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Impressive new 3D printers for where ‘STEM’ meets ‘Art and Design’

The 3D Design A Level at Truro College has a raft of impressive new kit, creating the best range of cutting-edge design tech in Cornwall.

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Published Tuesday 18 January 2022

Course Leader Sean Dugan says: “We’ve got more 3D printers than anywhere else in the South West. It’s an exciting opportunity for students to access industry-standard equipment and emerging technologies.

“We have a UV printer which no-one else in the region has. It will print on anything, including metals, fabric, and wood.”

In newly expanded and refurbished rooms, students have use of ten 3D printers, a Roland 3-Axis RotoCAMM, a Roland VersaUV LEF UV Flatbed Printer, a Z18 3D Printer, an Impact Engraver, a Boxford BGL460 80-Watt C02 Laser Cutter and Engraver, a high resolution 3D Scanner, and a new CAD suite with industry-standard technology and software, including a 90-inch 4k screen for SOLID work.

Investment from the Institute of Technology enabled the course to expand its workshop and CAD studio classroom and procure its new cutting-edge equipment.

Student Amelia Crossley from Truro, who studies A Levels in 3D Design, History and English, says: “It’s exciting. We use CAD software, do wood, clay and cardboard model making, 3D printing, UV printing and laser cutting. I plan to go on to uni to study Interior Design.”

James Lay from Camborne does 3D Design, History and Environmental Science A Levels and said of the investment: “It’s brilliant. I’m surprised how many new things they’ve been able to get. They’ve refurbished rooms and made a nice open space so you can clear your mind and make some models, and there’s a shedload of nice equipment.

“I like model making. I plan to do the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Tregye then do Modelmaking at Arts University Bournemouth.”

3D Design at Truro College was previously called ‘Product Design and the Built Environment.’ It is the only STEM course that is also an Art and Design subject.

A popular route towards careers such as Architecture, Product Design and Interior Design, the course also gives skills and experience that will have massive transferable use in virtually all the industries, sectors and fields of the future. An industry-focused approach includes industry-led project briefs and developing the skills to meet clients’ needs.

3D Design can be taken with Maths and Physics A Levels and lead to Engineering or Science degrees, or be taken with ‘Art and Design’ A Level choices and lead to an Art or Design degree or an Art Foundation Diploma leading to a full degree.

Based in both the Seaton and White buildings at Truro College, students experience both those bespoke learning environments, combining physical materials experimentation and creation in Seaton with design learning, research and creation using both software and manual techniques, in White.

First year students explore new making techniques while having access to emerging technologies, second year students pursue their own projects that could embrace everything from architecture, industrial design or product design to installation art, sculpture, digital textiles, fashion, interior design or set design.

“We’ve sent more students to do architecture than anywhere else in the South West for ten years,” says Sean, “and our first-year students have been set work by world-class architects like Jennifer Dixon from AECOM.”

Find out more about A Level 3D Design here.

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