My week so far has been a combination of Major Course Activities (MCA) presentations, article rough drafting, and preparing for the symposium.
MCA presentation: My MCA was on 3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing. It was so much fun because I was able to use solidworks and a scripting CAD software called OpenSCAD. I had no idea this existed before I did this project. All of this was done two weeks back and I had been improving my design and adding to it since. I was able to show how a male part that was design in solidworks and made for extruded aluminum came out much different when 3D printed. The biggest take away was geometric dimensioning and tolerance. This isn’t a very easy concept, but basically it is specifying the exact size of an object. A machine will not know how round to make your sphere, it won’t even know that you’re printing a sphere. That’s why it is important to specify the cylindricity(how consistently round for a certain depth an object is), dimensions, radius size, etc. so that the computer aided design can be transferred into G code( machine language) easily.
I was also able to get a nautilus gear printed! It was much easier to print reprint the parts when scripted in OpenSCAD because there is an exact place to put the numerical size.
my favorite part about this project was our instructor. Every time I had a question Alex would first say “It depends” and shrug… but then he would go out of the way to explain it to me. He brought me manuals from his desk to visually show me figures, he 3D printed parts to explain how slicing worked, he sent me CAD files and made me convert them to .stl files so I understood how to manipulate the specific options on angle and how they related to the shapes in the tessellations of the parts. Alex is just the bomb and it’s great to have a teacher as motivated and insightful as him. Also glad we got this photo of Alex’s classic shrug:
We also got to see the other groups’ projects.
Update on Research project: We finally got out abstract in so that it will be posted on the handouts at the symposium. We are continuing the refine out UI prototype. We not have it on Axure(website design program) so that people can interact with the buttons and it is no longer static. Now we are working on our power point presentation for tomorrows video conference with another college. We are also continuing to edit our introduction, background, and lit review part of the paper. Loads to do but it will happen!
Today’s impactful event: Today we had a talk from Eliot about his experience and how he got to where he is today. My favorite part was when he asked if we wanted to go to grad school and in my head I was saying No, but then after he talked for a while it turned into a yes. What I realized was that the level of work I would be given right out of college is not what I see myself doing. I really enjoy learning and want a challenge. A challenge that at first I probably will think I won’t be able to handle but then I work through it and feel accomplished at the end because I did it. That is the type of work I see myself encountering with a Ph.D., so hopefully I will go for it.
Thanks and Gig’em