Bridging the manufacturing gap – VUT Enactus students receive training on 3D Printing technology prototype development
By: Selina Rapulane – 29 March 2023
On the week of 13 to 17 March, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT)’s Idea to Product (I2P) Lab held a skills development training session with VUT Enactus students. Over this period, the students were trained on making use of the 3D design software and 3D printing technology prototype development – overall, covering the process of conceptualizing, designing, planning, and commercializing a new product in an effort to take it to market.
The training was conducted by Ms Pako Magagane, a Product Designer at the I2P Lab.
The most important advantage of a prototype development is that it simulates the real and future product, while also helping attract customers to invest in the product before allocating any resources needed for implementation. Additionally, individuals can test the design’s accuracy before it comes into production and they can discover design errors in time.
“The 3D printing possibilities are endless, and additive manufacturing is already a driving force behind innovation across several industries. As the I2P team, we strive to share our knowledge with the public to ensure that everyone gets a chance to exercise their innovative personality and make a difference by coming up with solutions that will benefit the society, and that’s why we prioritize these trainings”, said Ms Pako Magagane.
Apart from learning about the concept – from idea generation to product development, the training empowered the students to think outside the box, locally conceptualize, define, develop and design their own solutions to problems as well as offer new ways of thinking about addressing their own local problems. It also assisted them to get a better idea of how a part or product will functionally work and thus enable them to make any iterations needed before committing to a single idea.
“The training was very informative. I learned that there’s a lot beyond just 3D Printing – it is something that everyone can do if they have a good mentor and resources. Our main objective as the VUT Enactus students was to come and receive training on 3D Printing, but we were given a chance to learn the process from start of the material to be used in printing, so that we can know our projects’ product”, commented Mr Junior Namaya: VUT Enactus Student.
The students’ follow up training will be on Computer Aided Design (CAD) and manufacturing, led by Mr Godfrey Nwanekah: I2P Lab Technician.
Enactus is a non-profit international organisation and a social enterprise that encompasses a global community of students, academics and business leaders. The organization is dedicated to motivating students to realise the sustainable development of society, the economy and environment through entrepreneurial endeavour.