The 3D printing facility is a major part of the Digital Innovation Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. The 3D printing service, powered by Hobs On-Site, gives all students and staff free access to all of the high-end software needed to prepare 3D files plus the state-of-the-art hardware needed for printing. It was envisioned that mostly architecture students would be using the facility to create 3D prints of their designs, but many other users have been discovered. One such explorer is Professor Keith Brown who has been using 3D printing to create fine art sculptures from digital concepts.
Professor Brown commented "The integration of Hobs' 3D Printing facilities into MMU's Digital Innovation Centre has proved to be a welcome initiative in bridging the gap between academia and the private sector. Having spent some time in the Centre over the past months, preparing my own work for 3D colour printing, I have found Hobs to be friendly, helpful, very knowledgeable, and above all they exude a contagious enthusiasm and obvious passion for their profession; ever ready to advise and assist on the production of their 3D work."
Preparing CAD models for 3D printing invariably requires further file manipulation, to search for and fix any errors in preparation for conversion into printer code. Professor Brown continued "There's a great deal more to it than simply clicking on the 'print job' button. Hobs offers a highly professional technical service to assist with any issues and ensure a successful outcome. Their resident staff offer a wide range of expert skills, not just in the 3D print and post-production processes, but also an advanced understanding of most popular CAD applications."