The Eldon Production Centre is our hub for art and design using wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster. Students use this Centre to craft, shape and mould their artworks, models and designs. There are 8 work spaces available, which provide students with everything needed to get hands-on with their materials.

Whether you're studying architecture and looking to design a scaled-down building model or an interior design student creating a feature piece, the Production Centre is home to the staff, equipment, knowledge, and skills to support any project.

All our equipment requires a mandatory health and safety induction run by a technician, but following that the majority of the facilities are open access, with some available by Moodle booking only.

Student using tools in Eldon Production Centre

Students studying on a range of creative courses can use the Production Centre 

Female student using the Eldon Production Centre

The Centre is home to 8 work spaces, where students can work with a range of materials

Student using sander in workshop

Industry-standard equipment is available across the facility

Student cutting material in Eldon Production Centre

Expert staff are available to assist students with a variety of equipment and techniques

Equipment and rooms

The Centre features several workshops and equipment, including

Where wood, plastics and non-ferrous metals can be cut, shaped and drilled using manual machinery in the workshop. This includes:

  • 2 bandsaws — a looped, rolling blade commonly used to cut materials in early stages of student works
  • 2 fretsaws — a bow saw used for more intricate cutting work
  • large and small disc sanders — a stationary, spinning disk used to smoothen and shape edges
  • belt sander — a hand-held flat sander often used to smoothen larger flatter surfaces
  • bobbin sander — a spinning pylon used to more precisely smoothen and shape edges of material
  • pillar drill — a stationary drill machine used to precisely drill holes in materials
  • woodturning lathe — used to spin blocks of wood at high speeds for carving
  • mitre guillotine — used to cut angles accurately for things like

There is a large assembly area in the middle of the workshop which features:

  • 8 assembly tables — large tables with plenty of space to everything needed fashion and shape works
  • 8 woodwork benches — with fixed vice for fitting works to be shaped
  • open access hand tools — such as hammers, saws, chisels and screwdrivers
  • open access power tools — for students to use when they need them inlcuding
    • multiple cordless drills and screwdrivers
    • biscuit and domino jointing machines — to align and add strength to materials
    • woodworking jigsaw — used to make curved and intricate cuts into wood, plastic and metal

Students are also able to make use of technician-only operated machines such as:

  • vertical wall saw — for cutting wood and plastic panels
  • table saw — for cutting timber
  • chop saw — for cutting materials at angles and to length
  • wood planer and thicknesser — used to trim boards to a consistent thickness across their length
  • spindle moulder — cutting and angling larger timber and shaped work
  • mortisser with spindle — used to cut mortise and tenon joints in wood
  • 2/3D milling machine — used to cut polythylene, wood, aluminium, copper and plastic designs using computer imaging for the likes of architectural models, typography blocks, and physical signage

Our metal workshop is a space for students to design, cut, shape and join metals using both hot and cold processes. Equipment in the metal workshop includes:

  • Chop saw — a circular saw used to make precise, straight cuts in hard materials
  • Sheet metal guillotine, folder, roller and notcher — used to cut and shape metals to preferred designs
  • MIG welder — a gas powered, hand held metal arc welder that uses a wire to heat, melt and join metal
  • Spot welder — a larger welder that welds metals between two copper alloy electrodes
  • Gas brazing torch — for brazing and heating metal by hand
  • Polishing motor — to finish and shine metals following their cutting, heating, and shaping
  • Small engineering lathe — used to rotate a piece of work for better angles during tasks like cutting, drilling and welding
  • Grinder and linisher — to smoothen the edges and surfaces of cut metal
  • Manual mill/drill — a rotating cutter used to cut metal
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) plasma cutter — computer controlled device that cuts sheets of steel up to 6mm thick according to a computer image file
  • Manual plasma cutter — to cut and design metals by hand
  • Small gas forge — with openings on both ends to heat central areas while keeping the outer areas of solid
  • 2 metalwork benches with vices — to fix works in place for shaping and cutting
  • 2 H-rated portable extraction units — a high powered vacuum that can be fitted to machines in the workshop to collect fumes, filaments and leftover material from welding and grinding

The laser area has 1 A2 and 2 A1 laser cutters, all fitted with fume extraction units. This facility allows the user to cut and engrave designs and raster images which have been processed via the cutter software, on to a variety of materials such as wood, plywood, MDF, paper, card, acrylic sheet and fabric.

Students are able to use the laser cutters following an induction session, with 1 cutter available as an open access device and the 2 others available via our student booking system.

In the 3D print room we have:

  • 7 Prusa i3 fused filament printers — which uses a heated thread to sculpt computer generated designs out of moulds
  • Multi filament Prusa i3 printer — which uses multiple heated threads to sculpt more complex designs at a faster rate in multiple colours
  • Form2 SLA resin printer — which blasts heat and UV light against a glass plate bounce back and solidify resins and create complex objects in different colours and textures
  • ProJet 360 Mono powder printer — which uses powder and glue jets to print fully self-supported models without the need for a base and support structure
  • Dye sublimation machine — used to colour 3D designs and images, including printing images and designs onto these objects

Our Datron M8 Cube CNC three axis milling machine uses a variety of cutters to remove material
and create two and three dimensional items from polyurethane model board, wood and wood based materials, acrylic sheet and non-ferrous metals.

Students are free to ask our technicians to create their items and designs using this machine as and when they need them.

Our plastics workshop offers students the tools to heat, mould, recycle and fashion plastics. Specialist plastics equipment includes:

  • Vacuum former — used to suction softened plastics onto moulds such as typeface, signage and logos
  • Dome blower — used to inflate softened plastics into different sized domes, and can be shaped using customer inserts
  • Hot wire cutter and hand sculptor — a fitted blade used to cut and sculpt polystyrene
  • Sand blasting machine — used to clean and smoothen plastic surfaces, students can also mask sections off to create multi-textured and 'frosted' effects on materials
  • Strip heater — used to heat sheets of plastic and perspex for shaping
  • Digital oven — used to accurately heat specific parts of plastic surfaces for moulding while still maintaining the shape of other areas
  • Heat press — for dye-sublimation printing
  • Hot air guns — used to heat plastics by hand
  • Vinamould heating pots — flexible moulding pots used to cast heated plastics
  • Plastics recycling equipment — including a shredder and sheet press to repurpose old plastics and offcuts to make new sheets and materials
  • 2 dedicated extraction arms — used to vacuum any leftover materials and gases from working in the space
  • Fume cabinet — uses a fusion adhesive to glue plastics together

Our Spray booth is where people can safely use aerosol paints. We also have compressed air spray guns for larger areas or a more professional surface finish. Fibreglass lay up and resin casting can also be undertaken within the spray booth. The booth is also fitted with an extraction system to remove any chemicals in the air during use.

This is a dedicated room for small scale concrete and plaster casting by hand. Equipment in the rooms includes:

  • Mixing and dispensing area — with dedicated extraction system to remove any dust created during the process
  • Vibration plate — used to remove air in the mixture
  • Drying rack — to dry casts and models
  • Wash basin for dispensing materials — with specialist chemical catcher to prevent harmful chemicals going back into the water
  • Full personal protection equipment — so students are protected when handling these materials

Where to find us

Eldon Production Centre

Eldon Building
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2DJ

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