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Engineering Professors Return To Princethorpe To Help DT Pupils Build Three 3D Printers

15 Nov

Nearly fifty years on from when they boarded at the College, Professors Paul and Peter Cheung returned to Princethorpe last weekend to take 11 lucky GCSE Design Technology pupils on an amazing hands-on journey into the technological advanced world of 3D printing.

The twin brothers visited their old school on Friday 9 to Saturday 10 November, to share their exceptional, engineering expertise. Both are now professors at the University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London respectively and they were generously donating their time, and the printer technology, as a thank you for the opportunities, inspiration and support the College had provided them.

On the Friday afternoon Professor Peter Cheung gave a compelling presentation to pupils interested in a career in engineering. He explained how engineers solve problems, the innovative opportunities his university students get involved in and the facilities Imperial has to offer. He described time at University as ‘enabling’ and gave examples of where engineering careers could take you before finishing with the challenges engineers will face in the future.

On the Saturday Professor Paul Cheung hosted a full day workshop for 11 invited GCSE Design Technology pupils. Helped by his brother Peter, cousin Patrick, and Head of Design Technology, Paul Scopes, the 11 pupils spent the day building three 3D printers completely from scratch. After an initial briefing the pupils quickly got to work and the big build began. Over the course of the day the new printers took shape, progress was swift, the pupils focussed and engaged and by mid-afternoon, incredibly, and thanks to a determined and tenacious effort, the first machine was already printing. Pupils, parents and staff watched in amazement as the machine printed a perfect pair of miniature owls.

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3D Printing from Princethorpe College on Vimeo.

What was only recently an out of reach, expensive, industrial technique has, over the past few years, developed into accessible, new technology. Today anyone can print musical instruments, household items and, with easily available open source programmes, pretty much anything you can think of. The new 3D printers are an amazing technological addition to Princethorpe’s Design Technology workshops that will develop new design skills and inspire the next generation of engineers.

Professor Paul Cheung was delighted with Princethorpe’s pupils’ enthusiasm, commenting, “Princethorpe’s pupils have beaten the record for the build time for the printers, beating even my university students.” He added, “It has been really great to be back at Princethorpe College, we have been warmly welcomed and I would like to thank everyone for making our visit so enjoyable and memorable.”

Whilst visiting the school the brothers were also able to meet the former Director of Boarding, Fr Teddy O'Brien MSC.

At the end of the workshop Headmaster, Ed Hester, thanked Paul and Peter Cheung for their hugely generous donation and presented them and their cousin Patrick, who now lives locally, with a token gift, a much sought after, Old Princethorpians scarf.

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Princethorpe 3D Printer Workshop from Princethorpe College on Vimeo.