Unique Partnership Creates Local Opportunities for 3D Design

People aged 17-25 on a vocational training programme with YMCA Cork & Cobh are set to benefit from an Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer

Young people aged 17-25 on a vocational training programme with YMCA Cork and Cobh in the Republic of Ireland are set to benefit from an Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer as part of an unique partnership between industry, social enterprise and community expertise.

The partnership provides training to youth workers and young people on 3D design and printing. The partnership is led by TechSpace, which supports communities across Ireland through a shared creative learning network, with advice from DesignerDojo, which provides 3D modelling and printing resources. The partnership is supported by Stryker, a leading medical technology company.

TechSpace and DesignerDojo delivered a 2 day workshop on 3D design and printing skills to 14 participants YMCA Cork. Young people fabricated 3D models of their heads, learned to use Tinkercad and took part in a design challenge. The group also visited Stryker’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.

While none of the young people had accessed 3D activities prior to the workshop, afterwards 40% of participants stated that they were interested in pursuing internships and career experience related to the area.

“It was a great 2 days and I learnt so much”, said Emma, aged 20, from Cobh YMCA. “At the start I didn’t think that I would enjoy it and be good at it, but now I really do think I have learnt so much and I am confident about how to use 3D and would be glad to do it all again and actually to pursue a career in 3D printing.” 

For James Bilson, STEP coordinator and general secretary at Cobh YMCA, “This sort of technology is what is shaping the world of employment for current learners. We can integrate 3D design and print to our course as it impacts on so many areas of their studies such as communication skills, customer service, enterprise and digital media. It has given these young people a very real insight into what is possible.”

YMCA Cork is a member of TechSpace, a national movement that aims to change the lives of young people in Ireland by becoming the leading creative technology network for outcome-focused youth development.

TechSpace trains educators to facilitate digital media and STEAM activities with young people to build confidence and 21st century skills. Over 60 TechSpaces have sprung up in youth organisations for young people to gain experience on a variety of creative technology projects, including electronics, soldering, robotics, film, photography, music and game design.

According to Jen Hesnan, TechSpace coordinator, “partnering with Stryker has enabled us to provide educators with skills and support around outcome-focused 3D design and printing activities. Plans to expand these activities to the wider TechSpace creative learning network will enable youth organisations to inspire young people to confidently create their future.”

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