3D printing becomes part of science at Deakin University (+7 photos)

Showcases the collision between art and science
Lionel Dean's (School of Design at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK) 3D printed art exhibition.

Lionel Dean's (School of Design at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK) 3D printed art exhibition.

Deakin University is all set to showcase the collision between art and engineering at the inaugural Design Technology Conference in Geelong. But what’s special about this showcase is that the exhibitions merge the fields of design, technology and engineering.

About 70 researchers and experts worldwide in the fields of design, technology, engineering and education will gather this week to showcase to industry partners the possibilities of integrating design and science.

Some of the displays will include a 3D printed art exhibition from studio artist, Lionel Dean’s UK-based Future Factories; a 3D printed electric guitar from Sweden’s professor Olaf Diegel; smartphone-enabled police-grade breathalysers, designed by New York’s Alcohoot start-up; and design and engineering expert from Colombia, Carolina Alzate, who redefined packaging and branding for the local market using global resources.

Conference host and Deakin University engineering school head, professor Guy Littlefair, said the three-day event at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Geelong campus is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will highlight why engineers need to move into the world of designers, with real world outcomes in mind, when they devise solutions to problems.

“Deakin is leading the charge in Australia, thanks to our new Centre for Advanced Design Engineering Training, which is redefining how engineering is taught, preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century through an end to theory-based, learning in place real-world problem-solving in partnership with industry from the beginnings of their degrees through to PhDs,” he mentioned.

Professor Littlefair also said design must be a major consideration in the future of all technology solutions, as no longer can engineers expect to focus on the science of an application without considering the design outcomes.

“We live in an era which has never been more competitive, with consumers demanding smarter products to suit their specific needs, and 3D printing technology is one example that has the power to address mass-customised, smarter and more functional solutions.

“Similarly, designers can no longer focus only on aesthetics, ergonomics or form, but must consider the purpose of their product and ensure it includes smart functionality and the necessary technology to meet these demands – whether that be within industry, or the community,” he added.