Welcome to the Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab

The Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory aims to significantly alter the way additive manufacturing (AM) is implemented in industry, changing it from predominantly being a prototyping method to a true, high-value manufacturing method. The Lab's main focus is on design for AM, new ways of developing and thinking about AM materials, and AM technologies and design methods.

AM is not simply a replacement manufacturing technology to make conventionally designed parts. Instead, it can be used to add great value to products. But, for this to occur, users must change their design approach to be AM-centric right from the start of the project. Working with AM requires a new design-thinking approach that can add great innovation to products.

We will provide the knowledge and education required to increase the industrial adoption of AM in NZ, help to initiate innovative start-up and spin-off companies, and promote the entrepreneurial drive that helps NZ compete internationally. But, most importantly, we will make the creative application of AM not only valuable but also fun!


"For innovation, you need to be able to fail fast and fail often. With additive manufacturing, you can now fail extra fast and extra often. And that's a good thing..."

News and Updates

Engineering NZ 2021 ENVI AWARD WINNER: Engineering Creativity Award (sponsored by HEB) for "Life in plastic, it's fantastic: 3D printed anatomical models".

These incredible world-first 3D printed full-colour anatomical visualisation tools represent true science – and double as beautiful works of art. Professor Olaf Diegel and his team have created an exemplar of how engineering is integral to every industry and play an important role in the global medical community.

The highly accurate models are made from combinations of clear and coloured material, reproducing anatomical models in stunning levels of detail with every bone, organ and vein visible.

The judges said “this has the potential to have a massive impact on higher medical research and future surgical training – in both Aotearoa and the rest of the world.”

COVID contribution

* COVID-19 3D Printing help offer. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.*

* COVID-19 Laser cut face shield. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS *

* COVID-19 Sterilization 3D printed face field. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS *

* COVID-19 Don Clucas's, of the University of Canterbury, excellent disposable face shield. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS *

* COVID-19 Freehand emergency ventilator. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS *

About us

The Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab is a modern research facility for product development and manufacturing technologies, and a place where you can easily turn your ideas into reality. The Lab is open to all University staff and students. The access philosophy for the Lab is one of open access with a welcoming attitude that encourages staff, students and industry partners to extensively use the facility to its maximum potential and explore new areas of use for the technologies.

We encourage you to come into the Lab to ask questions and to explore ways in which AM can benefit you.

The Lab currently has 4 permanent staff members, all researchers:

Student Researchers:

  • Kyle Engel, PhD Student
  • Patrick Imrie, PhD Student
  • Rebecca Allcock, PhD Student
  • Jean‐Henri Odendaal, PhD Student, with Massey University
  • Jingnan (Rachel) Ma, PhD Student, with Waikato University
  • Nanond Noparat, PhD Student, with Lund University
  • And a number of Master's students.

    Feel free to contact any of us for help with your projects.



Our research




The Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab undertakes research in a number of areas, chief among which are design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), the development of low-cost AM technologies, and finding novel applications of additive manufacturing in industrial production applications.

Much of the research we do is applied in nature, so we work extensively with companies in New Zealand and around the world to explore ways in which AM can be used to add value to the products they develop, and to help them compete internationally.

Some of the research projects we currently have underway include:

  • Food printing using binder jetting and food in powder form
  • Hybrid metal AM techniques for injection molded tools with conformal cooling channels
  • Surface roughness improvements on metal AM parts
  • Compliant prosthetics
  • Automated post-processing for AM
  • Electoactive polymers
  • 3D printing of electroactive polymers
  • 3D printed cornea replacements with hybrid electro-spinning technology
  • AM selection filter software tools
  • PPE and other emergency care tools
  • Robot based 3D printer for concrete, polymer pellets, continuous carbon fiber, and metal MIG/TIG
  • Design for AM research including topology optimization, lattice structures and other light-weighting techniques



Our education


The Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab offers a range of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) courses ranging from half-day to 4-day courses. These courses can be tailored to suit each company's needs, from novice to advanced, or focusing mainly on either metal or polymer AM, or both, and include a number of hands-on exercises to bring design engineers to a deeper understanding of the implications of their design decisions from an AM perspective.

