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Matihiko Taonga V1.0

~ Digital Treasures V1.0

Matihiko Taonga V1.0 - 2017

Discovering 3D Printed Taonga


Media Release & Coverage 

Designed to points of a millimetre accuracy and produced with the same technology used to make spaceships and build robots on Mars. These precision engineered pieces explore cutting edge design and manufacturing technologies through indigenous Maori art concepts.

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga Design Patterns

Smart Tiki

3D Printed Maori Tiki Taonga in Nylon with NFC Chips

3D printed in a nylon polymide and finished in a bright, rich coloured dye, the Tiki are detailed with ink Ta-Moko applied by hand to the engraved inlays. The Tiki are strong, flexible, and programmed to interact. Each nylon Tiki is embedded with a Programmable NFC microchip allowing it to interact with the digital world around it. Turn your NFC enabled device on and scan one, see what it does. 

In Maori culture, the Tiki symbolizes Fertility and Creation. For this reason, the Tiki has been chosen as a vehicle in the exploration a range of colours, techniques, part combinations, materials, and diversity in exploring the creation of new ideas through advanced technologies.

3D Printed Maori Tiki Taonga in Bronze and Stainless Steel

Bronze Steel

Polished Bronze Inlay

3D Printed Maori Tiki Taonga in Brass and Black Steel

Matt Black Steel

Polished Brass Inlay

3D Printing in Steel brings its own unique design considerations for objects made of the material. With the rough grainy surface texture of 3D printed steel juxtaposed against the smooth polished inlays of precious metal, these solid steel Tiki weigh almost 150g, each and require extra detail work in the final presentation.


The steel form is synthesized from micro grains of the material locked together temporarily by a resin and infused with a finish, kind of like building a sandcastle with wet sand and dye. At this stage, the form is very fragile, it's then baked at a high temperature fusing the steel particles together and creating a strong, stable whole.

Due to the nature of this process the form can warp and change shape slightly as the material expands and contracts with the change in temperature making it extremely difficult to design parts that fit together.

The end result is a form that displays all the hallmarks of a 3D printed object through its surface structure, layering, and internal composition, with the structural integrity being similar to that of cast iron.

Precious Toki

The Toki form is derived from the adze or axe head, a crucial tool that was pivotal in Maori culture and development. The Toki was used to carve and reveal new forms, structures, and creations, from Waka to Whare, the Toki was the key to developing new technologies and move a people into the future.


In the context of Matihiko Taonga, the Toki embodies creative opportunities and new pathways available through the use of additive manufacturing tools and 3D printing as a medium. Bringing with it the whakapapa of innovation, and creating a contemporary heirloom representing a pivotal point in our development, these precious Toki are ready to be passed on to future generations.

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Bronze

Toki 1 in Bronze

3D Printed Maori Roimata Taonga in Silver

Toki 2 in Silver

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Rose Gold

Toki 3 in 14k Rose Gold

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Platinum

Toki 4 in Platinum

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Gold

Toki 5 in 18k Gold

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Copper

Toki 1 in Copper

3D Printed Maori Roimata Taonga in Copper

Toki 2 in Copper

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Bronze

Toki 3 in Bronze

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Gold

Toki 4 in 18k Gold

3D Printed Maori Toki Taonga in Platinum

Toki 5 in Platinum

3D printing is an additive process. Objects are synthesized by adding material to build form, rather than removing material to reveal form. This process of adding material from the inside out provides us with unique possibilities in the types of forms and layers that can be achieved.

The Toki of Matihiko Taonga, exhibit layers of patterns and designs within the forms. Like Russian dolls, hidden inside these Toki are internal details, except unlike Russian dolls, there is no possible way to access the details. The designs can only be achieved through 3D printing the form, layer by layer, from the inside out.


To produce the Toki in a range of precious metals, the design is first 3D printed in a wax structure, the model is then cast into a sacrificial mold, and the wax replaced with molten metal. The mold is then broken away, and what is left behind is a solid reproduction of the printed form, including all of the internal details and fine surfaces, in the material of your choice.  

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