Founded 160 years ago, the University College Dublin (UCD) has made a unique contribution to the creation of modern Ireland. Comprising of six colleges broken into a range of disciplines, the University has stayed true to its founding philosophy "Creating a university that would benefit the wider world and encourages true enlargement of mind".
A diverse range of applications are produced within the School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy including architectural models, layered contour maps, display signage and more.
Due to the nature of the applications produced by students, UCD needed to find a reliable method of producing work. The majority of models made by students were created using manual workshop tools such as bandsaws, sanders and pillar drills. Students also had access to a ten-year old laser machine which had been poorly maintained and was slow and unreliable.
As well as being cumbersome to use, UCD didn't have a procedure in place to train students on how to use the machine or its dated software. The laser was presenting UCD with more project delays and problems than it was helpful or educational.
John O'Shea, technical officer at UCD discovered Trotec through online forums and word of mouth from his contacts. Having read positive reviews, John decided to find out more.
John visited Fab Lab Limerick where he saw a Speedy 360 laser cutter in action and after seeing what was possible, he booked a demonstration at Trotec's Dublin showroom. During the demonstration, John was shown the full range of Speedy lasers from the 100 to 400 by Trotec's area manager, but it was the Speedy 300 laser which was the ideal match for the school's requirements.
John found the Trotec experience excellent from his initial demonstration through post-sale. The accuracy of the laser allows for the fine details required in architectural model making to be realised with ease. The training that John received from Trotec's area manager also proved to be invaluable. John now trains the students who are then ready to use the laser in as little as a single session, with each student given a small card with common settings and questions which are laser engraved into waste materials as a keepsake.
"At our busy periods the machine is in constant use morning to evening. The speed of processing has meant we can get a lot more jobs through in that time and the ease of use along with accuracy enables faster operation and less wastage, especially important for us given the number of machine users and different projects going on at any one time."- John O'Shea - Technical Officer -