Schools in Dudley and then Loughborough University
8 GCSE O levels, 4 A Levels, Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering
A student apprentice, then a design/development engineer, and then an engineering manager/project leader over a 34 year period at Jaguar Cars (which became Jaguar Land Rover in 2003).
Taking 3D printing into education, and showing what 3D printing can do by printing new and exciting things
Me and my work
Passionate about 3D Printing and all of the exciting possibilities that it’s opening up
I got my Ultimaker 2 3D printer at the end of January 2014 and have been fascinated by how it works and what it can do ever since. It has so many applications in all areas of life, and what’s really great is that so many of them are probably still waiting to be discovered. The Ultimaker motto is “Imagine It, Make It”, and it’s so true – only your imagination limits you to what you can do with 3D printing.
I really believe that those who are in education at the moment are the ones who will truly find out all of the exciting possibilities that this technology has to offer, in the meantime I see it as my job to show you how it works and some examples of where it’s currently being used, and then give you some initial ideas of what you can do with it. The rest will be down to you…………..
My Typical Day
3D Printing in the morning, then 3D Printing in the afternoon, followed by some more 3D Printing in the evening (sorry, does that sound a bit obsessive..?)
Only joking in the summary, but I do find myself spending a lot of the day 3D printing. I think 3D printing “rocks”, as you can see by the classic new wave/punk rock album covers hanging on the wall above my printer……
I spend some of my day searching out opportunities to show what 3D printing can do in education whilst the printer is running. I am listed as a 3D Printing Hub on www.3dhubs.com so sometimes people submit files for me to print. I also help out Ultimaker GB by carrying out test prints for people to see if 3D printing can do what they want before they go ahead and buy one. I’ve just completed a large 3D print of a part of the human anatomy for a teaching hospital to help with improving cancer treatment. The almost completed model, with the final part of it being printed is shown here. (I don’t suppose you can guess what part of the body it is though…..)
I have been spending a lot of time recently printing very large scale models in small sections that I then put together using the skills I learned in my mechanical engineering apprenticeship. I made the 3D printed model that features in the third 2014 RI Christmas Lecture to be shown on BBC4 at 8pm on 31st December. I am now printing something even larger that will go on display at an international exibition in the first week of 2015.
I suppose in summary my whole day is spent investigating what 3D printing can do to show the wider world what an incredible, versatile and imaginative way of making things it can be, and how it can be used to improve lives. The most inspirational 3D printing I’ve done this year is a working prosthetic hand that can be custom-made to fit a person and then improve the quality of their life for a fraction of the cost involved using traditional methods.
3D Printing really can do life-changing stuff !!!
What's your favourite food?
I love spicy food, so it would have to be a chilli-infused Indian curry
What invention amazes you the most?
3D Printing (……..what else could I say?)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Driving on a frozen lake in Canada when I was winter testing Jaguar cars. (As an engineer product testing is very important and can be really good fun)
What did you want to be after you left school?
An engineer designing and developing cars – I’m very happy to say I got my wish
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
I’d like to be a landscape photographer – taking photos + great scenery = bliss
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Leading the team that engineered all four doors on the latest Jaguar XJ and Range Rover vehicles (and spending tens of millions of pounds in doing it)
What or who inspired you to become an engineer?
The fantastic styling, design work and engineering that went into a Jaguar such as the fabulous E-Type
Who is your favourite singer or band?
The Jam and Paul Weller
If I could change one thing about the world...
I’m fed up with the world “falling out” with itself – if we could stop that it would be great
My favourite CHRISTMAS LECTURE memory is:
Being involved with this year’s Christmas Lecture and 3D printing a young girl called Isla. It was very emotional for me when she was presented with it, especially as I’ve been watching these lectures ever since I was a young, aspiring engineer myself.
If you could do anything, how would you hack your home?
I’d like to be able to press a button inside the house that defrosts all of the glass on the car on these cold winter mornings. No more scraping or spraying de-icer and a much safer start to your journey.
Give us a hack we can do at home!
Buy a string of LED lamps from a pound store and turn them into a display (I’ve just done that myself)