Day 3

Plenary Session
Topic: 3D Printing

Key Learning Points:

  • 3D printing is used for many things, and can help improve today's technology
    • For example:
      • Manufacturing hearing aids
      • Spare parts
      • Bioprinting helps in the medical field
      • Fashion
      • Decoration
  • The programs used to do 3D printing are very flexible. They can re-size, re-shape and re-model the entire 3D model.
    • For example, a doctor has 2 patients with broken left kneecaps, but the breaks are in different areas. He can easily use infra-red scanning to get a mould of the kneecap of each patient, and customize them to suit the patient's needs. He then prints out the artificial kneecap, and he can test it out!
  • There are different printers for different purposes, and because of that, they use different materials.
  • They can build large-scale objects like houses, cars and ecetera.
  • You can always print machinery in small parts, so that when they wear out, they can be replaced by printing another piece of that particular part.

How did I feel about the NTU-SST Flagship Programme?

The projects have indeed widened my views on the world around me, as I see more than what is on the surface of everything. This topic has shown me the magnified version of our world. In this universe, we have to zoom so far in to see our galaxy, and then zoom in even more to see our planet, Earth, and so much more just to see our country, Singapore, and even more to see our school, SST, and then finally, again, to see us. 

What makes us? The answer is: cells. So what do we do next? We zoom in on the cells. Bacteria are prokaryotic unicellular organisms, so tiny that only when they cluster in the hundreds, the thousands, the millions, then do we realise their existence, and acknowledge it. How can we miss out the very things that are in us, around us, and on us? We have lost sight of the smaller things in life. Literally. This project has taught me never to ignore the existence of these unicellular organisms. Like the Chinese saying, 团结就是力量, or strength in numbers, when many of these organisms form a colony, they can be harmful, as well as helpful.


Thoughts on the programme:

To be honest, I thought that the Digital Painting project was much cooler, and I would have liked to go for that project instead. Of course, I would love to make the suggestion that students may have at most three projects that they can do, over the span of an entire week(6 days project+1 day plenary session). I think that most students, like me, would have enjoyed the experience much better if they could take more than one project. They could have much more exposure to the main topics of the programme, which are technology and science, with the three-project rule. However, if they take more than one, they would have to choose to participate in only one project "competition". This would relieve the stress upon both the professors and students alike, as they do not have so much work to do. 

If you did not bother to read the above, let me summarise what I said. Basically, students can choose up to 3 projects, but only one main one(to participate as a presenter), and two side ones(no presentation) over the course of 6 days, with 1 day plenary session. 

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