TiE's first networking event of 2016 was held last Wednesday at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC) at University of New South Wales. The MCIC was established by an endowment from Michale Crouch who is the CEO of Zip Industries - an organisation that created the "boiling water" tap.
Everyone assembled for a quick tour of the workshop where we saw the laser cutter, computer controlled stitching machine, a rack of 3-D printers, and even an old-fashioned soldering iron. Abe and two students helped us to create two things: a lamp and 3d model. Here you can see us watching the rack of 3d printers doing their work.
The first item was a lamp. The lamp is made from a piece of Perspex which was cut by a laser cutter (making a strong burning smell) and a 3-D printed lampshade. The 3-D printer printed four lampshades at a time they had to be broken apart and joined the nut and bolt to the stand. An LED was used for a lamp and was connected by two wires to a battery. For some delegates it was the first time they had used a soldering iron when they joined the wires to the LEDs. The only thing that has changed since my time as an Electrical and Electronic Engineer is the type of solder - there is no longer any lead in the solder.
Once the 3-D printer had finished printing I took the opportunity to try and print something else. As you can see from the picture I printed to dinosaurs at the same time. The picture shows one dinosaur with the scaffolding removed. What was interesting was that although both dinosaurs were printed by the same printer at the same time next to each other, the scaffolding was different. I have included a close-up of the dinosaurs so you can see the different layers and scaffolding before it was removed. These dinosaurs took about an hour and half to print and are hollow but without any hole that water could get in – floating dinosaurs!
Here you can see Abe giving a short lesson on how to solder (and not burn yourself). The time flew by and it was not until 9 o’clock, some three hours after we arrived, that everyone left clutching their lump. It was a great day of networking and discovering how to use this equipment.
A big thank you to everyone at the Michael Crouch innovation Centre for making is us all so welcome. And how best to finish this note with a comment from one of TiE Sydney's newest members:
"Being new to TiE Sydney I can't compare the workshop at UNSW to other TiE Events. However it set a terrific benchmark. It was a great way to meet other members and learn more about what can be done with a 3D printer. Being the only teacher amongst a number of engineers it was clear that I was the only person finding the soldering a little tricky!!! Engaging and inspriring."