Coventry University

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Coventry University’s Department of Industrial Design has gained worldwide recognition for its educational leadership, thanks to its use of Stratasys 3D printing technology and its other educational innovations.

For over 30 years, Coventry University’s Department of Industrial Design has been pioneering new developments, and many graduates have gone on to hold key positions in the world’s foremost automotive companies and have created numerous ground-breaking design concepts. The undergraduate program combines industrial and commercial experience with new models and techniques for computer aided design, including using the most advanced 3D printing techniques from Stratasys. One of the Department’s specialities is automotive design, making it a major contributor to the UK’s auto industry innovation leadership.

Among their requirements was a system that would encourage students to think creatively about new ways to design and produce parts, and that could be used for the widest range of students from other departments aside from the Industrial Design Department.

Objet 3D Printer Fits the Bill for Design Education

“After seeing a demonstration at an industrial site, I knew the Objet system was the one to have,” recalled John Owen, Head of Industrial Design at Coventry University. “It does everything we want it to do.”

With more than 500 students in the department, just under 10 20 percent of whom are final years students in transport design, the Objet printer is used for a wide range of industrial design applications, including fine arts, jewellery design, product design and transport and automation design. Additionally, it is often used by staff and students from other departments, enabling them to think about and explore different ways to produce parts. One of the advantages of the small-footprint, office-friendly and cost-effective system is that it enables students to create shells of the different components of their part design and see how they fit together on screen, eliminating the extra work involved with tooling.

Saves Time, Broadens Creative Horizons

Peter Phillips, Design Technician sees the benefits the Eden250 printer brings to the learning process -; principally saving time and promoting creative thinking. “This system has significantly reduced the time needed to produce the students’ parts and the parts are of higher quality,” he said. “Using the Objet Eden system allows more detailed designs because the conventional ways of production had limitations and they also were slower.”

Owen added: “You couldn’t make these parts any other way! As the support material is washed away with water, we can now design parts with clearances and print them as one part instead of making many parts and assembling them together. The fine details make the parts themselves seem more realistic.” Furthermore, “Products are constantly being designed differently due to changes in the technology available, and this system makes you think of other ways to manufacture parts.”

Looking ahead to life after graduation, Phillips noted:

“The system is great for teaching students non-conventional ways of manufacturing. It is pleasing to know what we are teaching current technologies that the students will be using out in industry.”