A three-dimensional model of a luxury house, created using new printing technology, has been awarded a gold medal at the New Zealand Pride In Print Awards, the industry’s most prestigious gathering.
The model of a multi-million dollar mansion entered by Albany company 3D Print Ltd won gold in the “innovation in print” category.
3D Print director Peter Dawson says the technology offers opportunities for new home owners to get models of their dream home created overnight, surgeons to create models of injured or diseased organs and patent attorneys to create models of new inventions.
“The three-dimensional modelling technology is ideally suited to architects and designers, property companies and developers. It also has far reaching applications in industry and engineering,” he says.
These include the creation of prototypes, industrial tooling and pattern making for moulds.
“The house model entered in Pride In Print was designed by leading New Zealand architect Pete Bossley who provided us with drawings and CAD files of the house plans.
“From these, we were able to produce a model of the actual house by using ink-jet printer technology.
“The print process involves interpreting the CAD files into individual layers, and the printer plots these to scale and with accuracy. At the end of the process, there is a perfect scale model.”
Mr Dawson says since completing the house project, the three-dimensional print technology had also been applied in other fields, such as foundry casting of tools, which raised some interesting engineering possibilities, and also the creation of prototypes for protective sports wear.
3D Print, based in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore, grew from a specialist print company, The Colour Box, which has been operating in the large format ink-jet market since the mid-1990s, specialising in exhibition displays, posters, outdoor signs and banners.