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Christchurch Technology

22 January 2019

Innovative 3D printing technology, alongside archived images from the 1970s, were used to help Citycare Property restore the historic Sunnyside fountain to its former glory.

The fountain was created as a feature in the hospital grounds more than 150 years ago. It is located in what’s now the Sunnyside Heritage Garden on Annex Road – the only remaining part of the once vast complex of 19th century buildings and grounds that comprised Sunnyside Hospital, Christchurch’s first mental health facility.

Vandalism and the theft of its valuable brass fittings left the fountain in a state of demise for nearly 10 years.

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Citycare Property's team, led by Supervisor Doug Peek, was charged with repair and restoration – a challenging task using only historical images as a guide.

“We didn’t have anything in the way of an original template or design, just some grainy photos depicting what the fountain used to look like,” says Doug.

“It was in such a state of disrepair, with bits stolen and algae covering what remained.”

TWP Design, a Christchurch-based prototype and product development firm run by Doug’s sons Wade and Travis Peek, was contacted for its 3D printing capabilities.

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Prototypes of the fountain’s missing nozzle and ornamental finial were 3D printed using measurements calculated from the photos and existing structure. The prototypes were then assessed for fit and authenticity, before the final product was manufactured.

Citycare Property renovated and restored the concrete tiers and base before installing the new parts, and will manage future maintenance.

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The rejuvenated fountain has been met with applause from the local community, says Doug.

“One lady has lived in the area for 10 years and said she always wanted to see the fountain restored and running so that she could sit in the gardens and enjoy it.

“My team and I are thrilled to be part of its restoration, using innovative technology to achieve a task that until now has proved too much of a challenge.”

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