18 June 2021 

Primary school pupils across the region have been learning how to use 3D printer technology thanks to a new course from Fife College.

The STEM Technologies course is being run through the School College Partnership, and teaches pupils how to capture 2D imagery and convert it into 3D models which can then be printed using 3D printers.

The College and Fife Council Economic Development have purchased four 3D printers each for the course, allowing eight primary schools to take part with the lessons being delivered online.

More and more products are being designed on computers and 3D printed using advanced technologies, fuelling future demand for highly skilled workers within the computing and technology fields.

The aim of the course is to introduce learners to potential future technology careers, with many career fields now harnessing this technology including manufacturing, architecture, engineering, biomedical, film and television. 

All lessons contain practical, hands on activities, culminating in the production of a customised, 3D printed item for each pupil.

Rebecca Blyth, the Academic and Quality Manager in the Computing and Technologies Department at Fife College said:

“We’re so pleased to see pupils enjoying this new course and learning more about the 3D printing process.

“Technology is changing the way we live and work, and techniques such as 3D modelling and printing will no doubt be a key part of many jobs in the future.

“A whole host of different industries are already using it, and we wanted to provide children across Fife the opportunity to understand more about this technology and how to use it.

“Our course allows students to learn how to make their own creations, from drawing and modelling all the way through to printing their own 3D creation.

“At Fife College we understand how important STEM skills will be to our economy. It is fundamental we help inspire youngsters into learning more about this area."

Sharyn Robus, a teacher at Duloch Primary School said:

“It’s wonderful seeing the kids learn more about this new technology and having fun with it at the same time.

“The course is really hands-on, allowing them to get involved with every stage of the creation of their 3D model and understand the full process behind it.

“Our hope is that by taking courses such as this our pupils might be inspired to learn more about computing and technology as they continue through their school journey.

“I know many of them have enjoyed the lessons, and have been delighted that they can take their own creation home with them afterwards as a reminder of what they’ve learned.”

Ann Camus, the Enterprise and Business Development Manager at Fife Council Economic Development said:

“3D printers have so much potential as the technology driving them continuously improves.

"This initiative which, to date, has been rolled out in eight Fife primary schools, has given young people the opportunity to not only be creative, but to inspire and to understand the advantages that 3D printing can offer businesses.

"It is these skill sets that we must continue to develop, to ensure our young people succeed.”

Photograph: Duloch Primary School Pupil, Lewis Spence, is pictured using the 3D printing equipment.