Students invited to use 3D printing in COVID fight

Pandemic Products, a learning challenge co-developed by Manchester Metropolitan University, sees pupils design and build their own virus-defeating devices

Manchester Metropolitan University is challenging school children to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 by building their own 3D print designs.

Students aged 8-15 are being offered a curriculum-friendly lesson plan, Pandemic Products, wherein teaching on how viruses are spread by surface contact is supplemented by the learning of digital manufacturing skills.

The initiative has been developed by Manchester Met’s manufacturing hub, PrintCity, in tandem with 3D printing curriculum developer, PrintLab.

“Over the last couple of months, it has been inspiring to see how quickly designers, engineers and manufacturers have responded to the efforts against COVID-19,” said PrintCity’s Mark Chester.

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One innovation from PrintCity staff is ARMie (pictured above)  a 3D-printed device that attaches to a door or drawer handle and enables it to be opened with a forearm rather than hand, minimising the risk of contamination.


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Pupils taking up the Pandemic Products challenge will be invited to assemble ARMie themselves, before using their learning to design their own version.

“We are keen to see the next generation learn from this,” added Chester, “and feel that this free resource provides a fantastic platform for students to learn new skills around design and additive manufacturing, which can then be applied to the current pandemic.”

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