Stratasys brings 3D printing into the classroom

Watford Grammar School for Girls receives Stratasys uPrint SE 3D Printer for the day after winning WIRED Magazine competition

Watford Grammar School for Girls has won a Stratasys uPrint SE 3D Printer for the day, the first prize for winning a design competition held by WIRED Magazine.

Provided by Objet UK (Stratasys’ UK subsidiary) & Eire Platinum Reseller, Laserlines Ltd, the 3D printer enabled the students to experience the future of design and manufacturing, while echoing a recent UK government pledge for 3D printing to feature within the school curriculum.

The competition saw the eight winning students receive a hands-on demonstration of the innovative capabilities of 3D printing, before each produced personalized iPhone cases incorporating complex moveable parts with their name on.


“We are absolutely delighted to introduce 3D printing to these students, empowering them to be creative and showing them how great ideas can be made a reality,” says Andy Middleton, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Stratasys. “Personalization, in particular, is something that we believe reflects the future of manufacturing. 3D printing customized phone cases is just one example of how this technology enables us to effectively produce one-off, customized products that fit the requirements of the individual.”

Insight into ‘school of the future’ aligns to the UK government’s commitment to invest in 3D printing technology

The 3D printing workshop at Watford Grammar follows a recent pledge from the UK Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to introduce a 3D printer in every school. According to Middleton, events like today give those involved an insight into the ‘school of tomorrow’ where 3D printers will be as commonplace as inkjet variants or photocopiers, and where students will have the tools available to design and manufacture at an early age.

“Educating the next generation of designers and engineers has been a big part of our ethos here at Stratasys for many years now. We are proud to support these students and to stimulate awareness of 3D printing within STEM programmes. We believe students should be exposed to the same cutting-edge technologies they will encounter in their careers, ultimately giving them a platform to succeed,” adds Middleton.

3D printed prizes

3D printed from Stratasys’ ABSplus material using the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, the individually-named personalized iPhone cases come in a range of colors including Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Gray and Black, designed to endure every day wear-and-tear.

Further emphasizing the potential for 3D printing, while perhaps signaling the eventual demise of the traditional school photograph, the winning students also received a lifelike 3D printed model  [260 x 85 x 15mm] of themselves as an attention-grabbing memento.

FARO, a leading manufacturer of 3D scanners, scanned the students with both the Focus3D 120S and X330 Laser Scanners, to gather the raw data for the 3D photograph. Working in collaboration with CADCAM specialists, Delcam, the scan data was converted into a 3D computer model suitable for 3D printing. The final model was the output on Stratasys’ Objet260 Connex multi-material 3D Printer.

Jam Nair, Key Stage 3 & 4 ICT Coordinator at Watford Grammar School for Girls, concludes: “We are extremely privileged to have 3D printing in our classroom and I hope that this continues to inspire students of today and tomorrow to think outside the box during design projects. The 3D printed photo will hopefully become a reminder of the creative possibilities for those involved, as well as evoke curiosity and extend their creativity in the emerging technologies.”

Stratasys is a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions. 

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