The Hutcheson’s Technology Department had recently purchased a 3D printer for use with pupils on their Graphic Communication and Engineering Science courses. This came in handy for Computing Services when they were unable to source a replacement part for a broken colour printer in the PE Department. The printer was just over a year old and the cost of replacement was more than £200. Graeme Dench, Computing Services worked with Robert Walker in the Technology Department to develop a 3D model of the part using Autodesk Inventor and then output the design to the 3D printer. After some refinements to the design were made the final part was printed and fitted perfectly in the faulty printer. With the skills of the Technology staff, the whole process took less than an hour to create the CAD model and a further three hours to print out.
Colin McCormick, Head of Technology, commented “This project represents the kind of tinkering and perseverance that is the very essence of engineering! The 3D printer is largely being used to support pupils’ extra-curricular activities. It will allow pupils to test and improve their designs at an early stage, using the latest technology.” The UK CanSat team [http://www.esa.int/Education/CanSat] are working with Dr Mike Walker (Physics Department) to design a fully functioning model of a satellite the size of a drinks can.