An engineer whose company donated a 3D printer to a school hopes it will inspire the next generation of creative thinkers.
Andrew Baldwin from Parker Kittiwake visited The Angmering School in Station Road to donate the equipment and did a demonstration for students, printing off a small plastic robot.
The £2,500 printer was used at the Littlehampton-based company, which makes equipment to monitor ship engines, to design prototypes.
It has been replaced a newer version so the printer was donated to the school.
Mr Baldwin, who has worked there for 15 years, said it was all about getting students excited about engineering to combat a ‘skill shortage’ in the UK industry.
He said: “We need scientists and engineers and with this we have the opportunity to capture kids’ imaginations.
“For those who have that flair for creativity, you need to capture that and foster it otherwise it might go to waste.
“As an engineering company, it is all about inspiring the next generation of engineers and getting them interested for the future.”
The 3D printer works by applying thin layers of melted plastic on top of each other to create different structures.
Computer software is used to design the objects beforehand.
We need scientists and engineers and with this we have the opportunity to capture kids’ imaginationsAndrew Baldwin
This model, manufactured by Ultimaker, makes objects that are up to six inches square in size, such as 3D puzzles, and it takes between two and ten hours.
Mr Baldwin said waiting for it to print was like ‘the anticipation of unwrapping a present’ and reminded him of getting photographs developed at the chemists: “It isn’t a fast process, but the magic is you press go and come back in the morning and it has appeared.”
Jon McNamara, engineering teacher at The Angmering School, said: “We are so grateful to accept the 3D printer which will be used in Key Stage three, four and five lessons.
“Designs we would not normally be able to attempt will now be possible. Thank you to Parker Kittiwake for this generous donation and we look forward to showing them in the future the items they have inspired the students to make.”