Jets™ donates 3D printer to Ålesund Technical College
(Monday, December 23, 2013)
Christmas came early to Ålesund Technical College in Norway this year. On December 17th, its staff received a very special Christmas present, which will improve the school’s educational facilities considerably: an industrial 3D printer worth approximately NOK 500,000 (USD $85,000).
Top photo: Reidar Lied from Ålesund Technical College (left) demonstrates plastic components with movable parts made by a 3D printer, alongside Jan Helge Skomsøy and Olav Hofseth from Jets Vacuum. (Photo courtesy of Torill Myren/Sunnmørsposten)
Ålesund Technical College did not have sufficient funds to purchase its own 3D printer, even though it has literally been on the wish list for a long time. With this gift from Jets Vacuum, the training offered in subjects such as structural engineering is greatly enhanced:
- This enables a higher level of education, and increases the skill level of our student body. We are immensely grateful for this donation, says Reidar Lied, who is head of teaching at the college. With 3D printing capability finally in place, he can now train his students on the same type of printer used by industrial companies nationwide for so called “rapid prototyping”.
Upgrade causes ripple effects
The opportunity to give the 3D printer to the college presented itself when Jets Vacuum upgraded to a newer printer with greater capacity. Suddenly the company had an extra printer, that could benefit someone else.
- We thought about it for a while, and realized that Ålesund Technical College would be a good, new home for this machine. Even though we have replaced it with a newer and larger model, it is far from outdated. It will be excellent for educational purposes. The important thing is that the students familiarize themselves with the unique possibilities that 3D printing carries with it, says Jets Vacuum R&D Engineer Jan Helge Skomsøy.
From drawing to plastic part in hours
R&D Director Tor Rønnestad at Jets Vacuum uses 3D printing extensively to make plastic prototypes, in development processes leading up to serial production. He knows first-hand how useful these printers are:
- 3D printing is an invaluable tool in the development of new components. We are able to print parts with great accuracy, featuring details which would be very hard to model in any other way. Furthermore, the printing process is very fast – we move from a CAD drawing on a computer screen to a finished plastic part in a matter of hours. We are really excited that we are now able to give Ålesund Technical College access to the same technology that has been so beneficial to us.