Michelle Quaglia changed her career with a flexible engineering major.
Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Mathew De Silva
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[Text overlay]: Three students design and build a 3D printer for their final year project with the support of Rapido, a UTS unit focused on developing technology.
Dr Michael Behrens, Project Supervisor, UTS Rapido: We've had a nice close collaboration with these students. We've tried to integrate them into the team at Rapido, get them a feel for what it's like to work on a real industry project.
Alexander Okada, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical): I was looking for a capstone project to do as I was approaching my last year of university.
Dr Michael Behrens: 3D printers are a cutting edge technology, there's a lot of buzz around them at the moment and this particular printer that we're developing, it's primary purpose is to enable research at UTS into 3D printing.
Alexander: All three of us had very clear roles. I was building the scanner, Nicola was building the frame and Do was building the print heads. The basic role of the scanner is to check for any defects. If there's any holes or high spots then the scanner will recognise that and send that information back to the computer.
Nicola Fradellin, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical): I started by building the frame and then I assembled the individual x, y and z motions.
Nguyen Do, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical & Mechatronic): This is the printing system that I developed for the 3D printer. So it includes the print heads which eject the resin and then so here we have the supply tanks that supply the material to the print heads, and this is the UV lights that cure the resin base deposited.
Alexander: With optics it's a very complicated field and I wasn't really aware how complex it was going to get, there was actually a lot of very fine adjustments and testing we had to do to make it work. Consulting my supervisor's colleague who's an optics expert helped me to understand what failed and also problem solving to see why its not working properly.
Michael: One of the key difficulties that the students face is just project management as this is the first time that they've handled a project of any sort of scale.
Alexander: We were giving a very tight deadline. That was probably one of the most challenging things, to get it done on time and within the project scope that we specified at the beginning.
Nicola: All the skills that I learnt from this project I could apply to the next job because time management and project management can essentially be applied to any job and the 3D modelling skills I have learnt they are also great skills to know for a variety of jobs.
Nguyen: I've learnt a lot about the science behind droplet and resin formation. I had basically no idea about that but I was able to learn that and incorporate those findings into the design.
Michael: The key thing that Rapido offers students is opportunity to work on real world problems. So if they come to us and say we'd like to try curing the material with microwaves instead of UV light we can say sure, lets plug that in and see what happens.
[Text overlay]: UTS Rapido. Unlock technology. Shape the future. rapido.uts.edu.au