3D print luminary lured from Lund to Auckland Uni

Leading 3D print researcher Olaf Diegel will join the Faculty of Engineering at Auckland University under a $10m joint government and Auckland University project to foster 3D printing startups.

Leading 3D print researcher Olaf Diegel will join the Faculty of Engineering at Auckland University under a $10m joint government and Auckland University project to foster 3D printing startups.

He is currently head of the Product Development division in the School of Design Sciences at Sweden’s Lund University and will head Auckland University’s new Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory.

Announcing his appointment education minister Chris Hipkins said: “Professor Diegel’s work aims to establish New Zealand as a global leader in additive manufacturing (AM), a technique used to build 3D printing technology.

“It’s already been used by Kiwi start-up Rocket Lab to build its ground-breaking rocket motor that cleverly used parts made by 3D printers. This project however will fast-track New Zealand’s ability to develop more commercial products using AM.”

Diegel is a New Zealander but has spent much of his career abroad. Hipkins said he had been involved in seven university start-ups andi is a board member of Lund University’s VentureLab where he helps students turn their ideas into start-up.

“Having founded AM labs at Auckland University of Technology, Massey University and Lund University, Professor Diegel has developed more than 100 commercialised products, including patenting a portable device and method for regulating the temperature of a substance, successfully commercialised as an insulin cooler by Medactive,” he said.

The University said these products include the Spengler SCVL cardiovascular lab, a monitoring technology that gives a comprehensive picture of a user’s cardiovascular health.

“It measures not only blood pressure but also pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure and cardiac output through a device attached on the upper arm and another attached to the ankle. The technology represents a paradigm shift in the detection of cardiovascular conditions.”

It said he had also helped to develop Selecon’s Pacific range of theatre spotlights “which produce a cooler, whiter beam of light as well as a number of sophisticated modular dimming systems for NZ company Theatrelight.”

According to Diegel’s bio on Lund University’s website, although born in New Zealand he has spent much of his much of his life in countries such as the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Japan.

He also has an interesting sideline: his own company ODD Guitars, which makes 3D printed guitars.


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