PrintCity collaborates with GM Higher and 4wardFutures to inspire students

PrintCity hosted 39 high school pupils last Friday for an exciting introduction to all things additive manufacturing, sustainability and circular economy. The visit was part of a collaborative event with higher education network, GM Higher, and careers education charity, 4wardFutures, aimed at providing young people with an opportunity to experience university life and explore possible higher education and career options.

Technical Team Lead, Gary Buller, giving a guided tour of the PrintCity Facility

In the morning, pupils took part in a series of interactive activities, guided by Manchester Metropolitan University staff and student ambassadors. The first of these was a tour of PrintCity’s cutting edge additive manufacturing facilities with Technical Team Lead, Gary Buller, where they were able to see a range of 3D printers in action, handle various 3D printed sample products, and learn about different post-processing options. Pupils were also introduced to CIRMAP’s concrete printers as an example of how additive manufacturing is being integrated into new industries, such as construction.

Students engaged with multiple workshops throughout the day around Sustainability and Additive Manufacturing, including applications in fashion and textiles with Dr Patsy Perry

The second activity involved a workshop with Circular Economy Project Manager, Dr Rhiannon Hunt, on the circular economy and the opportunities this presents for tackling the plastic waste problem. Using TRANSFORM-CE as a case study, pupils explored the possibility for turning everyday plastic waste into 3D printing filaments, which can then be printed into a wide range of valuable products. They were then supported to come up with their own recycled product ideas and designs, exploring possible circular business models.

Pupils also enjoyed a third activity presented by Reader in Fashion Marketing at Manchester Fashion Institute, Dr Patsy Perry, exploring sustainable design strategies for fashion and textiles. A range of exciting examples were on display and pupils worked through various case studies together as a group.

Mark Waters, 4wardfutures, providing a workshop on future careers.

For the afternoon session, GM Higher and 4WardFutures ran alternating workshops on future careers and higher education options available, as well as reflecting on the day and the pupils’ experience at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The event was a great opportunity for all involved and is just one example of PrintCity’s programme of outreach and widening participation. For more information or to enquire, please contact printcity@mmu.ac.uk or circulareconomy@mmu.ac.uk.

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