Boom in 3D print­ing un­der way, school told

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS - SEAN NU­GENT

Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate has been pre­sented with a 3D printer by Weta Work­shops founder Sir Richard Taylor, who told the school the pos­si­bil­i­ties were end­less.

Taylor, fa­mous for his work on The Lord of the Rings, was wel­comed along­side North­ern ward city coun­cil­lors with a powhiri and a hongi. He told about 100 stu­dents 3D print­ing would be­come as com­fort­able as the in­ter­net was with them now.

Hav­ing the prin­ters at Weta Work­shops had in­tro­duced more jobs with em­ployee num­bers ris­ing to as high as 340 at times.

He also said the pos­si­bil­i­ties were end­less for 3D print­ing.

‘‘3D printed houses are not yet a com­mer­cial re­al­ity, but they will be.’’

Last year, Taylor was named 3D print­ing am­bas­sador for Ro­tary New­mar­ket’s cam­paign to get 3D prin­ters into pri­mary schools.

The printer, val­ued about $1500, was gifted by an anony­mous donor through the June Gray Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate be­came the sec­ond school in the area to re­ceive a 3D printer af­ter Lin­den School was gifted one late last year. The gift was part of an ini­tia­tive led by the chair­man of the Tawa Res­i­dent’s As­so­ci­a­tion Tony Hassed. The aim was to pre­pare chil­dren for the fu­ture work- place and the tech­nol­ogy they would en­counter.

‘‘Our ob­jec­tive is to have 100-150 stu­dents com­ing out of Tawa Col­lege up to date with all tech­nolo­gies.’’

Those in­cluded ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and vir­tual re­al­ity as well as 3D print­ing.

While they were niche tech­nolo­gies, Hassed be­lieved they would be at the fore­front of the tech­nol­ogy world when stu­dents such as those at Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate en­tered the fu­ture work­place.

Hav­ing a 3D printer at Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate would be very ben­e­fi­cial to young mem­bers of the Tawa com­mu­nity. ‘‘All pri­mary schools [in the Tawa area] lead into Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate, so it’s im­por­tant for stu­dents to learn skills dur­ing their time there.’’

Hassed was also at the fore­front of the Tawa Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion Trust, set up to raise funds to pro­vide the lat­est tech- nol­ogy to Tawa schools. It aims to raise $1 mil­lion over the next five years.

It also hoped to es­tab­lish af­ter­school work­shops where stu­dents could take their de­signs to pro­fes­sion­als to re­ceive feed­back, and pos­si­bly see them be­come de­vel­oped.

PHOTO: SEAN NU­GENT

Weta Work­shops founder Sir Richard Taylor speaks to a group of Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents about the ex­cit­ing po­ten­tial of 3D print­ing.

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