New Zealand city welcomes 12-meter-tall 3D printed sculpture

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After years in the making, a massive 12-meter 3D printed sculpture has finally been installed in Rotorua, New Zealand. The beautiful piece, which honors the region’s native Te Arawa history and culture, was designed by artists at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute and was 3D printed in cooperation with local composites company Kilwell Fibretube.
The sculpture was air lifted to its new home at Rotorua’s Hemo Gorge by helicopters this past weekend and now stands out on the horizon, greeting motorists as they drive to and from the North Island city. The impressive Te Ahi Tupua structure, which is a contender for largest 3D printed sculpture in the world, was originally proposed in 2015.
Over the years, however, the project encountered some delays. For instance, in 2017, the sculpture’s initial stainless steel design was reconsidered because of weight concerns, and 3D printing presented itself as a better way forward. In the end, the project ended up costing nearly NZ$800,000.
3D printed sculpture being airlifted into place (Photo: Benn Bathgate | Stuff)
“It has been an incredibly complex, and also groundbreaking, project that has required a lot of innovation,” said Steve Chadwick, Mayor of Rotorua. “There have …

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