STUDENTS at Rugby College will be able to design and print their own components on a pair of 3D printers donated by an aerospace specialist based in the town.
LISI Aerospace has donated the machines to Rugby College, which is part of college group WCG (Warwickshire College Group), to support the development and education of its engineering students.
Rugby College is currently delivering the Manufacturing and Design T-Level, which includes learning about concepts of design and additive manufacturing – for which 3D printers are an essential piece of equipment.
The donation from LISI Aerospace expands the college’s suite of 3D printers to six, and the college plans to create a dedicated computer-aided design (CAD) suite for students to design and print components.
LISI Aerospace, one the biggest employers in Rugby with 288 employees, is set to take on six T-Level placement students from the college. Its apprentices also study at the college.
Students from the college have also been given an opportunity to tour LISI Aerospace’s factory and find out more about the skills they are developing which can be used in the aerospace industry.
Kirstie Kennedy, Human Resources Manager at LISI Aerospace, and Martin Wilson, UAP Manager, delivered the 3D printers to the college and were given a tour of the college’s workshops and facilities by Simon Smithers, the Head of Department for Engineering.
Kirstie said: “The college supports the development of apprentices and we have T-Level students also starting with us, so we wanted to give back in some way.
“We have been upgrading our 3D printing capabilities and wanted to make sure our existing equipment continued to be of use. These printers have been used for tooling and back in Covid-19 helped us to create medical supplies such as nose clips for face masks.
“It’s vitally important that those in training are able to train in the use of 3D printers and develop the skills they will need to thrive in the working world.
“We’re proud to support our local economy. We believe it is crucial for businesses to support education and help to bring through the next generation of skilled individuals.”
Simon Smithers said the equipment would enable students to spend more time honing their additive manufacturing skills.
He said: “We are seeing an increase in students joining us to study on our engineering courses and it’s important to continue expanding our facilities to cater for that demand.
“We would like to thank LISI Aerospace for this generous donation and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the business.”