The Greens want 3D printing for NZ

June 9th, 2014 at 12:03 pm by David Farrar

The latest Greens policy:

The Blueprint For The Future, a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand, will:

• develop a digital manufacturing strategy;

• support and develop ;

• educate and empower students in the use of digital manufacturing.

So why do the Greens want NZ to become a 3D printing country? Is it:

  • a) so NZ can cope with printing 3D money for them?
  • b) so they can 3D print money printing machines for them?
  • c) To clone Laila and Clint for them, as they’re still mourning their loss
  • d) To build their own castle in their parliamentary office?

And how will this 3D printing future be achieved?

“The Green Party will institute a taskforce to establish a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand, one part of our blueprint for a smart green economy,” said Mr Hughes.

Oh, a taskforce!

I am personally a fan of 3D printing and think it has a great future. But companies can and will respond to the market opportunities it presents without the Government telling them what to do.

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47 Responses to “The Greens want 3D printing for NZ”

  1. mike tan (485 comments) says:

    Interesting considering that 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing sector (resulting in job losses which would be quite unpopular with the unions).

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  2. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    From what I can gather, having listened to people like Olaf Diegel from Massey university digital printing is developing quite nicely without any assistance.

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  3. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    DPF – Remember, there ain’t a single 3D printer in this world capable of printing DotFatCon……..

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  4. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    For that matter, the ever expanding Metiria Turei also….

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  5. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    Being someone who owns a 3D printer;

    I have to say they are great but the hype is ridiculous. Yes they will improve and involve more and more materials but unless they can print much faster and overcome a host of problems they remain yet another tool like say a CNC machine or something. Useful but not revolutionary.

    Great bold statements from the Green’s about throwing vast sums of tax payer money at something that might not be that game changing seems par for the course.

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  6. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    This is certainly a boost to the Bullshit Bingo sector

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  7. Manolo (13,775 comments) says:

    The level of imbecility shown by Hughes appears limitless.
    The Luddite should be pilloried by the MSM, but of course he will not.

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  8. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    What does Maurice Williamson have to say on the matter?

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  9. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    Hughes has the buzzwords but does he really understand what he is talking about? I suggest not – he’s read a magazine or something.

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  10. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    This is the type of policy that the internet party should be focussed on, no?

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  11. alloytoo (543 comments) says:

    Clearly this is a Coatsville mansion dictated policy. KDC is intended to extend his abuse of intellectual property to the physical.

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  12. Keeping Stock (10,341 comments) says:

    Are they planning on printing 3D money?

    But seriously; doesn’t plastic contain oil and other minerals that have to be mined? And aren’t the Greens opposed to mining, or are they only opposed to the mining of things they don’t need?

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  13. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    It will destroy manufacturing as we know it and produce a lot of throw away products. That is fine by me but I am surprised the Greens want to promote it.

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  14. get a grip (10 comments) says:

    Huges is obviously easy to persuade, hence this policy surfacing. I don’t think he has been given the gift of critical thought. Certainly not in the political sense. Like many Green policies it seems to be kneejerk reaction to a “good” idea. Nobody in the decision making process seems to think thru any unintended consequences.
    With the legalising abortion policy, it has upset lots of Green supporters and given a nice platform to right to lifers to stick it to the greens.
    This 3D policy (presented in one d way) will be kicked around and bee seen to be be too narrow, expensive and not required.

    Lets look forward to more polices from the left who dont seem to have any critical review of their policies before they are released.

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  15. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I thought The Civilian was meant to be the joke party? They’re up against some stiff competition.

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  16. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    Farrar says that the Greens are anti-business etc, but as soon as they suggest something that would encourage industry in NZ he doesn’t like it and criticises it with another example of ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

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  17. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Smart Green Economy
    Eco jobs
    Green schemes
    Carbon Commissioner (aka DPF)

    These are synonyms for – “let me spend your tax money on nutty schemes”

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  18. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    BUT, doesn’t 3D Printing use PLASTIC, and minerals / chemicals (including the dreadful and hated, OIL), that are extracted FROM THE GROUND???

    Surely, if this is from a party that is absolutely obsessed with protecting gaia, (or so they insist on reminding us this) can’t be true, surely not; their ‘principles’ would never, ever, allow such shocking exploitation of the ‘earth mother’?

