Internship turns out to be their crowning glory
Engineering students produce cheaper 3D-printed dental crowns
As an engineering student, Mr Neo Chun Hui, 20, never expected to work on something related to teeth. Yet, during his internship, he helped researchers develop 3D-printed dental crowns.
The final-year student, who is pursuing a diploma in mechatronics in Temasek Polytechnic (TP), said: "I did not know what to expect, but I have learnt much more than I could ever imagine."
Together with three course mates, Mr Neo interned at TP's Digital Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing Centre and the Temasek Microelectronics Centre (TMC) last year.
Over six months, they worked with research scientists from TMC to develop an efficient and cheaper method of fabricating dental crowns using 3D printers.
Fellow intern Chan Jun Leong, 19, said: "We learnt new skills that were not covered in our syllabus."The students also had the chance to use industry-standard equipment such as a dental ceramic furnace and a 3D printer.
They were able to pick up a new dental software using skills that had been taught during their engineering course.
The project was in collaboration with Prextron, a scientific research company, and students were mentored by its managing director, Mr Peter Peng.
For Zainularifin Mas'ad, 23, it was initially daunting to have an industry expert as a mentor.
He said: "I did not know much about the dental industry, but Mr Peng was extremely patient and guided us step by step."
Said Mr Peng: "The students were able to add value to the research project with the skill-sets they learnt from their diploma course while gaining hands-on experience."
At the end of their internship, the students produced 3D-printed dental crowns that were not only 20 per cent cheaper than the market rate, but also took a third of the time to make as compared with the conventional method.
Based on research results, the dental crowns also fit better and look more natural with the use of a special mould.
Beyond O Level Seminar
WHAT: Temasek Polytechnic's Beyond 'O' Level Seminar
WHO: Sec 4E & 5NA (2018 cohort) and students receiving O-level results in January, as well as their parents
WHEN: Saturday, Session 1 at 9.30am, Session 2 at 2pm.
WHERE: TP Auditorium 1