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University of Glasgow students create 3D printed tribute to James Watt

June 07, 2019 / JACK COLYER

A team of University of Glasgow students have 3D printed a scale model of James Watt’s pioneering Boulton-Watt steam engine, marking the bicentenary of his death. Constructed over five months by members of the School of Engineering’s JetX student society, the model is believed to be the largest additively manufactured working model of this design ever made. James Watt created his revolutionary steam engine in 1765 while working as an instrument-maker at the University of Glasgow. There he began making improvements to a Newcomen steam engine discovering that he could make it vastly more efficient by adding a separate condenser. His work led to the creation of the world’s first practical steam engine, helping kick start the industrial revolution. To commemorate Watt’s death 200 years ago the JetX society decided to employ its engineering and 3D printing expertise to produce a scale model of his famous design.