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University of Nottingham invests half a million pounds in next generation of engineers

University of Nottingham invests half a million pounds in next generation of engineers

The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering has continued its commitment to aspiring engineers following the major refurbishment of two state of the art workshop spaces.

The Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Engineering Applications (EA) workshops, situated on University Park campus, have undergone major upgrades as part of the Faculty of Engineering’s long-term strategy to revolutionise its digital manufacturing offering.

Simon Lawes, Associate Professor and Course Director for Mechanical Engineering, said:

“While both facilities have existed for a long time, these upgrades will provide our mechanical and Product Design and Manufacturing students and researchers with brand-new facilities that will enable them to work in a faster, more sustainable way in an environment that mirrors those across the industry.

“As a centre for excellence in Additive Manufacturing, and home to one of the country’s biggest research groups, these new technologies provide researchers and students alike with a springboard to create more precise and complex designs, resulting in higher quality outputs that will really set them apart from others.”

The refurbishment included improving the accessibility of both workshops, the installation of 50 new 3D printers and further investment in other new technologies, such as Fuse 1 SLS Machines, Stratasys F170 Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printers, a SwiftCut Pro plasma cutter, and a range of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery.

Jason Young, Technician in the Faculty of Engineering, said:

“Technology is constantly evolving, which is why it’s crucial that we ensure our facilities are updated to reflect these advancements. The recent upgrade and refurbishment, along with the introduction of industry level automated machinery, offers our students the opportunity to enhance their design capabilities when producing physical components.

“Additionally, we now have a zonal workshop, which allows our students to have greater flexibility when it comes to producing manufacturing plans for project work, and have introduced offline programming solutions, allowing our students to simulate their designs for manufacture regarding material, tooling, and labour costs. All this combined means that our students now have the opportunity to produce parts with greater design freedom, while maintaining maximum efficacy, and all to an industrial level of accuracy and precision.”

The new facilities were officially opened in October, ready to welcome the latest cohort of students beginning their studies at the university.

The RP and EA workshops aren’t the first Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering facilities to have been modernised in recent months, after the product design and manufacturing studio was refurbished in September 2021, and there are more improvements in the pipeline over the coming years.  

Simon added:

“We’re already looking at the next part of our strategy to revolutionise digital manufacturing at the university, with our attentions now turning to the construction of a Virtual Reality (VR) lab. This is an incredibly exciting time for students and researchers in engineering and we’re looking forward to continuing to improve our facilities for future aspiring engineers.”

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