3D printed aquatic sea creatures designed by staff and students.
In New Zealand, the word “tutü” means to fidget or fiddle with something allowing you to learn with your hands. For Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), 3D printing is an outstanding educational tool for tutü, helping students across many disciplines understand complex theories and prepare for the workforce.
Building a future.
For Stevens, who has been using Stratasys 3D printers since 2004, applied learning is downright transformational. 3D printing is a particularly important gain in a world where colleges want to attract and retain students in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. 3D printing not only supports tutü, it reduces the time associated with production so Stevens can help more students and departments.
Stevens’ FUN (Future Under Negotiation) program helps students in nonengineering disciplines prepare for the future with applied learning. Stevens uses 3D printing to help the classes build fictional scenarios using coding, rendering and multi-property 3D printing. “We can achieve a lot with today’s materials, but with emerging materials, we’ll be able to do much more very soon,” said Stevens. The university prefers PolyJetTM 3D printing technology from Stratasys because it offers the multi-color, multi-property printing the school needs.
Students create complex details.
Students at VUW have 3D printed a custom facial prosthesis that costs just $100 to produce (versus $1,000 for a traditional product,) shoes that use accurate 3D scanning to make a personalized pair with enhanced biomechanical performance. Students also created hi-fi speaker drivers that incorporate structurally intricate details printed in both hard and soft materials during a single printing process.
The university also works closely with Weta Workshop, a New Zealand firm that develops special effects and props for movies like “Lord of the Rings” and “Avatar.” As a research project, students recently designed 3D printed aquatic creatures for use as dynamic and interactivefilm props. The project titled Lissom presented a more physical and realistic alternative to using computer-generated imagery in film. The 3D printed sea creatures were filmed inside a tank of water and closely mimicked the different animal behaviors.
Industrial design students examine the 3D printed chalice kylix bowl replica.