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Nantes Shanghai Pune São Paulo Montréal Cotonou
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Presentation of the Model Workshop

Presentation of the Model Workshop

What are the model workshops?

The school’s model workshops represent 330m² made up of different areas and open non-stop from 8am to 8pm: conventional machine workshop, digital command room, painting booth, resin booth, screen printing area, digital crafts workshop, flexible materials workshop, ceramics workshop and installation workshop. A team of 3 people is on hand to supervise, accompany and assist the students/workshop users.

The staff responsible for the workshop all come from product design or prototyping backgrounds with experience in the craft sectors. They have a wide range of skills (ceramics, sewing, woodworking, resin, screen printing, etc.) for supervising workshops but more importantly for listening to students, accompanying them and transmitting their high standards of production quality. The team is attentive to their difficulties. They help them get perspective on their project, prioritize the various stages and guide them towards solutions.

Finally, the team supports teaching staff and experts in the stages of implementation/production, and in the supervision of their workshop classes.

For the students, the workshops are a place of creation and experimentation, but also (and above all) a place of emulation, discussion, sharing and diversity. Students from all design fields can meet and talk about their projects or discuss techniques. Even more than the technical aspect (machinery, equipment, etc.), the human aspect is very important. Students learn from the mistakes and successes of others, and a bond of solidarity is formed between the sections. Their creativity and knowledge are enhanced.

Who are these workshops intended for and how do they enhance the training program?

The workshops are intended for every student in the school, whatever their design discipline or nationality. On arrival at the school, all students are given a presentation of the workshops. They are then free to use them whenever they want. The team is available to discuss any aspect of their project (advice and project monitoring – concept, ergonomics, project viability, etc. - feasibility of the model, assistance and guidance), then to supervise them in the machining center. Students have access to the workshops during their design workshop lessons (in which the member of staff imposes a rendering of a mock-up) or as and when they want in their free time to work on projects for school or their own personal projects.

They can access the workshops at any stage of their project:

• at the beginning with paper or cardboard concept mock-ups (quick&dirty) to validate concepts, volumes, ergonomics, movements, etc. ;
• in the development phase to validate the project;
• in the finalization phase: to present a mock-up/prototype of the project that is as realistic as possible.

The use of workshops is a very important part of the training program. It enables students to gain:

• Technique: discovering techniques, processes, materials and crafts
• Pedagogy: providing an extra tool for communicating ideas. Some students are more comfortable with a sketch/rough, others in 3D drawing, while others need to work in volume.
• Transversality: understanding on another level what students learn in other classes (physics, technology, math, etc.)
• Creativity: the aim is to introduce students to a maximum of materials, possibilities and techniques to widen the sphere of possibilities and awaken their creativity. Thus, Graphic Design students can experiment with 3D, Interaction Design students can work in the workshop to complete their work (Arduino, programming, etc.)

Training students to use the various machines

During the workshop tour, there is a presentation of the machines (instructions, security rules, risks, what to do in the event of an accident, etc.). When students use a machine for the first time, they are accompanied by a member of the team in order to learn the correct gestures step by step. Instructions can also be found on each machine in French and English.

Students gradually gain experience and become autonomous in the machining center. The team remains vigilant at all times however, supervising and giving technical help if necessary. In addition, the head of the workshop gives lessons in “model-making methodology”. This methodology teaches the techniques for breaking down a project into volumes, which will then be worked on separately in a hierarchical way for optimal efficiency. Whilst knowing how to use the machines properly is a necessity, designing and making a project in the easiest, fastest and most logical way must be the golden rule.

The model workshop machining center

The wide range of machines allows students to mix materials and techniques and to obtain the most realistic mock-up or prototype possible.

The machinery includes:

Hand-held power tools: Dremel, jigsaws, power drills and screwdrivers, sanders, iron, etc.
Tools: Personal protective equipment, marking gauges, screwdrivers, hammers, glues, etc.

Standard machines:
- 2 bandsaws
- 2 wood turning lathes
- 1 precision lathe
- 3 stone cutting machines/disc sanders
- 1 oscillating spindle sander
- 1 oscillating band sander (Tank)
- 1 sandblaster
- 1 milling machine
- 1 polishing buff (for plexi or metals)
- 4 coping saws
- 2 drill presses
- 2 thermoforming machines
- 1 hot wire folding machine (for sheets of plastic)
- 1 hot wire cutting machine (for expanded polystyrene)
- 3 sewing machines
- 1 triple feed lockstitch machine
- 1 potter’s wheel
- 1 slab roller

The machining center also includes machines which are reserved exclusively for the model workshop staff for safety or planning reasons and inventory management:
- 1 circular radial-arm saw
- 1 circular saw
- 1 sliding table saw
- 1 ripper
- 1 3D scanner
- 1 ISEL CNC Milling Machine
- 2 Fused deposition modeling 3D Printers (PLA - MAKERBOT REPLICATOR 2)
- 1 Liquid Crystal 3D printer
- 1 Cameo vinyl cutting plotter
- 1 Trotec Speedy 360 - 60w laser cutting machine
- 1 ceramics kiln

Cardboard, Priplak, plexi, high impact polystyrene, polystyrene mirror, plywood, carbon thread and epoxy resin, gypsum stripes, adhesive vinyl, screen printing ink and high-density PU foam are the materials used in the model workshop.