Interested Northland businesses are being invited to work with Northland Inc and a NorthTec post-graduate diploma student to increase capability and capacity in high-tech commercial 3D-printing in the region.
The regional economic development agency’s General Manager for Business, Innovation and Growth, Joseph Stuart, says the project outcomes could transform the way Northland companies go about doing business.
“We invite interested businesses (in Northland) to get in touch with us and work with us on this vital project which could change the way they do things,” says Joseph.
NorthTec student Saransh Saxena from New Delhi, India and who holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from University of Hertfordshire, UK says he can see enormous potential opportunities for Northland businesses that want to use 3D-printing applications commercially.
“3D-printing is becoming an essential in engineering, medicine and science in New Zealand and could benefit the Northland economy,” Saransh says.
“It’s been around for a while but not a lot of work has gone into how best to use3D-printing for research and for improved and cost-efficient product development beyond its current educational and training purposes.”
“Currently 3D-printing exists in pockets in Northland and we’re targeting greater support through capital and expertise to undertake R & D into existing and new products and services,” Joseph says.
“With this project we aim to engineer a dynamic shift in the way Northland companies deliver to customers and we believe it has the potential to produce very good outcomes.”
NorthTec lecturer in Project Management, Business Communications and Industry Projects Rob Meadows welcomes the collaborative approach between the tertiary institute and the economic agency.
“It is great to have one of our students work with Northland Inc on this important project which we collectively hope will deliver long-term innovation. Saransh has the technological knowledge and capability to see this through for the benefit of interested businesses in the region,” says Rob.
One Northland company using the technology is Kaipara –based SaltRiver Industries who are developing a new format waterjet system for the jet boats they manufacture and have found 3D-printing an essential part of their development.
“It has proved to be an effective communication tool that allows others to quickly understand and participate in the design process,” says SaltRiver Industries’ Richard Reynolds.
“As we move into the prototype manufacture phase, we are using 3D-printing to reduce the cost associated with traditional foundry tooling, however computer aided design (CAD) skills are required to do anything meaningful with 3D-printing.
“Companies like ‘Precision 3D-Printing’ are a great resource until volumes dictate having a 3D printer in house.”
Northland Inc are delivering this work through their Regional Research Office (RRO), a direct channel for Northlanders to access research facilities and expert advice from around the world.