ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Ask the Intern: An Exit Interview

intern nick intro pic

We previously reported on the background and various goings-on of our summer additive manufacturing intern, Nick. His time here at ProtoCAM is drawing to a close, and while we’re sad to see him go, we’re thrilled to see where he’ll head to from here! As Nick wraps up his last week, we asked him about his time here at ProtoCAM.

What was your experience like at ProtoCAM in the finishing workshop?

“The first few weeks I was sanding and finishing, then I was doing molding, bead blasting, and I did a lot with the HP Multi Jet Fusion machine. So I sort of worked my way back from the very last finishing services, to creating parts and cleaning them right off the machines.”

What kinds of skills did you learn in your position at ProtoCAM regarding advanced finishing and urethane casting?

“Probably time management the most, especially with the wax, because you have to put something in for twenty minutes, and then you’d be doing stuff for like ten minutes…it’s kind of like a puzzle to manage your time so it’s most efficiently used.”

What did you learn about the 3D printing industry?

“It’s growing and you can get a prototype or part pretty fast. It was also interesting to see which companies projects were coming from, companies with all kinds of different functions and in different fields.”

What was your favorite thing you learned to do?

“I liked opening up the molds, unpacking the HP machine, and breaking support off the PolyJet parts. My favorite part was right when you take out the product, because then you get to see how it turned out right away. You get that satisfaction from seeing it come out, fully formed and functional.”

How do you think your time at ProtoCAM has impacted your future career goals?

“I think I’ve been most impacted by learning how I could utilize [what I’ve learned] in my field. I still want to go to Rochester [Institute of Technology] to be an engineer, but it has helped me look at the 3D printing industry as a viable option.”

Do you think your time here has helped you to develop skills you can utilize in your chosen field?

“I wanted to go into the automotive industry, so I could definitely see utilizing 3D printing in prototyping and other capacities for different stuff in the industry.”

Do you have any advice for those seeking careers in this industry?

“[Internships like this one] are a good first step because then you get to see how 3D printing and prototyping are utilized. If a company has narrowed down a product to a couple different designs, and they have two or three parts that are slightly different, they can come here, get them printed, and then have something physical to compare. It was a great introduction to prototyping and the 3D printing process.”

Nick will pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall, and hopes to transfer into Mechanical Engineering during his time there to pursue a future career in the automotive industry.