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Bio: Olaf Diegel


Olaf Diegel PhD, MPM

Professor of Additive Manufacturing - Design for Additive Manufacturing Lab – University of Auckland

I head up the Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Auckland. The goal of the Lab is to do research into various areas of additive manufacturing (AM), with a particular focus on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM).

My research interests are varied and include additive manufacturing (3D printing), rapid product development, intelligent and mechatronic systems, and any manufacturing technologies that can help speed up the product development process. Within the area of additive manufacturing, my research interests include new hybrid AM technologies, topology optimisation, light-weighting and other computer aided engineering topics relevant to AM, composite polymer materials for AM, better post-processing techniques for metal AM technologies, and I have a great interest in design for AM (DfAM) as I believe that it is one of the keys to industry adopting AM by learning how to design to take advantage of what AM offers.

Over the last 20 years, I have become a passionate follower of additive manufacturing. I believe it is one of the technologies that has been a real godsend to innovation as it allows designers and inventors to instantly test out ideas to see if they work. It also removes the traditional manufacturing constraints that have become a barrier to creativity, and allows us to get real products to market without the normally high costs that can become a barrier to innovation. In 2012, I started manufacturing a range of 3D printed guitars and basses that has developed into a successful little side-business (and gives me the therapy I needs in allowing me to make things that are a blend of high-technology and traditional hand-crafting). More information on my 3D printed guitars can be found at To date, I have manufactured about 70 guitars using both polymer and metal additive manufacturing.

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