First year students are given hands on experience in using metal forming and cutting machines with the close supervision and help from technicians. This gives students a basic understanding of what the machines are capable of. Also an overview of application and suitable use of various materials and manufacturing techniques.
Workshop technicians play an active roll in student teaching labs, both at the design stage and subsequent manufacture of student projects.
Students find this interactive contact with the technicians helpful in the early stages of projects as practical restraints in terms of what materials are available or suitable for parts, limitations of machine capabilities can be addressed and design changes made.
Various projects such as a Rolling Ruler, Air Engine, Model Bridges, are made by students in the workshops as individual work or in collaboration as a project team.
An awareness of the design and manufacturing process is gained in the development of these projects, and also the constraints and limitations that materials and manufacturing techniques impose.