.  The team that wins the ‘Best Innovative Project’ of the year  award will get the chance to visit the leading 3D printing event, TCT Show + Personalize, in Birmingham, UK, from September 28-29, 2016.

Students can register for Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad for free on

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