A HIGH school teacher is aiming to become the UK’s number one teacher of 3D printing.

Philip Cotton, aged 31, who teaches design and technology at Ladybridge High School, in Deane, has introduced 3D printers to help pupils improve their technology skills and job prospects.

He is the only teacher among companies and businesses to be nominated for the 3D Printshow Educational Excellence Award.

Mr Cotton, who lives in Bury, will find out if he has won on November 7.

He said: “It would mean everything if I won — it would be one of the highlights of my career. The school is behind me, all the teachers have voted for me.”

Mr Cotton was shortlisted after writing an essay on why he should receive an award. He is up against four other candidates.

3D printing is already making a big impact on the technology stage, with printers priced at about £1,000.

With 3D printing, all kinds of objects can be produced, using a process whereby the printer prints layers, gradually building up the object.

The printers can produce prototypes, and also print small toys and replacement parts for machines.

Mr Cotton said: “The fact I’ve been nominated shows how far 3D printing has come.

“3D printing is the future of technology. You’re creating a project there and then, it’s mesmerising. In 10 years, most households will have a 3D printer.”

As part of their GCSE design and technology projects, pupils at Ladybridge have used 3D printers to design and develop a full working prototype of a lamp.

In his preparation, Mr Cotton taught lessons on 3D CAD, meaning the youngsters could create the models they needed to 3D print. Voting for the 3D Printshow Excellence Award closes on Thursday, October 31.

To vote, visit the 3D Printshow website and go to the Awards section.