MADE is a research stream at the School of Design Innovation which focuses on multi-material printing.

Close up of light blue material, maybe digital 3d fabric, against white background
Digitally generated 'biological' material created by the MADE research group

MADE (Multi-property Additive-manufacturing Design Experiments) focuses on innovative design applications of 3D printing and additive manufacturing materials, technologies, and processes. It aspires to establish a globally recognised design research expertise in the currently undersubscribed niche of multi-material printing.

Typically the technology is used to prototype and mimic mass-produced products, however an opportunity exists to generate novel applications of the technology to form complex and highly customised multi-material structures, assemblies, and products that cannot be made by any other means.

Areas of focus reflect both internal expertise and industry interest, which span a wide range of applications from healthcare to the entertainment industry. MADE builds on existing research capability in the industrial design programme, the School’s significant commitment to high-end 3D printing facilities, and the programme’s growing collaborations with international technology leaders and service providers such as Stratasys and Shapeways.

MADE is affiliated with the research activities of the New Zealand Product Accelerator.

For more detailed information and a visual portfolio of projects, participants and activities please see the dedicated website for the MADE research stream.

Key strategic considerations underpinning MADE:

  • Primary focus on multi-material polymer printing
  • Intensive engagement with the technology – physical outputs
  • Accessing and building on cutting edge international research rather than publicly available research (software, mechanical capability, polymers/materials research)
  • Accessing networks/research clusters around multi property 3D printing
  • Close collaboration with industry partners to maintain relevance of research and define applications
  • Offering 3D printing services in the context of collaborative research projects rather than competing with commercial service providers
  • Regularly publish work within NZPA group and to broader audience e.g. industry forums, exhibitions, blogs, commercialised products well as traditional forms of publications (see other relevant information)
  • Distribution of funding to get maximum benefits to postgrad students e.g. material costs and stipends, as well as targeting VUW postgraduate and industry co-funded scholarships.


MADE is funded by and supports collaborative research within the NZ Product Accelerator (partner organisations (UoA, AUT, Massey, VUW, SCION, GNS).

“The NZ Product Accelerator will stimulate creation of customised products through a Manufacture for Design approach breaking out of mass production thinking and short circuiting NZ’s distance to market through digital exporting. It will integrate design, multi-materials and additive manufacturing into an enabling technology platform. These new underpinning technologies will enable an agile, accelerated product design and manufacturing cycle using new materials to give functional and structural advantages.” (Taken from MBIE grant summary)

The NZ Product Accelerator is closely aligned with the Government’s business and growth agenda which includes these goals:

  • diversifying the economy by substantially enhancing business and export growth in the manufacturing sector
  • doubling the sectors financial commitment to research
  • expanding New Zealand’s international science and innovation networks.

In the broader context MADE also anticipates the new industrial revolution* precipitated by 3D printing, digital technologies, and online networks. The unexplored potential of these new technologies is reflected in unprecedented OECD investment in 3D printing, additive manufacturing research, and industry infrastructures worldwide.

*Anderson, C. (2012) Makers. The new industrial revolution New York: Crown Business


School of Design Innovation

School of Design Innovation

Senior Lecturer
School of Design Innovation · Industrial Design

Senior Lecturer · Industrial Design
School of Design Innovation

Senior Lecturer · Industrial Design
School of Design Innovation