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Hong Kong Polytechnic University Introduces 3D Printing

The Industry and System Engineering Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University has a long history in Hong Kong, which provides distinctive inter-discipline and comprehensive discipline knowledge, focuses on basic knowledge and practices of the engineering, provides students and faculty teams with the most excellent facilities in the whole Asia-Pacific area, and is dedicated to development of qualities and competitive capabilities of students in different fields. The Industry and System Engineering Department introduces 3D printing technology to popularize knowledge of design and manufacturing of 3D printing, improve thinking ability of students, identify relation between production and design, and provides students with more options in knowledge fields and future development.

The Industry and System Engineering Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University focuses on training of the engineering foundation and knowledge practices. The school and department frequently lead students to deeply discuss and understand the design and actual application solution in the engineering projects. To further enable students to know the latest technology in the industry manufacturing, the Industry and System Engineering Department introduces 6 Tiertime UP Plus 2 desktop 3D printers, which are deployed at Wudalun Digital Plant and are used in the teaching, student research and practices, regular seminars and workshop.

After 3D printers are set up, the Industry and System Engineering Department adds many training courses on 3D printing knowledge and actual practice activities in order to extend student’s development. Technicians can apply 3D printing technology to more fields, which can improve specialty level and efficiency.

Doctor Lu Guangyu, a full-time tutor from the Industry and System Engineering Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University said, “Now students from our department can print their engineering design models by using their 3D printer without the need of making models at the special plants. Some materials will be wasted unavoidably in the past during making and reverse mold. Now the 3D printer can print on demand, so it can save money and protect environment.”

Doctor Lu Guangyu pointed out, “Students can print models by themselves, and so it can improve efficiency much and make students pay more time and attention to design concepts of products. Some workmanship was required when a model was made by using the traditional workmanship in the past, so most students were male. With 3D printing technology, now the number of the male students is approximate to the female students.” Lu Guangyu said that the 3D printing could be popularized into the school and department due to decreasing price of the 3D printer and help from the DTSL Group as a copartner of Tiertime.

Besides time and cost saving, for students, another highlight of the 3D printing is to make students truly test feasibility of their product design in actual production, so they can know relation between product design and actual production. “The design likes a Pegasus. A designer can draw a product design breaching the gravity rule on a PC”, said by the doctor Lu, “When we see the unproven products designed by students from other design schools, we can instantly determine that the products can not be produced. Our students can print their designed products by themselves, so they can know how to balance manufacturing workmanship and design.”

Doctor Lu showed a U flash disk like a small chicken and introduced that this product was from a student in the department. This work could not be shaped one time by using a traditional reverse mold workmanship due to locking at the chicken wing. The 3D printing can easily solve this problem, so students deeply understand benefits of the 3D printing.

The knowledges of the common use of the 3D printer isn’t a problem. The UP Plus 2 of Tiertime is a desktop 3D printer, which is very easy to operate, and has automatic height adjustment and calibration system and intelligent support algorithm. This product provides humanized operation software, so operators can quickly grasp and familiarize operation of this printer. “Now the youth can accept new things quickly. Less time and cost is required for training”, doctor Lu said, “We hope to make more persons know benefits of the 3D printing, assist learning of students, even assist employment in future. I believe that the 3D printing will be used in the life and become the necessity at home in future.”

The Industry and System Engineering Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University not only trains their students, but also hosts the Open Day and Summer Camp at the university to teach the knowledges on 3D printing, hosts the 3D printing match, and attracts more students from some middle schools. Huang Jisheng, a representative of the champion team in the “Originality Production Design and 3D Printing” match of the Summer Camp, said that the Summer Camp activity made him know untouchable knowledge and skills, deepened his understanding on the engineering, and identified his development direction in future. He said, “He can experience the engineering design and manufacturing process and develop in the engineering field in future.”