Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk, Co. Cork Students Use 3D Printer for Technology


 Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk, Cork will be one of the first schools in Ireland to use the process of addiditive manufacturing in the form of 3D Printing.

The school has just purchased a 3D printer for the technology department. Scoil Mhuire was one of the first schools to teach technology as a new leaving certificate in 2007.

The 3D printer will be used by students to design and build components for their leaving certificate design projects. 

The technology department also has a laser cutter and CNC router and a CNC vinyl cutter which enables students to design and build projects to an exemplar standard.

This gives students and excellent opportunity to achieve excellent grades in the subject, where 50% of the leaving certificate technology examination is awarded for the design project and portfolio.

The 3D printer is a "Replicator 2X" and this allows students to build project parts in a range of materials and in two colours, including ABS (Acrylonitrile Butediene Styrene) a non biodegradeable plastic and also in PLA (Polylactic Acid) which is a biodegradeable plastic derived from corn starch which is an environmentally friendly raw material.

Students will design their projects on solidworks which is a CAD software package. Once designed the parts can be built on the 3D printer and incorporated into their project. This use of computer aided drawing and computer aided manufacture is cutting edge technology.

Students who study technology have opportunities to study courses such as Product Design, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Software Design at Third Level.

Pictured above technology teacher Gerard Crotty with two students. 

Funding for this 3D printer was organised by students and the parents association. The Transition Year students raised money through sponsorship of their Gaisce Bronze Medal 30km walk in Kenmare.

Pre leaving and leaving certificate students raised funds by holding bake sales in the school before Christmas. 

The Parents Association organised a Christmas raffle. Gerald Crotty the Technology teacher would like to thank everybody involved with the fund raising which made the purchae of the 3D printer possible.