28 May Shaping Your Future 3D Printing Innovation Challenge
Mullingar students celebrate victory at the ‘Shaping Your Future’ 3D printing innovation challenge.
Congratulations to the Transition Year students Emily Flynn, Emily Shaw and Fiadh Donlon from Loreto College, Mullingar who have been named the winners of the ‘Shaping Your Future’ 3D printing innovation challenge. More than 120 students from four schools – three in the Midlands- have been competing in the ‘Shaping Your Future’ programme since September, run in partnership by IMR, a Mullingar-based manufacturing research centre, and I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. The program is part of the Sector Skills Strategy in Additive manufacturing (SAM) project which is funded as part of the Erasmus+ programme.
On Tuesday 18th May, finalists pitched their ideas to a team of judges over Zoom. Researchers from IMR and I-Form had issued a challenge to students: design and create something useful in one of the following categories: health; disability; mental health; environmental health. The winning idea was a design and 3D printed prototype for an antibacterial wipe storage product called ‘Twist & Take’ – aimed at taking an antibacterial wipe from a packet without touching the packet and also storing the wipe to maintain its moisture so it can be reused later in the day.
The winning team, Fiadh, Emily and Emily said: “We had so much fun creating the Twist & Take, we all worked so hard and we got on great as a team. From sketching the Twist and Take in our copies at the start of the year, to winning the Shaping Your future competition, we never could have expected what we would achieve by the end of the year. None of us had ever 3D printed before, so we have come on quite a journey with our teacher, Mr Masterson, to win the national final. At the beginning of the year we never would’ve imagined getting this far, but looking back and seeing how far we’ve come and how much we have achieved as a team is phenomenal and something we won’t be forgetting any time soon.”
Four schools took part in the ‘Shaping Your Future’ programme: Scoil Mhuire in Trim, Meath; Columba College in Killucan, Westmeath; Loreto College, Mullingar, Westmeath; and Lucan Community College in Dublin. Students were challenged to come up with an idea for a product, design it on a computer, and print a prototype using 3D printers. Over the course of several months, IMR and I-Form researchers visited students virtually to support their learning journey and also to educate them on the array of careers that involve additive manufacturing and engineering.
The finalists won a prize of a trip away for their class along with one4all vouchers for themselves and 3D printing filament for their school.
Robert Masterson, the winning team’s teacher at Loreto College, said: “Our students worked so hard throughout ‘Shaping Your Future’; I’m delighted to see their efforts recognised with this win. This project required imagination, teamwork, empathy and learning new technical skills. The competition has opened all of our eyes to the amazing possibilities offered by 3D printing, and we hope this win will inspire other students to consider how they could shape the future by using technology to benefit others.”