Date published: Tue 27 Mar 2018
Author: B. Gibson-Patteux
The DT&E Department’s already impressive range of equipment just got even better. Last week the Department was thrilled to receive four cutting-edge Prusa i3 MK3 3D printers, only recently available on the market, to boost their existing set of printers.
3D printers create three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file by laying down successive layers of material. The process enables one to produce complex shapes in a more streamlined process than traditional manufacturing methods. 3D printing is relevant in many industries, such as aviation, architecture, product design, medical and aerospace, to name a few. Examples of products can include architectural scale models, prosthetics, movie props, fossil reconstruction, restoring crime scene evidence… the possibilities are endless.
This latest edition to the tech equipment is the successor to the award-winning MK2 version, and it goes a step further than previous models, allowing multi-coloured objects to be created seamlessly.
3D printing is part of the DT&E curriculum from Year 6 onwards, and is especially useful for GCSE and A Level project work. An example of practical work is that all Year 9 DT&E students get to make fidget spinners using 3D printers. As one of the machines is currently still unassembled, this will be of benefit to a Year 10 class, who will learn how to assemble the printer, in addition to their 3D project work.
Whitgift’s Head of Design, Technology and Engineering, Mr Andrew Seal, commented, “The capability of these new printers is quite remarkable and we have already seen the benefits of them in the short time we have had them, enhancing GCSE projects and Sixth Form practical work. This technology engages the digital realisation skills that are in increasing demand in industry and the next step will be to use VR headsets to design products. The Department now has eight 3D printers, all of outstanding quality, supporting our desire to be forward thinking in preparing our students for the future. I’m proud to lead a Department that can realise any of the innovative ideas that our creative students throw at us.”