    Say it isn’t so…..

    (Oh, wait, this is the Gweens so it’s OK; expediency rules – but not for anyone else…)

    Perhaps Toad can justify it?

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  19. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    one good thing from this is that the Wellington Makerspace outed itself as a green partisan hack group.

    pity really as i thought they were a pretty neat group, linked to other maker spaces and fab labs around the world.

    but they have posted a big excited post about the greens launching their policy at their venue, and i have my doubts they will be inviting anyone else to do the same.

    guess they will be first in line for the handouts from the gweens new ‘taskforce’.

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  20. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Mike the greens are anti business. they just like to sound hip and cool.

    3d printing, and the associated craft and businesses are doing fine without needing the govt involved.

    the greens do not understand how someone could thrive without gummint interference, so when they see a growing area that does not currently have gummint balls deep in it, they think they will ‘fix’ it by inserting themselves (and taxpayer money and associated taxes) into the situation.

    if they want to support business or encourage industry, the best they (and any gummint) can do is get out of the way.

    if a business or industry cannot thrive or survive without the gummint getting involved, it should be left to die on its own, so someone cleverer can use the assets better.

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  21. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Will I get funding to learn 3D printing under Labour’s new found enthusiasm for ACE (Adult and Community Education)? Just askin….

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  22. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    This is another example of how fundamentally flawed the Greens approach is. If it is viable business will do it on their own. Yet they want to throw our money at these areas in the hope it ‘might’ take off. We need to make it easy (good tax structure, less red tape etc) for business to adopt ideas and develop new industries that can generate dosh but THEY should be the ones who take on the ideas not the government trying to force it. It is extremely arrogant that these pillacks think they can predict the future better then businesses can. Especially when most of them have no experience in the outside world.

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  23. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    MikeG (375 comments) says:
    June 9th, 2014 at 12:34 pm
    Farrar says that the Greens are anti-business etc, but as soon as they suggest something that would encourage industry in NZ he doesn’t like it and criticises it with another example of ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

    We’re still waiting for them to suggest such a thing. Have you heard something we haven’t?

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  24. David Farrar (1,895 comments) says:

    MikeG: How does a taskforce encourage industry in NZ? If they put up specific policies we could debate their merits. But this is a non-policy, just trying to capitalise on a sexy topic.

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  25. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    comrade russell will make it so.

    I guess if they win the election at least.

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  26. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    David: At least give them credit for gathering facts etc to make sure that their policy makes sense. You want fact-based policy don’t you?

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  27. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Why do they need a policy? they launched it at the wellington makerspace, a place that was doing just fine without the greens.

    i know enough people with 3d printers, laser cutters etc, and none of them have been waiting for gummint to come in and make it all better for them.

    what is it about the mind of a lefty greenie that they see someone doing ok on their own and feel they have to interfere and that their interference will actually be positive?

    a policy about ‘getting facts’ is no policy at all, its just noise making.

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  28. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    We plan to plan for changing something to do with 3D printing.

    Yeah, thanks for the heads up, Greens.

    That’s how you have a policy announcement without any policy.

    It just leaves us imagining what they intend to do about it.

    And as it is the Greens… it wont be good.

    a) subsidise 3D printers
    b) outfit all schools with 3D printers, whether they want them or not, but of course they will be obsolete within a few months
    c) fund 3D printing courses everywhere, so everyones grandma can learn to do it thereby revolutionising manufacturing in the afterlife
    d) tax all imports of non-3D printing manufacturing technology.

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  29. Igotta Numbum (463 comments) says:

    In the Labour/Green world, the ACE training scheme will no longer teach crochet, there will be lines of 3D Printers in rooms where people can 3D print their own doilies.

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  30. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    Question: Could a 3D printer print a 3D printer?

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  31. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    3D replicas of Mera?

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  32. Igotta Numbum (463 comments) says:

    OTGO – Yes.

    I read somewhere recently that for off-world opportunities in the future, the idea would be to ship only a few 3D printers, along with a base level of materials to print with, then the first task would be to make more of themselves for mining/settlement activities.

    From there, it’s only a short step to Terminator :)

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  33. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    For that matter, the ever expanding Metiria Turei also….

    Some may say the Greens are providing a green example of sustained growth.

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  34. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Hughes is a constant source of hilarity.

