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Students benefit from new digital print tech

Further investment in Mimaki’s digital printing technology will see students at the University of Huddersfield explore the potential of inkjet printing.

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Brent Hardy-Smith, PhD student and senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield with its suite of printers

The university’s School of Art, Design and Architecture has a dedicated print room for students that houses a Mimaki UJF small format flatbed LED UV printer, a Mimaki Tx300P-1800 direct-to-garment printer alongside other small format transfer printers, large format graphics devices as well as binding and other finishing systems.

Technical manager coordinator at the school Stephen Calcutt comments: “Our initial investment in the Mimaki UJF and its subsequent location in our school-wide print facility totally changed our approach to teaching and supporting print design. We originally operated the facility like a traditional university print bureau, with about five large format printers churning out posters and graphics. The arrival of the UJF changed our focus and transformed the way we work.”

... this is transforming the way the students think about the connection between design and print

Brent Hardy-Smith is a senior lecturer at the department of art and communication who challenges his students to “question conventional thinking” and utilise the “creative capabilities of the Mimaki printers. He comments: “I’m not here to sit and critique students’ work. Instead, I run workshops, learning alongside the students. Our methodology is all about discovery and transformative design, using the printers as creative tools and collaborating with other technology and materials.

“Teaching becomes more about facilitating,” he continues. “Whether that’s facilitating people, equipment or thinking, it’s all relevant to the process and helps lead the students in different directions. The design software says what’s possible but it’s the Mimaki printers that add the potential, and this is transforming the way the students think about the connection between design and print.”

“The range of Mimaki hardware that we have teaches the students the appropriateness of print,” continues Hardy-Smith. “They quickly learn what to use and why. From their initial amazement at the potential, by understanding what the printers offer, they can be ever more creative in their design process.”

The Mimaki printers were supplied by Hybrid Services and RA Smart and will continue to support students across disciplines including architecture, animation, photography, graphic design and textiles.

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