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Manufacturing designs of the future unveiled as course culminates to bridge industry skills gap

Design for Industry

Manufacturing prototypes designed by University of Tasmania University College students were showcased at an exhibition event held at the Tasmanian Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Burnie.

Presented on Friday, 5 May in partnership with the Department of State Growth and Tasmanian Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, the prototypes included consumer products, aquaculture devices, leisure equipment, 3D printed parts and digitally connected remote sensing systems.

The exhibition was the final component of a ten-week Design for Industry short course facilitated through the Cradle Coast campus.

The course was developed following extensive industry consultation with the Caterpillar Transition Taskforce which identified education and training in industrial design as a key need.

The Department of State Growth provided funding to support the development and delivery of the program with the aim of reskilling local manufacturing sector workers in capabilities related to advanced manufacturing and emerging technology industries.

Course designer Andrew Dickinson said the students had experienced a steep learning curve ranging from hand sketching ideas, to high-end technology culminating in the successful development of a range of innovative prototypes.

“The students had their eyes opened to key manufacturing techniques and technologies, knowledge they can now apply to create new value-added industrial products which support local manufacturing and jobs,” Mr Dickinson said.

“The course has been especially unique in that we have been teaching advanced manufacturing and sensor technology skills to tradespeople and small business owners, exposing them to things such as digital control integration, 3D printers and computer-aided design software inside the University’s CollabLab at West Park.

“To have the Design for Industry course culminate in a public exhibition is a significant opportunity for these students to showcase their innovation and creativity to industry as well as members of the community.”

Participant, Nathan King, Project Manager at Elphinstone said the course had significantly broadened his awareness of the different aspects to design, and said he applied at the suggestion of his employer because it complimented his work.

“In my workplace we have a lot of special manufacturing projects that require many different designs. With all the knowledge I have learned, I can apply this to explore and expand on many ideas and integrate these to deliver our customers a great design,” Mr King said.  

“There are many different things to consider when designing a product that I had never thought about. Now I know there is a process to follow and many ways to make prototypes with minimal expense.

“During the course, I learned how to hand sketch in 3D perspective, how to draw and model items in AutoCad and Inventor, and how to program open source technology – also known as Arduino boards.

“The prototype I have developed is a remote weighing system that assesses the weight of an item and converts it into a unit value. I designed it with my workplace in mind so that I could measure the amount of wire left in a storage drum without having to remove it.

“It uses programmed electronics to send data to a website which I also created, and this can be checked by anyone at any time.”

Published on: 05 May 2017 10:04pm