3D printing digital fabrication

Find out about the range of 3D Printing fabrication equipment at the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation.

The Faculty have a range of 3D printing equipment for physical model production and exploration of 3D print processes, which support teaching and research.

Our technical staff provide inductions to all students wishing to use the 3D printing equipment. However, some Industrial Design program courses have significant 3D printing-specific content and tutorials.

Most equipment is able to be used by students as self-help, however some equipment due to the cost and complexity of operation such as the Stratasys J750, are provided as a print bureau.

Our equipment

Stratasys J750 colour voxel printer

The Stratasys J750 is a full colour multi-material poly-jet 3D printer able to print flexible and rigid models in full colour. Enabling rapid production and iteration of fully finished working prototypes right here in our workshop. CAD files can be imported as .STL files into GrabCAD for colour and flexibility assignment then built directly by the J750.

Our J750 is also capable of VOXEL printing.

We are part of a group of universities on an invitation-only research agreement which positions Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in an exclusive community of seven universities globally, including Harvard and MIT, who have access to Stratasys advance materials and software beta-versions for trial and development. The invitation acknowledged the School of Design Innovation’s MADE research group as one of the world’s top research groups achieving excellence in 3D printing research and teaching.

BigRep one FDM 3D printer

The BigRep printer is a form of FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) dual filament feed 3D printer. The BigRep can also handle larger 3mm filament. It has a build volume of approximately one cubic metre, making it one of the largest capacity off-the-shelf FDM printer models in the world.

The printer is operated by a specialist technician but postgraduate students can use it for approved thesis research. The printer uses software such as Simplfy-3D and an open source derivative of Cura—Blade 3D slicer.

UP Box desktop 3D printers

The faculty has a large suite of approximately fifty UP Box Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printers. They are located in the workshops and Industrial Design studios around the campus.

FDM machines are a common ‘sketch modeller’ used in educational setting due to low operating costs per build, ease of use and support, and ability for students to operate them directly with good results with only moderate levels of training.

Students wishing to use 3D printers for their course work can book into 3D printer workshop training sessions. Students taking courses requiring the use of 3D printers will receive in-depth tuition as part of their design course work.

Thermo Scientific Process 11 Parallel Twin-Screw Extruder

The Process 11 Parallel Twin-Screw Extruder is used to produce polymer compounds and 3D printing filaments by blending thermoplastics and additives. The filament compositions are then used in the FDM 3D printers, enabling investigation and experimentation of the materials in our workshops, and with industry partners in joint research projects.

Upcycled and novel materials produced are used on the UP Box, Ultimaker and BigRep 3D printers to test filament compositions and produce useable prototypes. The extruder is used by specialist staff and postgraduate students for their thesis research.

ConAir NCF-810 Plastic Granulator

The ConAir Granulator NCF-810 is designed to grind up recycled plastics into a fine flake for use in the Thermo-Scientific process-11 extruder. Currently it has a 5mm grind filter installed. Ground plastics are caught in a hopper or vacuum extracted out of the hopper into a vacuum device/vacuum cleaner.

The granulator is fundamental to enabling in-house recycling of printed product, and experimentation of recycling processes and material compositions for FDM 3D printers.

Technical assistance

If you need help with our technical facilities, get in touch with our technical staff.