Hwa Chong Institution (High School)
Projects Competition 2015
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Upper Secondary
Engineering Science
Project Title
Use of Selective Laser Melting technology in manufacture of personalised spectacles
People in recent years are starting to get more interested in the aesthestic design of their spectacles and demand for spectacles that are aesthetically pleasing is increasing. However, current day method of creating specatcle frames through moulding limits the complexity and customizability of the design of their frames. 3D printing provides an alternative method to manufacturing spectacles and it has the ability to create more intricate and complex shapes which can be applied to the manufacture of spectacle frames on an industrial scale.
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Prof. CHUA Chee Kai (NTU)
Mrs Rachel Chan (Hwa Chong Institution)
Team Leader/Members

(Name & Class)
Team Leader :

Taking part in this project has allowed me to explore further into the world of 3d printing and discover new things. Before,I had seen plenty of news regarding the ability of 3d printers to create impressive designs, but I did not have the opportunity to see how such an item manufactured by 3d printers and real time. I also did not have an understanding on the principles and fundamental basics on which 3d printing worked on. By getting hands on with 3d printers and learning to use the computer program, I have gained a great deal of knowledge on how 3d printing actually works. It might seem simple, but there are many different methods and printers which can be categorised under 3d printing, from laser melting technology to the use ink jets to create 3d printed structures. While we did not actually get to use the more advanced machines in NTU, we did have experience in operating the 3d printers in our school, though they are only capable of printing small scale plastic products. However such a display of technology was enough to convince me that 3d printing had unlimited potential and use in the future. Its ability to create complex designs can be applied to a variety of objects, for example aeroplane parts and spectacle frames. Though we were limited in our design due to our inexperience in using the program, seeking help from the lab staff really helped us in the design process. We managed to learn a lot about 3d printing and this course has cleared my assumptions and misconceptions on 3d printing. It is a big world full of opportunities and potential, and I will most definitely want to learn more and other methods of 3d printing.

Group Members :

This is my first time doing STEM project. Through this project, I got to really understand the applications of what we learnt in school in a real world scenario. This project gave me the opportunity to embark on real problem solving journeys. The external mentor wanted our team to design and create spectacles that were capable of customizing easily to the dimensions of the client and the features the client wanted (e.g name on the frame). This gave us two challenges; firstly, the designs had to be customizable by the customer and fashionable since this project was initiated by a spectacle manufacturing company; Secondly, the spectacles must be easy to manufacture and fixed together. However, the initial proposed designs were not feasible as they were too chunky and uncustomizable, meaning to say if the sides were printed to the customer's wants, it may break off because there may not be enough structure etc. Furthermore, we had to print our design in 2 stages, and connect the nose bridge and side frames together with the lens manually due to the designs and the limitations of the 3D printer. Also, after our first test, the results were not very pleasing. The side frames and nose bridge were not printed to our dimensions and were rough and was hard to polish and smoothen. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to rectify this problem in time for semi-finals, partly because of our lack of coordination with the external mentor and our team itself. This project has great potential to succeed and become a turning point in the spectacles industry. Though we did not successfully complete this project, I have learnt many. First, I learnt that communication is especially important within the team and mentors. It is a pity that we did not realise this earlier as we did tasks and overlapped with each other, wasting more precious resources and time. Second, I learnt how to problem solve with my team members. Throughout this project, we were faced with a multitude of problems and challenges, some we successfully overcame but some we failed to. There are many problems in today's society and world, and in order to be successful in this age we require problem solving skills and critical thinking. This project provided me an opportunity to solve real world problems and try to create a solution that others have not thought of yet. Thank you for the opportunity for me to participate in this STEM project. I will take what I have learnt and apply it to other problems when I face in the future.
This project is really very enriching and educational as I get to learn more about not only 3D Printing but 3D designing as well. As we all know, 3D printing is becoming more prominent in today’s world and it has a lot of potential, the potential to develop into something powerful that can revolutionize the world. Although what I learned through this project is far insufficient and incomprehensive compared to what the scientific world is researching on, such as the use of 3D printing in bio-medicine and so on, but this project gave me an inside look on the basics of 3D Printing such as how different types of 3D printer works. This is especially true for 2 types of 3D printing technology, the Fused Deposition Modelling and the Selective Laser Melting technology. The Fused Deposition Modelling technology is the technology used by the school 3D printers and we get to see it in action, see it print real objects using plastic filament. The Selective Laser Melting technology is the crux of this project and is what we researched heavily on, thus I am rather familiar with it too. Not only so, I even get to learn about how to design something that can be 3D Printed. Through this project, I managed to learn how to operate 3D designing programs such as Sketch Up and Solidworks with relative ease. One problem we encountered when doing this project is the lack of knowledge on how to use the 3D designing software. As we are all rookies in the field of 3D Printing and Designing, none of us knew how to use any 3D Designing software. However, with the help of Lu Zhen, the SRC lab staff and through self-exploration, we managed to figure out the basics of the program and managed to carry out our project. This strategy is relatively useful as Lu Zhen provided us with a lot of help such as taking out time from his busy schedule to teach us the basics of Solidworks. Self-exploration also allows us to practice and familiarize with the software. Thus this method, seeking help and self-exploration, is useful and can be applied on many other areas.
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