A Big Day Out for 3D printing at the Scottish Parliament



Heriot-Watt researchers and their 3D printers inspired children and adults alike, when the Scottish Parliament opened their doors for the official opening of the 5th Session of Parliament.

It was great to see both children and adults fascinated by the 3D printers.
Dr Stephen Mansell

Two research groups from EPS were invited to be part of the Science and Innovation Zone at Holyrood's Big Day Out, an event which attracted a large audience.

Dr Stephen Mansell, Assistant Professor in the Schools of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and his team showcased how they use 3D printing to make 3D models of molecules. Scaling them up from nanometres to centimetres allows them to get a feel for what they look like in 3D and helps them show our work to the non-specialist. “The Scottish Parliament was a fantastic setting to show how we use 3D printing at Heriot-Watt University for many different purposes. It was great to see both children and adults fascinated by the 3D printers whirring away as well as the many possibilities of using 3D printing in the not-so-distant future!”

One example was the 3D bioprinter, shared by Dr Will Shu and his team. The printer is part of a project use 3D printing technologies with live stem cells, reducing the need for animal testing. Their interactive exhibit generated great interest, showcasing genuine life-changing opportunities to all ages and potentially inspiring the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers.

The event was organised by Heriot-Watt Engage.