ProtoCAM is pleased to welcome Nick Tomko, our solo summer intern this year. Tomko is participating in Governor Tom Wolf’s State Local Internship Program (SLIP), which provides summer internships to youth with local employers across Pennsylvania. He comes to ProtoCAM to learn the realities and responsibilities of the working world, particularly in the manufacturing and 3D printing fields.
Tomko graduated earlier this year from Parkland High School, where he participated in Project Lead the Way courses. The Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering Program is a top high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program in the country which offers students a quality STEM program with a strong emphasis on promoting careers in engineering.
Tomko’s future plans include attending Rochester Institute of Technology to major in Electrical Engineering, though he hopes to eventually transfer to Mechanical Engineering. Beyond his courses in high school, Tomko has no previous experience working directly in an engineering environment, and this will be his first internship experience as well.
Though he’s only been here a brief time so far, Tomko is very excited for what he will learn at ProtoCAM, and believes this experience will apply to and help him in his future studies. “Seeing what’s possible with 3D printers and what you’re able to make with them…it will help when I’m designing,” Tomko says. He recalls an experience in one of his high school engineering classes where students weren’t thinking about what could practically be built while they were designing models. “Everybody was making things that weren’t going to be able to be made. They thought, this will work, but then they couldn’t build it because it wasn’t practical.” Tomko believes that seeing the engineering process from start to finish will give him a better idea of how things are created, as well as the limits associated with building practical products.
Having worked with a few of our printers thus far, Tomko says he really enjoys the finishing processes associated with our PolyJet and Multi Jet Fusion machines. As he works with different parts and printers, his opinion might change, but Tomko looks forward to each aspect of the engineering process and seeing the different things that can be created through 3D printing. “I’m interested to see what comes in from other companies, because it’s fun to see what projects [ProtoCAM receives] and try to guess what it’s for, or where it’s from,” Tomko says.
When he’s not learning all about the 3D printing process here at ProtoCAM, Tomko enjoys building and flying racing drones. He hopes that this foray into the additive manufacturing world will further fuel this hobby, as many other drone designers utilize 3D printing to build out their creations. “I know a lot of my friends have smaller 3D printers, and there’s already a lot of 3D printing in the drone field because they make GoPro mounts, antennae holders, stuff like that,” Tomko says. Tomko may even attempt to design and build a part for his own drone as a project while he’s here at ProtoCAM.
Our new intern hopes to hone his engineering skills as he is supervised by our Vice President of Additive Manufacturing, Ed Graham, as well as our additive manufacturing technicians, for future application in his chosen career field.
We are thrilled to have Tomko with us over this summer, and look forward to sharing all ProtoCAM has to offer as he moves forward in his professional career.
To learn more about the SLIP program and the students it benefits, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/pennsylvania-investing-2-8-million-expand-summer-internship-programs/.