Local industry eyes CPIT's new 3D printer
CPIT's new 3D printer could help local businesses change the way they generate prototypes and present designs to clients, saving time and money.
Staff from CPIT’s engineering, architecture and art & design schools have been testing the capabilities of the new machine ahead of an official launch on 29 November. They have found that 3D models can be printed with functions such as spinning wheels on ball bearings, ready for testing as parts or as design components. Architectural design models can be created with superior detail such as delicate downpipes and furniture, and artists can print their digital creations to life-like specifications.
The venture is another way for CPIT to add value to local industry through technology capacity building and collaborative research projects. “The staff-industry collaboration aspect is important to us. Having a sophisticated piece of technology that small, individual, local firms couldn’t afford, but can collectively access here, will create a lot of exciting new opportunities,” Margaret Leonard, CPIT Manager of Research & Knowledge Transfer, said.
Derek Bishop of design and prototyping company STRATATEC is already using CPIT’s new acquisition on a commercial basis. “The introduction of high quality 3D printing at CPIT is a very exciting and positive step. The ability to produce complex 3D shapes with high accuracy and good material properties direct from CAD data is a valuable tool for product development,” he said.
The 3D printer will also greatly benefit CPIT’s engineering, architectural studies and art & design students who will graduate with working knowledge of the technology, which is now used globally throughout tertiary education and in industry.
Industry forefront technology
“In terms of the machine and what it provides for students, we are talking about a machine that is very prevalent; it’s in industry, it’s in design, it’s in research and we are now a part of that. Across the whole world, these machines are also present in education sectors so we are really at the forefront of that, we are up with the leading group,” Alex Greasley, CPIT Computer Aided Design tutor, School of Engineering, said.
To find out more about CPIT’s 3D printer, please call our contact centre on 0800 24 24 76.