Topics covered in the training include the consolidation of many parts into one and methods to reduce material and weight, such as topology optimization and lattice/mesh structures. It also covers ways to reduce expensive support material to minimize pre- and post-processing of parts. The courses can include design considerations pertinent to all methods of polymer and metal AM and include many best practices and DfAM guidelines. Participants will gain valuable, hands-on experience by designing industrial parts and building them on AM equipment during the course.

We have been involved in courses at NASA, Wohlers Associates, Materialise, Siemens, Volvo, Alfa Laval, the NZ Defence Force, and many more.

Click HERE for a sample 2-day course outline.

Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your AM education requirements.






The Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab has access to a wide range of both traditional and ultra-modern manufacturing facilities. These include having access to the many high-end manufacturing workshops and analysis facilities within the University. Within the Lab itself, we have a range of additive manufacturing facilities, from desktop FDM, SLA and SLS systems to a range of built systems in-house for materials testing and other applications. For industrial AM production, the Lab has both metal and polymer laser powderbed fusion systems.

EOS M290
Technology: Metal powder-bed fusion
Build size: 250mm x 250mm x 330mm (with a pause and powder refill at about 200mm)
Material: Aluminium (AlSi10Mg)

EOS Formiga P110 Velocis
Technology: Polymer powder-bed fusion system
Build size: 193mm x 242mm x 321mm
Material: Nylon 12 (Polyamide 2200)

Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full colour 3D printer
Technology: Material jetting
Build size: 508mm x 508mm x 305mm
Material: Acrylic

Formlabs Form 3 printer
Technology: Vat photopolymerisation
Build size: 145mm x 145mm x 185mm
Material: Formlabs photopolymers supplied by users

3D Systems Figure 4 standalone
Technology: Vat photopolymerisation
Build size: 124.8mm x 70.2mm x 196mm
Material: Range of photopolymers

Microjet Technology Cometrue 3D printer
Technology: Binder jetting
Build size: 100mm x 100mm x 60mm
Material: R&D machine, currently running food in powder form

Mankati E180 3D printer
Technology: Material extrusion
Material: Research machine, print-head can go up to 350 degrees C so high-temp materials are possible

Sharebot MetalOne 3d printer
Technology: Metal powder bed fusion
Materials: Research machine

Sintratec kit 3D printer
Technology: Polymer powder-bed fusion
Materials: Research machine

CELLINK BIO X bioprinter
Technology: Material extrusion
Material: Hydrogel bioinks

Photocentric Liquid Crystal Magna 3D printer
Technology: Vat photopolymerisation
Build size: 510mm x 280mm x 350 mm
Material: Resin

Photocentric Liquid Crystal Dental
Technology: Vat photopolymerisation
Build size: 309mm x 174mm x 200mm
Material: Resin

ABB IRB 1200 robot based 3D printer
Print-heads: Research machine for concrete, continuous fiber composite, polymer pellets, MIG/TIG metal

Several desktop 3D printers for hacking and R&D

Epilog Mini laser cutter
Cut size: 18" x 12"
Materials: Acrylic, MDF, etc.

Artec Leo 3D scanner
3D resolution: 0.5mm

Protomax waterjet cutter
Max cut size: 300mm x 300mmx 25mm
Material: Almost any

MFI high-speed centrifugal iso-finishing system for polishing metal and polymer parts

Roland MDX 540 CNC machine
Cut size: 400mm x 400mmx 500mm
Material: Aluminium / Polymer / Wood
Cuts from STL files

Thermo Fisher 45L muffle furnace for heat-treating metal parts

Post-processing equipment
Shot peening
Hand tools


Hafco Metalmaster AL-250G Bench Lathe
Capacity: Ø250 x 500mm Turning Capacity
Ø26mm Spindle Bore
12 Geared Head Speeds 80 ~ 1600rpm

Mitutoyo contact profilometer for surface roughness measurements




Contacting us



Physical address:
Building 901-324, University of Auckland Newmarket Campus
314-390 Khyber Pass Road, Auckland, 1023

Enter at Gate 3, where University Security staff will raise the boom after you press the intercome button. Park in any visitor parking spot and register your vehicle using the e-kiosk at reception.

Email: olaf.diegel@auckland.ac.nz


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