20 March 2015 marked the launch of the brand new 3D Printing Academy at the Northlink Wingfield Campus. Present were representatives from industry, WCED, Northlink’s CEO, Leon Beech, along with his executive team and many other staff that witnessed the cutting of the ribbon and the launch of this new and innovative academy.
It is in this academy where all the ‘magic’ will be taking place, and the recipients of this technological advancement will be students, as well as lecturers from other TVET Colleges in the country. Northlink lecturers will be the providing training for this course which will enable students to study further in this new and exciting technological field of engineering.
3D printing is one of the latest technological developments to hit the market, and it is now possible to grow complex designs via technology and plastic.
Gerald Vollenhoven (WCED), was one of the key links who made the funding of this academy possible, “students need to be exposed to these technological innovations and learn how to become great artisans.”
3D Printing may sound easy but as witnessed, it is quite challenging to assume the process without knowledge. This process starts with programming the prototype on a personal computer with CAD software, thereafter the machine is set according to those specifications and the prototype comes to life in the transparent robot like box. Once a prototype has been tested the items go on to a large scale manufacturing line.
10 Printing machines made their way to the shores of Cape Town, “this is a first at our TVET Colleges and it is expected that this technology will grow exponentially in the future, not only in areas like Mechanical Engineering design but also in other disciplines such as boat building, civil and electrical engineering, aerospace, medical technology etc.” says Sandra Schmidt, Northlink College Wingfield Campus Manager.
Northlink will soon be training the other five technical vocational education and training (TVET) Colleges’ lecturers that they too will acquire the knowledge and will be able to use the machines. “Thank you to all the innovative role players who saw the need for such a forward thinking addition to the courses offered at Northlink, I wish you well and hope we grow from strength to strength,” said the CEO in conclusion.