3D Printing: Where Engineering Meets Art.
Dr Michaella Janse van Vuuren is a leader in the field of 3D printing. She tells us why education is key to unlocking the future of technology.
Since then, she has become an internationally renowned designer in 3D printing. She explored the technology by creating artworks, jewellery, fashion and décor using innovative multidisciplinary research, consulting and her 3D printed product development studio.
Her success has been phenomenal. Michaella’s Chrysanthemum centrepiece was voted the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at Design Indaba 2009, just a year after she founded her company, Nomili. Her ground-breaking 3D-printed Garden of Eden fashion collection debuted on the 3D Print Show catwalk in New York in 2014. Her Horse Marionette, a fine art piece, was on exhibition for two years in the London Science Museum and is now part of the Museum’s permanent collection. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Her more recent work focuses on using her wealth of knowledge in the fields of the arts, design and engineering to educate future generations. She’s done this through consulting at various schools and universities. But her most recent endeavour is a makerspace at the German School in Pretoria that teaches a combination of 3D printing, craft materials and simple circuits with the inter-connectivity of the internet. The space will also be accessible to their partner schools in Mamelodi and Eersterus, which is one of Michaella’s primary reasons for working with the German School.
We met up with Michaella and she explained why one of the most important steps in unlocking the potential of technology is to combine the largely separate fields of science, math, engineering and the arts.
So in the space I’m setting up, the kids will have hands-on learning about how to 3D design and print. But the part I also want to combine with that is creativity through the arts, because that’s where the exciting shapes and forms and the new ideas come from. At the moment I am busy developing the curriculum and the projects that they’re going to do. In the next couple of months or so, we’ll be testing them out.