Ap­pren­tices fly high with project

Stu­dents help cre­ate drone on 3D prin­ter

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ste­fanie McCourt

Yo u n g s t e r s o n an ap­pren­tice­ship en­gi­neer­ing course at New Col­lege La­nark­shire have been fly­ing high – with a 3D prin­ter drone project.

The stu­dents, from schools through­out North La­nark­shire, have been at­tend­ing the Mother­well cam­pus on a Foun­da­tion Ap­pren­tice­ship En­gi­neer­ing course.

Over the past six months, the ap­pren­tices have been learn­ing to use in­dus­try-lead­ing 3D de­sign soft­ware to pro­duce ini­tial drone con­cept pro­to­types.

They also worked through an elec­tronic de­sign phase, de­vel­op­ing prac­ti­cal skills in elec­tronic assem­bly.

Af­ter s e v e ra l p ra c t i c e attempts, the fin­ished drone was man­u­fac­tured us­ing 3D print­ers at the col­lege. The pupils have held test flights on the col­lege grounds, with the drone ca­pa­ble of reach­ing speeds of 160 miles per hour.

Their im­pres­sive ef­fort is now be­ing en­tered into a com­pe­ti­tion through the Air­gineers STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics) chal­lenge.

Steven He­witt, Cur­ricu­lum and Qual­ity Leader in the Elec­tri­cal, Man­u­fac­tur­ing and Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing Sec­tion, leads the project.

He said: “The Foun­da­tion Ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme is linked di­rectly to in­dus­try, with many in­dus­trial part­ners par­tic­i­pat­ing in sup­port­ing place­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­dus­try vis­its, talks and chal­lenges.

“Clans­man Dy­nam­ics and Cas­tle Pre­ci­sion are two of the in­dus­try part­ners who have de­liv­ered talks to the group, pro­vid­ing an over­view of in­dus­try, the work in which each com­pany are en­gaged, and the type of op­por­tu­ni­ties that could be avail­able in the fu­ture for the ap­pren­tices.”

He added: “The FA En­gi­neer­ing group have been work­ing on a drone project which en­gages the ap­pren­tices in de­sign, elec­tri­cal / elec­tronic en­gi­neer­ing and me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

“The drone project al­lows the in­te­gra­tion of the prac­ti­cal with the the­ory, mak­ing the skills de­vel­op­ment more en­joy­able and chal­leng­ing.”

The young ap­pren­tices will spend the Easter break vis­it­ing Clans­man Dy­nam­ics, Cas­tle Pre­ci­sion, Honey­well and IODS Pipe Clad for a range of demon­stra­tions and talks.

Fly­ing high Drone in ac­tion and the 3D print­ers used (left)

Top team New Col­lege La­nark­shire stu­dents

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