Children from St Ann’s Primary School in St Helens have been working with University of Liverpool engineers to design and build a model of the Anfield roof truss using the Ultimaker desktop 3D Printers.
The truss, which is giant metal structure weighing in at 650 tonnes, is a key feature in the redesign of Liverpool FC’s iconic Anfield Stadium and the latest addition to the Liverpool skyline.
The Year 5 pupils were tasked with designing and building a model of the truss using an Ultimaker 2 3D Printer provided on loan by the CREATE Education Project to help fabricate the 196 individual parts of the structure. These were carefully assembled in stages until the final truss was complete.
3D Printing – also known as additive manufacturing – involves successive layers of material being formed under computer control to create an object. It is transforming the field of engineering, as well as many other fields, including education, archaeology, bio-printing and even food printing.
University Engineers, Drs Andrew Green and Diane Taktak, who undertook the project with St Ann’s School, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to introduce the kids at St Ann’s to the latest technology and concepts in the field of engineering using the new truss at Anfield stadium as a real life example. They all really enjoyed the project – whether they were Liverpool, Everton or Man Utd supporters.”
Stacey McDowell, Year 5 class teacher at St Ann’s, said
“The children loved being part of a Liverpool themed project- especially the boys! It gave each of our Design and Technology lessons a real purpose and it provided the children with hands on experiences that relate to the real world.”
The students also enjoyed the activities:
‘The Anfield Project was a lot of fun. Not just because I am a Liverpool fan, but also because it made learning exciting.’ Owen, Year 5
‘The truss was challenging to make but it showed us the importance of trial and error when it comes to making something like this.’ Holly, Year 5
‘I liked that we were able to link it to maths. Working out the correct ratio and measurements was tricky to do but I really enjoyed it.’ Lucy, Year 5
‘The 3D printer was the best bit for me. It was amazing to be able to programme it and then watch it create our dies.’ Ryan, Year 5
This pilot project was partly funded by the Institution of Civil Engineers. The team from the University’s School of Engineering are keen to build on this success and are seeking funding to expand the project to include other primary and secondary schools in the region. Please contact Dr Diane Taktak on firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to find out more about this activity, or if you would like to hear more about the Ultimaker CREATE Education Project loan scheme then contact Michelle at email@example.com.