Members of the business community gathered at the University of Suffolk’s Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre on Tuesday evening to mark the launch of the 3D Productivity Suite.
Thanks to a capital grant from Ipswich Borough Council (IBC), the University has been able to acquire a state-of-the-art, industrial standard 3D printer, which will form the heart of the Suite.
University of Suffolk student and GB Team Telemark Skier, Jasmin Taylor, has been working with the University’s 3D Productivity and Digital Media Technologist, Tom Ranson, on equipment to help her skiing performance.
Jasmin said, “I had some issues with my equipment this season that centred around the binding and the ski. Tom is working with me and my coach to build some plates, which will allow correct placement of the binding to the ski. It will mean I will have more trust in my equipment and trust is vital when you are competing. I am also working with Tom on some bespoke arm guards.”
“Basically the equipment is being tailored to my needs specifically, which is just not possible if you are using traditional manufacturing methods. The advantage of the 3D printer is that is can make something bespoke, a one-off or it can make 10,000 copies- whatever is needed.”
“The beauty of the 3D Suite being at the University is that I can go in there, have a conversation with Tom, and say this is what I need and discuss how to get around this. He is able to turn my vision into reality, he can instruct the printer to produce what is required.”
Jasmin has this message to businesses wanting to find out more “Come and see what it can do, take five minutes to talk to Tom and you will realise it is literally limitless. It is really interesting and I am not somebody who is in the manufacturing or engineering industry at all, but I absolutely see the benefit just in my very niche sport, and the impact it can have for me.”
Stefanie Thorne is Director of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship at the University “The Suite, with high specification industrial 3D printers, will provide a location where firms involved in any form of product design, prototyping and manufacture will be able to explore the strategic relevance of 3D printing to their business. Businesses will be able to access support and guidance to help them become more innovative and competitive through adopting the most appropriate variant of the wide array of 3D technologies available.”
Stefanie added, “We are inviting businesses to find out more about our 3D Productivity Suite, we will be hosting a series of sector-specific breakfast briefings in the next few weeks and we are expecting interest from many areas including medical, dental, engineering and architecture firms.”
“We are very grateful to IBC in recognising the potential this resource can have, there isn’t anything quite like it in the region. As well as offering state-of-the-art facilities, we are allowing users access to the expertise of Tom and his team as well as our academics.”
Ipswich Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere said “Our decision to fund the 3D printer for the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre is a strategic investment which will not only provide a unique service to a wide range of firms in the region it will also drive forward growth in the ITC and creative sectors. The Council is committed to supporting that growth and facilitating close links between the University and business.”
For more information about the 3D printing facilities at the University of Suffolk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.uos.ac.uk/content/3d-printing where you can find information about the sector-specific events that are due to be held.
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