Opening the toolbox: PrintCity delivers an introduction to digital tools with Fusion 360

On 13th May we were joined by the year 10s of Our Lady’s RC High School at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Print City. The year group were given a tour by Peter Gough and Gary Buller around the amazing facilities that are on offer at Print City. The students were mesmerised watching the 3D printers in-action. After the tour, Print City’s own, Peter Gough, started with an introduction of current businesses that use CAD to advertise their products. The examples ranged from GTA, which was designed in Edinburgh, to Ikea using CAD renders to produce 75% of its catalogue images.

The day started with the creation of an everyday, basic water bottle to introduce the world of CAD. The students were amazed by how quick and easily they were able to model their own water bottle, using a few basic tools, proving that anyone can use CAD. Various techniques were used, to name a few extrude, revolve, fillet, shell, and thread. The year group were extremely excited to experiment with different textures and materials on the overall appearance of their bottle, allowing them to personalise their bottle as their own. This entire project was completed just in time for a complimentary lunch in MMU’s Birley Kitchen.

After lunch it was time for a new project, to create a keyring with movable cogs. The year group were introduced to more features of Fusion 360, such as the creation and use of in-industry standardised mechanisms. The students were amazed that the product they had just created could be simulated on CAD, having real-life applications. The students themselves commented on how they couldn’t wait to try CAD at home, as well as a few commenting on how this software could hugely benefit their own work, in particular in mechanic coursework for their GCSE’s. At the end of the day, the year group were all given their own 3D printed keyring to take home as a memento.

To conclude the day a 30-minute design slam was held. The year group were incredibly engaged with the activity and got increasingly more competitive as the timer counted down. The extremely difficult decision to choose the winners of the slam was left to our student ambassadors, who after lengthy discussions decided upon a lightbulb and car exhaust tip. The winners then proceeded to be awarded prizes, as well as getting many photos taken on a 3D printed bench, designed by MMU’s alumni Mark Chester.

The teachers In attendance were extremely pleased for the opportunity and explained that this visit day was incredibly insightful for the students, who had previously not had access to Fusion 360 or similar CAD applications.

Article written by Chloe, Rhea, Mike and Simba.

Rhea Munot | LinkedIn

Mike Walker | LinkedIn

Simbarashe Musonza | LinkedIn

Chloe Brighton | LinkedIn

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