SunLive – Global Award for New Zealand 3D Printing Researchers

University of Auckland research on how businesses can properly use 3D printing to add value and improve lives has won a leading global award against competition from the US, UK and Europe.

Researchers at the Faculty of Engineering’s Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab won the Academic Research Team category of the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2021.

“That is a huge boost for the entire team,” says Professor Olaf Diegel, team leader of the CDAM laboratory, from the mechanical engineering department.

“It shows that our research is recognized and valued by the 3D printing community around the world.”

The awards are the largest in additive manufacturing; The winners will be determined by a public vote and this year more than 140,000 votes were cast in the award categories.

“Voters are real users and companies that are using 3D printing to improve our lives. Your support is a good indicator that our work is the right thing that we should be doing, ”says Professor Diegel.

There were ten team nominations in the research team category, including Harvard University’s Lewis Lab, Aston University (UK) Meso-Brain Project, UK Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Center’s Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing Facility and Northeastern University’s DAPS laboratory in the United States.

The focus of the research that won the award for the CDAM Lab team is on helping companies use 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) for the right applications and with the right design.

“If 3D printing is not used properly, it becomes a slow and expensive manufacturing method. It has to create an added value that is high enough to overcome significant costs. And creating that added value through good design practices is exactly the area in which we specialize the most, ”says Professor Diegel.

He predicts a future where 3D printing will be used to automate many of the design processes behind the technologies.

“This will help users who may only design for conventional manufacturing quickly adopt the full range of technologies and add real value to their work.

“As the degree of automation increases, we will see that more and more companies are adopting the technologies for real production. Indeed, it could go to the point where companies that do not actively adopt and understand all advanced manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, will be penalized. “

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