• Pupils show off their 3D model of the Anfield roof truss

Future builders

University of Liverpool engineers have been working with children from Dovedale Primary School to design and build a model of the Anfield roof truss using the latest 3D printing technology.

The truss, which is a giant metal structure weighing in at 650 tonnes, is a key feature in the redesign of Liverpool FC’s iconic Anfield Stadium.

The Year 5 pupils were tasked with researching, designing and building the truss along with a series of related activities including forming their own company and even coming up with their own brand for it.

Working in groups, the pupils started off by building prototypes of the truss using drinking straws and tape. Once familiar with the geometry, they then used a Dremel 3D Idea Builder to help fabricate the 196 individual parts of the truss. These were carefully assembled in stages until the final truss was complete.

Finally, the children tested the structure by suspending it between two tables and gradually adding weights until it collapsed.

University Engineer, Dr Andrew Green, who undertook the project with Dovedale School, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to introduce the children at Dovedale to the latest technology and concepts in the field of engineering using the new truss at Anfield stadium as a real life example.

“They all really enjoyed the project – whether they were Liverpool or Everton supporters. They impressed me with their enthusiasm, their ability to listen to and follow instructions and to work with great care and attention.”

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