Transition Year students from Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh explored the creative world of engineering through a 3D Printing programme organised by medical device manufacturer Smithstown Light Engineering, Shannon.
Designed to give students a hands-on learning with cutting edge technology, the programme kicked-off as part of STEPS Engineers Week last March. Engineers from Smithstown Light Engineering visited Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh to deliver a series of presentations on 3D printing and how it’s providing endless solutions to so many different challenges. Three teams were then picked to design their own personalised watch strap for printing on Smithstown’s 3D printer.
Kevin Kelly, Smithstown Light Engineering and co-ordinator of the programme, said “The task of designing a watch strap was chosen so that students could conceptualize, customize and prototype their design without going through complex engineering concepts.”
After receiving feedback and tweaking their designs, students visited Smithstown Light Engineering to see the 3D printing process from start to finish, from sketches and CAD models to file preparation and printing the final product.
Explaining the rationale behind the programme, Gerard King, Business Owner and Director at Smithtown Light Engineering, said “We wanted to play our part in nurturing Ireland’s future engineers. Engineers from every discipline such as software, mechanical, biomedical, are very much in demand across all industries. We hope that this programme brought to life the creative and dynamic world of engineering and helps prepare the students for tomorrow’s STEM jobs.”
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh, said “This was a fantastic opportunity for students to explore an engineering profession. The combination of talks and getting hands-on experience of a 3D project from start to finish helped them appreciate the critical thinking required for a career in engineering. I would like to thank Smithstown Light Engineering for the opportunity. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it definitely enhanced their interest in Engineering for the future.”
This is the first outreach education initiative undertaken by Smithstown Light Engineering. Next year it hopes to extend the programme to more students and more schools.