In 2011, the CPIT Foundation granted CPIT $80,000 to acquire a 3D printer.
The printer was part of the institute’s knowledge transfer strategy to improve teaching and research by building capability and capacity in rapid prototyping. In addition, CPIT anticipated the 3D printer would add value to local industry through technology capacity building and collaborative research projects.
Launched in November 2012, this sophisticated technology converts 3D digital computer designs into solid models. The strength of the materials used to produce the model enables students to test their prototypes for functionality, as well as for proof of concept and aesthetics.
Cross functional, the 3D printer is used to educate CPIT students studying engineering, art and design, architecture and business. Also available for industry use, CPIT’s 3D printer is helping local businesses change the way they generate prototypes and present designs to clients – saving time and money.
“The staff-industry collaboration aspect is important to us, says Margaret Leonard, CPIT Manager of Research & Knowledge Transfer. “Having a sophisticated piece of technology that small, individual, local firms couldn’t afford, but can collectively access, will create a lot of exciting new opportunities.”
Looking to the future, having the 3D printer as part of the curriculum, arms CPIT’s engineering, architectural studies and art & design students with working knowledge of an innovative technology that is now used globally throughout tertiary education and in industry.