Students these days don’t know they’re born – but they’re rather clever

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When I was an engineering student back in the early nineties, even though computers and CAD were widespread in industry and we were taught CAD (albeit at a very basic level), we had to draft all of our projects on drawing boards with set squares and Rotring pens. As I had been a CAD operator the previous year I found this incredibly frustrating.

Of course, it all came down to resources, of which my University seemingly had very little of at the time. Hardware was expensive and so was software and there were only a dozen AutoCAD stations to share between ALL the engineering departments – about 1,500 students in total. Today, of course, things have changed. The CAD software industry is literally chucking software at educational establishments, and students are coming out of University extremely clued up on all things tech.

This little ramble is a precursor to a nice little story I heard about some Cambridge University students who have developed an innovative new collaborative 3D design system called BrickBox, which is completely controlled by touch. SolidWorks was the inspiration behind this fascinating project, which may come as no surprise considering its Cambridge location.

I could waffle on forever about the tech, but it’s much more interesting (and informative) to show you the videos.

I just wish I’d had access to such tech and resource when I was a student. In saying that, I couldn’t even get my head round programming in Fortran back then. The computer expertise I’d picked up in my formative ‘Commodore 64‘ years just didn’t seem to cut it. I can’t think why.

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