Issue 10
Monday, 02 December 2019
Charles Darwin University
Matt Harbidge with a newly minted Brolga Awards trophy
Matt Harbidge with a newly minted Brolga Awards trophy

AMA leaves print on Brolga Award trophies

By Kaye Hall

In a departure from their usual parts manufacturing, CDU’s Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA) has produced the trophies for this year’s Brolga Awards.

The Brolga Awards are the official tourism awards for the Northern Territory that recognise and encourage tourism businesses that strive for excellence. Fittingly, the trophies have been manufactured using the Territory-invented 3D metal printing technology from SPEE3D.

“We are proud to be associated with this event,” 3D Printing Engineer, Matt Harbidge said.

With wood from Nhulunbuy, aluminium cut by Darwin Sheet Metal, and 3D printing by AMA and Curbys NT, it’s the first time in a decade the award has been made in the Territory.

“Together with other companies we’re bringing manufacturing back to the Northern Territory,” Mr Harbidge said.

“We usually do industrial projects, but it’s actually really cool doing arts for a change. 

“It’s fulfilling to be able to produce something that looks quite beautiful.”

According to Mr Harbidge, the Brolga Awards are also Territory tough. They are made from marine grade aluminium, aluminium-bronze and copper. The aluminium-bronze is incredibly tough and the copper is anti-microbial and has the great red dirt feel that Australians associate with the Northern Territory and Uluru. 

“You can basically put the aluminium bronze in the water for 100 years and it will be fine,” Mr Harbidge said.

The AMA engineers also designed and printed the 2019 NT Digital Awards, and earlier this year produced two goblets for the CDU Black Tie Dinner auction. Last year they collaborated with CDU art, design and engineering students to produce some beautiful and functional coffee cup holders. 

“We are open to requests for parts or arts,” Mr Harbidge said.

“We are able to do the aluminium, bronze and copper, and other materials too.

“We can do production runs many times faster than conventional 3D printing and a lot cheaper.”