Future product designers and engineers at Bourne Grammar School are producing their first 3D models using a new state-of-the-art “Duplicator 4” 3D printer that has been donated by a parent, Mr Tim Hawkins of Marholm, Peterborough.
The high-spec machine is being used to produce items such as gears, brackets and parts for student projects, as well as more intricate designs such as a helical vase, and a whistle with a built-in pea!
The School’s Director of Systems & Control and Computing, Stephen Brown said, “This is an exciting time for the department. Mr. Hawkins’ generosity will give our students even better access to cutting edge manufacturing technologies, and allow us to produce more ambitious designs that we have been unable to do in the past”.
3D printers work by building up layers of heated plastic onto a heated bed, allowing the creation of highly intricate designs programmed on a computer to be made into sturdy physical objects.
Tim Hawkins, who runs ‘OptimumTime’, a specialist Sports Timing company, said he was happy to support the School’s Systems & Control department which aims to give students a learning experience that mirrors commercial practice. In addition to industry-standard software, students have access to two computer controlled laser cutters, and a CNC Router, enabling them to produce their own designs with an exceptionally high degree of precision.
Bourne Grammar School moved away from traditional Design Technology to the forward-thinking modern Systems and Control curriculum in 2012 with the view that students who study the subject will acquire technical and engineering skills that are likely to be vital to the future high-tech UK economy and which are currently in short supply.