Keighley based 3D print filament manufacturer Fetera has donated a 3D printer to Gateways School, Harewood to promote the benefits of a career in science and technology to its students.

Used with the school’s CAD modelling software and filament supplied by Fetera, the printer will enable students to design and create three-dimensional objects in subjects across the curriculum.

An independent co-educational school, Gateways has a strong curriculum focus on STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) and is keen to encourage greater take up of design technology, particularly among female students.

Fetera manufactures high quality 3D printing filament at its factory in Keighley. Available in a range of colours, the filament is manufactured from polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer made from renewable sugar cane which is 100% compostable.

Sarah Hazelden, subject leader in design and technology at Gateways, said: “We educate young minds for the future they will experience and the evolving subject of design technology will undoubtedly play an increasingly large part in their lives.

“Students are intrigued by the new printer and keen to learn how to use it. We are delighted that Fetera has given us this exciting opportunity to enthuse and educate young people about 3D prototyping and creating sustainable solutions for the future.”

Interest in 3D printing has grown as technology has advanced to make printers more affordable, both for research and development (R&D) purposes and for hobbyists keen to learn and explore the art of 3D printing at home.

Harry Bairstow, managing director of Fetera, said: “We are pleased to play our part in encouraging Gateways’ students to develop their understanding of 3D prototyping and encourage curiosity within design technology and 3D design.

“As a keen 3D hobbyist myself, I discovered that it was difficult to source high quality, clog-free filament in the UK. Recognising the opportunity, I invested in new machinery and set up my own company to manufacture filament here in Yorkshire so I am testament to the career opportunities available in this exciting and rapidly developing sector.”

Fetera is a member of Made in Britain – an initiative which champions UK manufacturing. Fetera's filament is produced to a stringently controlled manufacturing process. Investment in cutting-edge equipment, including a dual axis laser micrometre gauge, enables its material to be manufactured to a tolerance of no more than +/-0.03 mm, ensuring the product is consistent, reliable and trouble free.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Fetera donated 50 reels of filament to groups of volunteers who were using 3D printers to create headband components for face masks used by frontline NHS staff and worldwide.
Photo caption: Fetera MD Harry Bairstow with Gateways student Corinne Myers, aged 14.