The Makerspace is open to all students, with the aim of aiding teaching and learning as well as research. The MakerSpace environment allows innovative students to ideate and establish products ideal for larger markets, enhancing the university’s technology transfer successes. One such product involving technology transfer was the Kli-pi project.
Over the past several months, the MakerSpace has worked closely with an ingenious lecturer, Dr. R. Punchoo, to develop best methods and practices by using 3D technologies in new ways.
FIRST Global is a 21st century response to a world in need of a motivated generation of young adults who are ready to tackle global challenges. The goal is to ensure that the next generation of students can tackle the unique problems that we are facing or will be facing, by supporting them in the pursuit of fulfilling and rewarding careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.
3D printing is a well-established industrial technology for prototyping and manufacturing, with applications in multiple disciplines. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is the process of creating a solid 3D object from a digital computer aided design (CAD) file. This is achieved by adding successive layers of material together until the final object has been created. Within the MakerSpace there is a focus on using Polylactic Acid (PLA), due its versatility as well as the biodegradable nature of the material.
Surgical operations should be prepared for before being performed. Standard training equipment does not always allow the surgeon to the specificities of the patient’s body or specific repair area. Usually, this comprehensive knowledge is acquired by training on human cadavers in preclinical studies in medical school and gains in accuracy during real surgeries. At the moment, doctors are using 2D and 3D visualization on a computer to understand the anatomic details of their patients.
The potential benefits of using 3D content in supporting students to understand difficult concepts has not yet been fully realised across all subject disciplines, although there are some which are actively engaging their students in 3D content and it is certainly a growing interest area. Simulation allows learners to experience artefacts or resources that aren't normally available to them, whether it be due to their being in an inaccessible location or the item being in a fragile condition.
In the pursuit of advancing malaria research and sustainable control, investigation into customized tools and techniques with technologies such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing was conducted. The goal was to further and advance techniques by creating ancillary tools to test and distribute samples for malaria testing. With the help of 3D modelling and prototypes, the MakerSpace with the Malaria Parasite Molecular Laboratory, a Division of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology created diffusers as well as equipment for improved testing.
Within the veterinary sciences, advances are constantly being discovered. However, there are certain limitations when conducting research, especially on teeth of uncommon animals which are not common household pets, such as lions. In this regard, the Makerspace was consulted on potential mechanisms and technologies which could help alleviate these limitations.
Since its inception in 2015, the Makerspace 3D printing facility has expanded to address the growing needs of students and staff. This is particularly true as this technology is becoming more accessible, especially with the movement of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This movement has ensured that the application of this additive manufacturing technology is expanding across all disciplines. Lecturers have through their enhanced understanding of this technology, identified needs of teaching and learning methods to apply this technology in their courses across various disciplines.
3D scanning is the process of analysing a physical object and creating a digital representation of its dimensions. This is done by using special 3D scanners to collect data from the object. This data and its collection are dependent on several variables including colour, environment, light, textures and size. The collected data is then used to generate digital 3D models computationally. There is an array of 3D scanners available which are based on many different technologies, each with its own limitations, advantages and costs.