PrintCity Round Up – March 2021
Welcome to the PrintCity Monthly Round Up, the newsletter for keeping up to date with all aspects of PrintCity. Each Month we will be recapping what has happened across the different areas of Manchester Metropolitan University PrintCity. Be sure to visit our round up at the end of each month to see what our team has been doing!
Markforged Webinar – Building the Next Generation Additive Manufacturing Centre for Education and Research
PrintCity teamed up with Markforged, Additive X and Fabricon Design to deliver a webinar on ‘Building the Next Generation Additive Manufacturing Centre for Education’ on the 10th March. The webinar discussed how PrintCity has grown exponentially since starting in March 2018, which was followed by a Metal X demonstration by Additive X. We want to thank Markforged for providing the opportunity for us to tell our story, we look forward to future webinars. Unable to attend the Webinar? Catch up on the session by following this link: https://vimeo.com/522041755
International Women’s Day at PrintCity
On Monday 8th March the world celebrated International Women’s Day, at PrintCity we decided that a day wasn’t long enough to celebrate our fantastic female members of staff. Therefore, we decided to dedicate a whole week to the Women of PrintCity which we hope will inspire the next generation of Women in Additive Manufacturing or STEM subjects. Thank you team for the incredible work you do at PrintCity!
3D Print of the Month
Our Technical Team were approached by Manchester Metropolitan University Biochemistry department whilst they were preparing for students returning in March. The department were looking to create bespoke magnetic test tube racks for RNA isolation to enable socially distanced lab work. Although 3D files were available online, the tubes and magnets previously purchased did not fit into the design.
Emma Rothwell, our Technical Officer created a new test tube rack in Autodesk Fusion 360. A prototype of the racks were 3D printed on an Ultimaker S5 in PLA which was tested by the department. After making adjustments, our team produced around 40 test tube racks in total.
ShaRepair aims to prolong the life of electric and electronic equipment by empowering citizens to repair their appliances, thus removing these appliances from waste streams.
The opening workshop, on the 26th February, was attended by 46 Repair Minded people, including Repair café’s from six different countries (UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and the USA.) It included an introduction to the CAD design of spare parts and a presentation on 3D print for Repair. It was a collaborative effort with some of our partners in Belgium.
The next workshop is this Friday (16th April) and aims to build on the first, including another CAD session and a presentation on 3D Print by TU Delft, from the Netherlands. Senior lecturer Ed Keefe will demonstrate how to design a battery compartment for an appliance, and Alma Van Oudheusen from TU Delft will talk about “3DP4R: From part to print,” explaining their approach to 3D-printing for repair, with all the steps and practical insights they identified.
MSc Industrial Digitalisation Highlight
At PrintCity, on our MSc Industrial Digitalisation programme, we recognised the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) a number of years ago and implemented it with the course. Our current students can produce any shape, product, or structure in CAD but until now they could either views these on screen or via 3D print. However, a digital CAD File allows them to also create assets that can be brought into a VR environment to explore and further develop.
Within 3 hours, our students went from complete novices to creating a VR environment with an XR-Rig. Students created a scale building in Autodesk Fusion 360 which was brought into Unity, allowing them to walk around and view the space. Due to the capabilities of the Oculus Quest 2, the unity build can be deployed to the device untethered and used wirelessly for full emersion.
Staff Spotlight – Nick Hurst
Nick is a research focussed technical officer here at PrintCity. Previously, Nick was a student on the PrintCity MSc Industrial Digitalisation course and conducted research into the challenges SMEs face when adopting industrial digital technology. He has also supported business in adopting LiDAR scanning, additive and subtractive manufacturing technology.
Currently, Nick is working on the Interreg North-West Europe CIRMAP project, which aims to create a new circular economy loop by demonstrating a successful re-use of recycled concrete fine aggregates through 3D printing customised concrete shapes for use in public spaces, such as street furniture. As part of his role Nick will be introducing concrete additive manufacturing technology to PrintCity and will be responsible for designing and delivering the completed concrete 3D prints for the CIRMAP project.
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