3D printers
A 3D printing unit of Proto21, a 3D printing company that manufactures reusable 3D printed face shields for Dubai Police's frontline officers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As Dubai battles the COVID-19 pandemic with comprehensive measures to safeguard the health and safety of its community, the emirate’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has come forward to support the fight on multiple fronts.

A growing number of homegrown companies are pitching in to support the fight against the virus by contributing their innovation and advanced technologies.

One of the companies that has offered its expertise is Proto21, a 3D printing company that is manufacturing items to protect the safety of frontline workers. Proto21 has transformed its 3D printing labs into a manufacturing hub for various personal protective equipment such as face shields, ventilator splitters and valves for snorkel masks.

The company has already collaborated with Dubai Police to manufacture more than 1,000 reusable 3D printed face shields for its frontline officers. Produced using biocompatible and durable materials, the face shields meet global standards for protection. The entrepreneurial venture established two years ago is also manufacturing thousands of 3D-printed face shields every week to supply other organisations in the forefront of the COVID-19 fight, in addition to ventilator splitters, components used to increase the capacity of ventilators.

In contribution extended free of charge, the company is providing medical personnel in hospitals and healthcare entities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with 3D-printed Charlotte valves used in reusable full-face snorkel masks.

“Dubai provides the most conducive environment for people willing to put in their best efforts. The support you get as a local manufacturer is enormous and I had a great opportunity to work with major government and private organisations in Dubai and the UAE to help meet their 3D printing requirements. In a span of two years, we have tripled our revenues and had exponential growth” said Pir Arkam, Founder and CEO of Proto21.

Founded in May 2018 by Arkam, a young Pakistani technopreneur, partnered with Dubai Based Joseph Group, Proto21 has been providing 3D printing services to a wide range of industries. Driven with the aim of becoming the largest 3D printing service bureau in the MENA region, Proto21 currently exports ‘Made in Dubai’ items to various countries across the globe.