    The underlying assumption appears to be that business people are idiots. What would stop them being idiots is having a genius like Hughes telling them, at great taxpayer expense, obviously, where the business opportunities may lay.

    The teenage-like arrogance mixed with ignorance is really something to behold, especially as Wired and TechCrunch is freely available to we idiot business people, too.

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  35. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Let’s not pretend that the underlying reason for their new found love of digital manufacturing is anything other than a means to undermine the existing capital of manufacturers.

    Manufacturing a manufacturing crisis the green way.

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  36. Steve (North Shore) (4,563 comments) says:

    Can a 3D printer print a 3D printer? That’s how most of it was made.

    The Greens want control of 3D printers so they can force people to print trees, and then collect the Carbon Tax.
    Nothing surprises me about the Greens these days, they are a loopy bunch of non-productives

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  37. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    mikeG – “David: At least give them credit for gathering facts etc to make sure that their policy makes sense. You want fact-based policy don’t you?”

    Yes, we do, but the greens are decidely light on “facts”. Condition normal. Maybe they could do a few hard science papers and then they might have something useful to offer.

    First “Green Jobs” ( no examples yet ? ) and now they think 3d printers will somehow solve world hunger after reading a printer manufacturers brochure. Why dont they actually buy one and show us how they could make money with it.

    It is a logical progression though, I guess, from their economic model based on bank note printing.

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  38. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    The Greens don’t like China, so I think it’s reasonably clear why they are promoting 3D printing. Basically to import less from China (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; China will eventually develop their own dairy industry to reduce their exposure to high export prices).

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  39. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    adze, if it’s economical to use 3D printers to import less from China then of course it will happen without the gummint having to encourage it!

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  40. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    You’re all missing the long term policy objective. Our tourist shops are full of trinkets and ornaments made in China, we can spend billions and train thousands of people to develop quick and easy to operate ‘trinket/widget/ornament copy machines’ which we can sell to the world to disempower the sweatshop operators. We can do this, we can lead the world in spending public money to free millions of people from employment.

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  41. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The Greens’ 3D printers, if they are to be of widespread use, will oftimes, perhaps mainly, be printing out objects made of epoxy resins and ABS plastic, both of which are at least partly petroleum based.

    The Greens better let the oil explorers drill off the coast, because otherwise, under the Greens’ scorched earth export regime, NZ will be unable to afford imported petroleum-based materials for the 3D printers.

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  42. cha (4,018 comments) says:

    perhaps mainly, printing onto epoxy resins and ABS plastic,

    Oh I think it’ll involve an awful lot more that plastics and resins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88BPmL8cGAo

    http://www.army.mil/article/109144/Army_Research_Lab__Purdue_explore_3_D_printing_to_fix_deployed_equipment__cut_maintenance_costs/

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  43. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    Jack5

    We’ll overcome that, we’ll mandate that all printers in use in NZ need to be made in NZ and we’ll set entire universities onto finding a local material that will serve this purpose. Perhaps we’ll ditch dairy farming and grow some local plant (which one yet to be discovered) that can be used for biofuel. Who knows we might get lucky and discover that sap from Gorse makes an excellent resin and we can harvest all that and replant in native trees before we set the universities onto finding something else.

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  44. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    @Anthony

    I couldn’t agree more!

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  45. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Re Cha at 7.54.

    That’s an intriguing clip. Presumably the technology will also encompass parts of aluminium.

    Oh that’s right. The Greens want to close the smelter and feed 85 per cent of Manapouri power into the grid (after a billions upgrade of the lines) so that North Islanders can use the juice. The other 15 per cent will burn on the way north.

    And steel? Well they use coking coal (including from the West Coast), so that will be out, too, in the interests of greenhouse gas and West Coast snails’ environment.

    Meanwhile, the Greens to be consistent, will have to ban petroleum based printing materials, which will slash the market.

    Basically the Greens are anti-industry Luddites.

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  46. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    Jack5

    The final nail in their coffin. To stop the government efforts being dwarfed by commercial offerings from corporates with more money than our GDP we’ll need to but barriers on their entry into our markets.

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  47. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    OK, I got it, Hughes has dredged up the 1990 Labour party election promise that never got made of a laser printer in every home. He’s done much better than that little popularity policy lolly scramble and updated it into a legacy of ridiculous spending.

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