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Students explore CAD and 3D printing at Manchester Met University

Students explore CAD and 3D printing at Manchester Met University

PrintCity, recently had the chance to host 24 students from Year 9 and 10 from Oasis Academy Oldham, who got to spend their entire day exploring the facilities of MMU’s 3D printing space. To start the day, the students were given a brief tour of the state-of-the-art facilities that PrintCity has to offer, from metal printers to Nylon-12 printers to Ultimakers. The students thoroughly enjoyed handling the various examples that are on display.

To start off their session on Autodesk Fusion 360 with Peter Gough, the students drew themselves on Post-It notes which proved to be quite entertaining! Pete highlighted how games, movies (3D animation) and IKEA’s promotional items are also made by CAD modelling and rendering. The students and teachers were even surprised by IKEA’s rendered promotional materials that are not real.

The students were then shown how to CAD model a water bottle from the ground-up using various Fusion 360 tools and methods. Despite the majority never having used CAD before, all students managed to learn to make a realistic looking water bottle by the end of the exercise within a 90 minutes. The students really enjoyed rendering their bottle and branding them using Fusion 360’s materials library and downloaded decals.

Once the students had enjoyed their lunch at MMU’s Brooks building, Pete demonstrated the motion simulation behind the gear key rings that were ultimately made by the students. Each student received a 3D printed souvenir of the key rings to take home with them and remember their day at PrintCity.

For the students, the most exciting part of the day was the ‘Design Slam’, where they were challenged to create an object that one can drink from. To further add to the challenge there was a 30-minute time limit. Once the challenge begun, you could feel the excitement and competitiveness in the room. Students were buzzing with ideas and really let loose on their creativity. Everyone was taking part and constantly asking questions which was amazing!

One of the teachers from Oasis Academy mentioned that they had an amazing day and they enjoyed seeing all the innovative tech at PrintCity. The students mentioned that they’d enjoyed every minute of the day. In collaboration with Widening Participation, the event gave the students an insight to what university has to offer and encourage them all to consider University as higher education path post A-levels.

Blog post written by Student Ambassadors Oliver, Chloe, Rhea and Bosco. Original blog location PrintCity.

Daniel Marsh