VUT helps locals with vision

The Vaal University of Technology has, through its science park, established itself as a 3D printing leader in the university space.

One of the university's objectives is to create an environment where locals can have access to science and technology to empower themselves.

Pule Bogacu, a bachelor of technology student, has used the science park facilities to create his own business.

"It's very accessible, people with vision will get assistance," he said.

3D printing is a process where different materials (plastic and sand) can be manipulated by software on a computer to solidify into prototypes for different objects or products.

Some of the examples of prototypes that were made at the VUT science park included a waterless toilet, a stand up toilet for women, a harvesting scissor and indigenous games.

Bogacu said he started printing jewellery using 3D printing after completing an assignment for one of his classes.

"3D technology is a part of my course, we were told to design a product for ourselves. After I printed jewellery, my lecturer encouraged me to turn it into a business because of my talent," he said.

The 25-year-old said despite being inexperienced, he was able to create pieces that caught people's eyes.

Bogacu said the science park assisted him in learning about how to create 3D software and use it for designing his jewellery.

He said the accessibility to the technology has allowed him to make five jewellery pieces that he can showcase to the sponsors he needs in order to take his business forward.

Dr Joe Molete, the executive director at the science park, said the university has plans to create a complete overhaul of the park by 2030.

He said the university needs R1bn in funding to further develop it.

"We want to be the key players in this 3D printing space," said Molete.

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