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Commonwealth Games athletes 3D printed at Abertay

25 June 2014


Drawings made by school pupils of Commonwealth Games athletes have been turned into 3D printed models at Abertay University.

P6 pupils from Birkhill Primary School had a chance to draw portraits of Sian Bruce (2014 Clay Shooter), Drew Christie (Delhi 2010 Skeet Shooter) and Iain McGregor (Scotland Shooting Coach).

Three of the drawings were then turned into 3D computer models by David Connely and Mike Nicholson, students on Abertay University’s Professional Masters in Game Development, a postgraduate course aimed at developing industry-ready graduates. Abertay staff Gerry High and Ken Fee used the university's 3D printer to create plastic sculptures from these digital files.

The three pupils whose drawings were selected to become 3D models are Birkhill Primary P6 pupils Megan Lees, Ella MacMaster and Eleanor Williams.

Councillor Jeanette Gaul, Chair of the Angus Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said: “As proud host venue for the Commonwealth Games, it’s extra special to us that local athletes Sian and Drew could come along to participate in this project.

“Sian along with Scotland Coach Iain McGregor and Drew Christie have been working with local primary schools in Angus on various different projects in the lead up to Glasgow 2014.

“Currently they are all out of the country competing in Hungary but they have sent us their best wishes for today and the unveiling of the 3D sculptures.

“They are very excited to see the finished results of this project and are looking forward to the work being displayed at the Commonwealth Games civic reception in Carnoustie on 20 July and also at the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations in Montrose on Saturday 28 June.”

Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: “It’s great to see the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games inspiring children’s creativity right across Scotland.

“Getting primary school children excited about their school subjects and sport is incredibly important, as it’s such a formative age for preparing them to be successful, confident adults.

“Every pupil who’s taken part in this project has had the chance to meet international sport stars and get a glimpse of Dundee’s thriving computer games industry, which they could easily be part of in a few years’ time.”

The 3D printer works by analysing digital models and slicing them into hundreds of very thin layers, each of which is only fractions of a millimetre high.

The printer then uses a nozzle to draw molten plastic onto a small base plate to recreate each layer, with the base plate dropping very slightly after each one is complete.

At the end of this process, several hundred layers of plastic have been stacked on top of one another, resulting in the finished plastic sculpture.

The Barry Buddon Shooting Centre in Angus is hosting the shooting competitions for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, from 25-29 July. The shooting disciplines represented at the Games are Clay Target, Full Bore, Pistol and Small Bore.

The XX Commonwealth Games opens on 23 July.


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