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Innovation Centre

The Innovation Centre is a series of workshops and laboratories fitted with a wide range of equipment and tools that are for the dedicated use of design and engineering students, researchers and related industries. By using this equipment to create and develop your prototypes, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of engineering products and the production process itself, which will be invaluable once you’re working in the engineering or product design industry.

Among the equipment and tools in the Innovation Centre are:

  • Stratasys Fortus MC360 Large-Envelope Rapid Prototyping Machine
  • 5th Generation Makerbot 3D printers
  • MakerBot Z18 3D printer
  • High-specification Emco Lathes
  • Spirit GE large-format laser cutter/engraver
  • RTV vacuum casting system
  • CNC Plasma Cutter
  • Haas CNC Tool Room Mill with 4th axis
  • Dedicated Spray Booth with Powder Coating facility
  • Welding equipment including MIG, TIG and Oxy-Acetylene
  • A wide range of other machines including band saws, drills, mills, sanders and vacuum formers.

There is also various hardware, including:

  • 60 Workstations
  • 42 Silicon Graphics Indy networked stations
  • 40 PCs
  • Three colour printers
  • A0, A1 and A3 plotters

The PCs have the following software installed on them:

  • Autocad Autocad - used for creation of engineering drawings
  • Solidworks - 3D CAD design software
  • Siemens NX – used as a solid modeller, for simulation, finite element analysis and CNC mill tool pathing
  • Autodesk 3ds max – generation of photorealistic product renders and animation
  • Intergraph Microstation - CAD software for 2D and 3D design
  • Cambridge Material Selector - software to aid the selection of engineering materials, by allowing you to inspect and compare materials
  • ISIS & ARES - electronic circuit designer software
  • Contex - software for wide-format scanners and solutions
  • Crystal - software used to create Expert System (ES) shells.

As a student on an applicable course, you will have supervised access to this equipment and will use it for various projects throughout your degree. Depending on availability, we can also make our equipment available to businesses.

Rapid Prototyping Unit:
The Rapid Prototyping Unit is home to a dedicated area for 3D printing, with access to multiple MakerBot 5th Generation printers, workstations for the preparation of CAD models, and a separate post-processing area for cleaning and finishing completed prints. It will also house a state-of-the-art Fortus 360mc fusion deposition modeller used for creating larger prototypes. Primarily aimed at supporting our design and engineering courses with tight unit integration, the lab is also available for personal/consultancy projects from students and staff, as well as industry.

From spring 2017 there will be two new dedicated laboratories:

Materials, Stress and Dynamics laboratory:

  • A full set of TecQuipment’s Engineering Science kits
  • Bending moments in a beam
  • Shear force in a beam
  • Unsymmetrical bending and shear centre
  • Thin cylinder
  • Thick cylinder
  • Continuous and indeterminate beam
  • Unsymmetrical cantilever
  • Strain gauge trainer
  • Whirling of shafts
  • Static and dynamic balancing
  • Free and forced vibrations
  • Simple and compound pendulums
  • Free torsional vibrations
  • Data acquisition kit for dynamic analysis

Heat and Thermofluids laboratory:

  • Principles of solar thermal energy
  • Heat exchanger supply unit
  • Heat exchanger service module

Using industry-standard equipment throughout your course really prepares you for the world of work. You’ll see the benefit of this in a professional environment during your placement year, where you will gain additional experience and understand your strengths and competencies. Read the following quotes from students during their placement and their employers:

“Wish we could keep him on. His skill set has built as the year progressed and will put him in very good stead for his final year.”

“This placement has proved there really is no substitute to experience.”

“I definitely now have more self-belief in my abilities to overcome difficult situations and circumstances, and to really operate outside of my comfort zone (the whole idea of coming abroad to do a placement was to test this). I also think that my maturity, ability (and willingness) to pick up new skills, and my reliability should be something that I should be proud of, and really promote, as colleagues here have commented on these.”

“I really feel like a completely different person since beginning of my placement. I feel much more confident in myself as a person and in my abilities as an engineer.”

“My skills in terms of project management have improved greatly, and my confidence in regards to liaising with other professionals has also improved greatly. I believe this will be a great selling point when it comes to employability.”

“I learned more than I thought I would, not just software based but physical skills such as measuring. The most important transferable skills have I have learnt are the use of Autodesk AutoCAD and 3ds Max, which can be used in multiple industries”

“We have offered a position for next year to an engineering student currently at BU. Bournemouth University has by far the most talented and work ready students, a credit to the staff that guide them through the first two years of university life.”

“As a Product Design Engineer she is working at a level of a two- to three-year postgraduate. During her placement she has met all her set objects and KPI requirements. I believe she will be a very successful engineer in her chosen career path. Due to her overall performance and a can do approach to work, we are hoping as a company to offer fourth year sponsorship for her final year with the intention of offering her full-time employment within the design office once her degree is finished.”

Relevant courses:

MDes/BSc/BA (Hons) Product Design

MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering

BSc (Hons) Design Engineering

BA (Hons) Industrial Design