My name is Jess and I work for Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) as a Technician within PrintCity, a 3D printing facility. My job role involves working with various 3D printers – setting up and removing prints, machine maintenance and assisting students and visitors.
Before working at PrintCity, I was a fine art graduate and felt a little bit lost. I spent most of my time working in retail, volunteering at The Turnpike gallery in Leigh when I could to keep a foot in the door in the art world. I soon began to realise that maybe the career path I dreamed of was not for me, and then the opportunity came up to be a technician at MMU.
I began to think about how important the technicians were when I was at university, and how much of a vital role they played in making hands-on skills accessible to students. This encouraged me to apply, as I wanted to have a role that educated others and myself at the same time.
Since starting a few weeks ago, I have mainly been focusing on the Ultimaker 3 and S5 machines, which use Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. I have learnt everything from loading and unloading material and print cores, to troubleshooting machines and sorting out print core blockages. Through better understanding these machines, it makes it easier to support students with their work and experiment with materials and settings that are not commonly used.