Kiwi icon gets the triple 3D printing treatment

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As readers of NZ Engineering News walked through the doors at SouthMACH late last month, they could hear a buzz around the exhibition hall.

As readers of NZ Engineering News walked through the doors at SouthMACH late last month, they could hear a buzz around the exhibition hall.

As readers of NZ Engineering News walked through the doors at SouthMACH late last month, they could hear a buzz around the exhibition hall. That buzz got louder when they walked onto Precision 3D Printing’s stand and saw an iconic Kiwi brand combined with a new and growing technology – 3D printing.

That buzz was exactly 300% larger than the original Buzzy Bee™ that the team scanned.

For the trade show, held in Christchurch, which had a focus on the heartland of New Zealand manufacturing, the team at Precision 3D Printing (P3P) set about3D printing a large scale model of the classic kiwi icon.

Three types of 3D printing took centre stage.

“We’ve used fused deposition modelling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), and stereolithography (SLA) printing along with finishing and special painting technologies to recreate the toy out of multiple materials with a wingspan of about half a metre and a body length of 400mm. The original toy was scanned, and using 3D software we were able to create STL files for the various printers to work from,” says Adam Cho, production manager at Precision 3D Printing.

The mighty effort was a veritable showcase of a technology that can no longer be termed emerging, with 3D Precision Printing one of many to exhibit the show held July 22-24.

The materials used are SLS nylon 12 with a smooth finish, FDM ABS-M30, SLA quickcast, and SLA durable.

“The smallest layer steps on the buzzy go down to 0.127mm using the FDM printer. All the materials have different properties, from strength to flexibility, and showcase how diverse 3D printing can be,” says Mr Cho.

P3P has been in business for over a decade and is led by Dr Jonathan Zyzalo, who gained his PhD by writing on stereolithography.

Jonathan has always seen the value 3D printing can offer traditional manufacturing.

“The team here at P3P have the knowledge and experience to see your ideas and needs become a reality in a fairly short period of time,” says Mr Zyzalo.

“The focus at P3P is on additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping, so instead of spending thousands and weeks for a product you can 3D print for a fraction of time and money.”

Precision 3D Printing is under the Challenge Partners umbrella, managing businesses in high quality manufacturing for fellow Kiwis.

“Across the board we’ve done work for a range of businesses, from Mighty River Power to the Kindling Cracker. Challenge Partners and our Buzzy Bee™ fitted in with the theme of SouthMach perfectly, New Zealand companies employing fellow Kiwis to create great products.”

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