Within the school's workshop students create a range of architectural applications including maps, architectural models, signage and awards. While a number of tools are used to create the models, the main production method was using two laser engraving machines.
However, the laser machines proved to be a source of frustration for students and staff alike. With a large number of students competing for time on the lasers, the limitations of the machines' processing capabilities soon became apparent. Due to the nature of their applications, and time restrictions of the only being able to utilise the lasers during class time, students found it hard to achieve what they wanted to using the machines.
Alongside the limited processing capabilities, the technical support the university received from their laser supplier was also lacking. When an engineer was required to fix their lasers they would often be required to wait up to 8 weeks for a visit, rendering the machines out of action for that time.
These complications led to Laura Mason, workshop manager at the University, to begin searching for a more efficient laser machine that would offer greater application flexibility and meet the demands of the students.