The Windsor Boys’ School has been at the forefront of education for over 100 years in the UK, and today we see that they are placing their students at the forefront of technology as well, teaching them and testing their abilities as they learn new skillsets that will serve them well out in the real world. These older students are rising to the challenge impressively too with a series of projects involving 3D printing for their Product Design courses, led by teacher Phil Hall, who acts as Head of Learning Environment, and Design and Technology — as we’re seeing again this year, following up on last spring’s impressive achievements.
Students involved in the course are between 16 and 18 years of age, and their projects involved a lot of prototyping beforehand, with the experience showing in their final products.
“Their work was the practical element of the design task/brief that they either chose or created themselves,” Hall told 3DPrint.com.
The design course is part of earning the general certificate of secondary education (GCSE) with that qualification being for 16-year-old students, and the reference A Level (Advanced Level qualification) for 17- and 18-year-old students. Design courses in the UK face potential disruption from the government, which, as Hall notes, “is desperately trying to devalue this subject (Design & Technology).” As we’ve seen repeatedly, STEM education and design courses in schools lead to stronger students and, ultimately, stronger candidates for a design/engineering workforce. The projects at The Windsor Boys’ School cover a wide scope and offer versatility for use by small children, teenagers, as well as sports enthusiasts.
“The work was done using AutoDesk Inventor and printed on Makerbot Replicators (we have three in the Design Department), using ColorFabb PLA filament,” Hall explained to 3DPrint.com. “The models were then finished up using wet/dry paper and sand paper, body filler and finally primed and sprayed using regular car body sprays. Decals were finally added to make the products appear more authentic.”
Most of the 3D printed pieces were completely finished in three to four weeks, from printer to spraying.
The yellow duck is an A-Level project for children, meant to be used as a bathroom organizer for items like toothbrushes, ear buds, and similar items. The head even dispenses hand soap from the mouth when pressed. Not your ordinary bathroom accoutrement, this item shows great complexity as well as unique aesthetics.
The blue product is also an A-level project for teenagers fond of attending events like music festivals. This is a secure storage device and serves as a night light/torch. We love the miniature drawer!
The red product with the acrylic sleeve is another A-Level project. This is for young adventurers and incorporates a compass, night light, Swiss army knife and flint/matches for lighting camp fires. Again, the complexity in these 3D printed items is quite amazing.
The ‘monster‘ and the clock are both A-Level projects and are geared toward children. One is a bathroom organizer and the other is an educational learning toy. Student Sam Niall offers a fun approach for kids, as well as a cool retro look.
The black and white product is an A-Level project. This is a cheap, fun, and multi-directional lighting system for teenagers. The three arms all contain LED lighting systems and are completely movable to any desired angle.
Students also created sports bottles, as well as a fully-functioning speaker dock, and a product meant for skiing enthusiasts, allowing them to take hot or cold liquids on long runs without compromising performance. These are all GCSE projects.
The Windsor Boys’ School is a comprehensive school for boys, ages 13-18, in the UK. The overall aim is to teach them to achieve their potential and become responsible citizens. Hall’s more specific aim as their product design teacher is to see that these studies continue, with talented young design engineers emerging and producing excellent examples like the ones shown here. What do you think of the talent shown here? Discuss in the Windsor Boys’ School 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.[All images shared directly with 3DPrint.com, courtesy of Phil Hall at The Windsor Boys’ School.]