A quick draw

The RAK Ceramics digital printer for touch-less printing.

With the advancement of technology in all fields of work, interior design has not been left behind.

Sun Studio has brought the world’s first 3D printer to UAE that can print even on water. It aims to earn AED 25 million during the first year of its operations.

Using a new Russian nano technology, the 3D Neo UV-LED printer creates a three-dimensional image with successive layers of material via ultra violet printing. The studio, based on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, has been opened by Sun Innovations and UAE-based IT firm, PRO TECHnology.

“Flat-bed printing is a kind of printing technology that has been around for many years. Sun Innovations has invented a new technology based on that, using a new kind of ink and LED units, that allows us to print on any surface imaginable,” said Jamal Maraqa, managing director, PRO TECHnology.

“The opening of this studio signals the entry of 3D printing technology into the Middle East region,” said Vladislav Mirchev, founder, Sun Innovations.

“The Neo UV-LED printer can be used for design visualisation, prototyping/CAD, metal casting, architecture, education, geospatial, healthcare, retail and entertainment,” added Mirchev.

Maraqa agreed and said the printer is invaluable because it can print on any kind of material, like glass, wood, ceramic, canvas, textiles, ceilings, water, mobile phones, laptops and mirrors, at a lower cost, and can print on between 10-30m2 surface per hour, depending on the image used.

“Take glass, for example. It takes about three minutes for the printer to make it look like stained glass, but costs less than 1% of the amount when it’s done by hand,” he added.

The printer is eco-friendly with mobility because of its built-in wheels and its low power consumption. It also uses environmental friendly UV-curable ink, which does not emit harmful odours and elements like traditional solvent ink.

“The limit with this technology is the imagination of the interior designer,” added Maraqa.

In other technology, the region has already seen the benefits of digital printing as used by RAK Ceramics. Digital printing is printing from a digital-based image directly to the materials, and there is no contact with the tile surface.

“Since the inception of the company, it has been the principle embraced by the management to invest in modern and innovative technology available in the ceramic industry.

RAK Ceramics is taking every feasible initiative and consistently upgrading the production facilities to cater to and meet the demand of the global market,” said Jaya Kumar, chief operating officer, RAK Ceramics.

It can deliver high-definition print quality, maintain print consistency by avoiding shade variations, and can print on any surface. In addition, tile manufacturers benefit from better productivity and operational efficiency.

“One of our creations, Nanopix digital printing, has been particularly crucial in strengthening RAK Ceramics’ competitive edge and market dominance in high-growth and emerging markets,” said Abdallah Massaad, deputy CEO, RAK Ceramics.

“The most recent series we developed and offered to the market are produced using the latest technology available in the ceramic tiles industry.

Unique press punches that create special surface effects, inkjet printing, high definition digital printing, glazed-polished high gloss finish were integrated into the production lines to produce innovative, artistic and natural looking products,” added Kumar.

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