Kyle Lilley is the newest member of the ProtoCAM team! He joins us as an additive manufacturing technician in our finishing workshop.
Kyle comes from a background in chemical engineering, and also has experience with at-home 3D printing and finishing. His credentials include a degree in Chemistry from Kutztown University and experience working at an environmental testing facility where his responsibilities included distillation, extracting organic compounds, and working with various scientific tools. Kyle’s customer service background also has come in handy as it applies to his new responsibilities here at ProtoCAM. “I did learn a lot about multitasking and being able to drop what you’re doing if it’s not that important to help someone else out, and I think that was really where I got a lot of very good coworker communication skills,” Kyle says.
Regarding his experience with 3D printing, Kyle first began experimenting with desktop printers while in college. “It was really a good learning tool for what not to do,” Kyle laughs. “I learned how to print things, how to use CAD and different programs, and how to make models.” Alongside his roommate, Kyle actually 3D printed a model arc reactor to serve as his ring box when he proposed to his wife. “We actually printed it so that the inside component was the exact size of the ring,” Kyle recalls. He also spent some time in college performing finishing procedures on printed models, like support material removal and light sanding, although he recalls that his goal at the time (with 3D printing being newer to the general user space) was to actually show off that the product had been 3D printed, with layer lines included. “We kept them more plain-looking so people could see it was a 3D-printed piece,” Kyle says.
Kyle is beginning his time at ProtoCAM mainly working with moldings, which he has also previously experimented with. “With my (tabletop roleplaying) miniatures, that’s where I started learning mold making,” Kyle says. “I wanted to see if I could mold different parts.” Kyle’s experimentation with molding, like 3D printing, allowed him to learn more about what to do and not do in this realm of additive manufacturing. Painting, a key finishing technique offered at ProtoCAM, is also something Kyle continues to develop greater skill in as he works on creating realistic terrain and miniature roleplaying figurines for games like Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer 40,000.
Kyle is actually looking into getting his own higher end at-home 3D printer to continue his experimentation and aid in his roleplaying hobby, as well as to supplement the advanced finishing skills that will inevitably come with more time spent in his role as an additive manufacturing technician at ProtoCAM. “I was looking at the UV liquid printers, because those are the ones that give the highest detail, and I do want to get into making the miniatures,” Kyle says.
Along with molding, Kyle is also getting to know all the different finishing and inspection areas in ProtoCAM’s workshop. He looks forward to helping out in each area and functioning as a jack of all trades around ProtoCAM. He even expressed an interest in learning more about what our engineers do in preparing the 3D models prior to printing, and hopes to someday be able to assist in that capacity, as well as in the finishing workshop. “I definitely want to keep learning…if I learn how to do everything in both areas, it could be positive for me and my hobbies, and also for ProtoCAM,” Kyle says.
As for his immediate opinions on ProtoCAM, Kyle views his initial experience very positively and enjoys the family-oriented environment of his new workplace. “It has been a very easy transition to start working here,” Kyle says. “Everyone has seemed like they really want to get know me…it seems very open. It does seem like a lot of things here are done for employee purpose, and that’s been very nice…I’ve been made to feel really welcome.”
We look forward to showcasing all Kyle’s capabilities here at ProtoCAM. Welcome to the team!