From Water Bottles to Key Rings: Students Get Creative with CAD at PrintCity!

Blog written by student ambassadors: Brijesh Gurav, Swetha Subramanian, Joel Tatarek-Gintowt and Oliver Sargeant

We welcomed 17 kids from Alder Community High school to PrintCity as part of our outreach day today. A tour of PrintCity and PrintCity Network kicked off the day. They had the chance to engage with 3D prints made by several machines during the tour. As always, we urged them to interact with the prints rather than merely observe them. Students were given a tour of PrintCity’s CIRMAP concrete printing research lab for the first time. Some of pupils were excited for a photo-op on the PrintCity generative designed bench.

To kick-off the session, Peter Gough utilised video game and Pixar movie characters to demonstrate how CAD different media go hand in hand to the pupils. He then pointed out real-world applications like IKEA’s advertisement products which were designed and rendered with CAD technology– and the children and teachers were amazed by the life-like pictures IKEA produced!

Today we guided the students to create awesome water bottles from scratch in Autodesk Fusion 360! Even though none of them had ever used a CAD program before, by the end of the exercise, they had all gotten the hang of it. They were able to add a personal touch to their bottles by modelling their initials on them and personalising them with decals of their favourite logos and colours. Though initially shy, it was great to see their enthusiasm emerge while designing! The pupils were so quick that we had them make and render 2 different versions of their bottles.

Right after lunch, the students started learning how to make their own gear key rings. Peter then gave them a boost by telling them that they would be getting a 3D-printed key ring too! Understanding the instructions Peter gave, with the added help from their morning lessons, the students managed to grasp it quickly. A few of them even did an impressive job with Fusion 360, quickly completing the tasks with no help whatsoever and personalising their keyrings.

At the end of the day, with some Amazon vouchers up for grabs, the Design Slam was a fun and exciting activity for the pupils! They were tasked with coming with up a creatively designed drinking vessel in only thirty minutes. A sense of friendly competition filled the room, and ideas were bouncing off each other. Everyone got straight into it, asking questions, and bouncing new ideas off one another. It was difficult for the student ambassadors to pick the best idea because there were so many great ones, from champagne Flutes and Mugs to Crocs and Fire Extinguishers!

At the end of the day one of the students approach an ambassador curious about how to download Fusion 360 at home so they could continue to work on their models. We hope the pupils enjoyed their time here as much as we did hosting them!

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