STEM Bus visits St Paul’s

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 Pictured are key stage three pupils from St Paul’s, being shown a demonstration on how one of the machines work. 

Key Stage three and Key Stage four pupils visited the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Bus recently and were given an awareness of what can be achieved in the areas of Engineering and Technology with the aid of CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture).

Machines demonstrated were:

  1. CNC  – used to engrave or cut wood and metal.
  2. Laser Cutter – used to cut out a Key fob in acrylic with a hole in it and a name etched on the surface.
  3. 3D Printer – used to manufacture products or model prototypes by layering plastic to build up the product.
  4. Ink Printer – to imbed names/logos onto the surface of a ceramic mug.
  5. Computer controlled Lathe – used to make a screw in brass with an M10 thread.

The type of method or process used for manufacturing products depends on the following:

  • Quantity: for example – a one off, a small batch or mass production of thousands/millions.
  • Will the design or product need to be made again?
  • How often is the design going to be changed?
  • The material being used.
  • Is it a prototype? 

Students were also engaged to consider the advantages and disadvantages of such methods of production against ‘manual’ ways.

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