3D Printer demos will be in focus at Freshers’ Fairs

This impressive new kit is not to be missed
This impressive new kit is not to be missed

Fresher’s Fairs across Forth Valley College’s Campuses will be the focal point for student 3D printer training this year.

Staff from the enthusiastic Learning Resources Centre (LRC) Team will be on hand to explain the whys and what-nots surrounding the use of the new printers – holding special demos and showing off the range of items and objects that have already been printed.

There are many ways in which the 3D printers can enhance the learning experience and the LRC Team will be happy to speak to both lecturers and students on how they can use them to support their subjects.

The college were recently awarded funding through SLIC’s (Scottish Library & Information Council) Innovation Fund, to purchase a 3D printer and printing consumables for each campus.  The overall aim of the of the project is to enhance the creative learning experience and raise awareness of new technologies, and promote volunteering in public libraries.

The project allows FVC to train a number of students in the use of 3D printers at sessions run at the end of the college day – food and drink will be supplied!  The initiative will also help students boost their CVs as the plan is that they will be able to teach members of the public how to use the printers in return.

All volunteers need to do is attend four training sessions with LRC staff on how to use the 3D printers – which will enable students to create and print examples – at the end of the training, they will be required to go into public libraries (initially in the Falkirk area) and demonstrate the skills they have learned to users of the public libraries.

By getting involved in this volunteering opportunity, they will not only help members of the public learn about and access new technologies, but gain an Open Badge and gather valuable experience to add to their CV.  The hope is that the students will continue to volunteer with the libraries after this initial period and the project will be replicated in the Stirling area later in the year.

As well as the project detailed above, FVC are now lucky enough to have the fully funded 3D printers available in College for all mainstream students to access and use to print items in relation to their course – one student has asked about printing a model of a spine, to use as part of their sports course work!

Cost will be free of charge for the first year, but we may have to charge a small payment after the first year, to cover costs… however don’t get any ideas of using the 3D printer to run off some new pound coins!

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