Monday, August 18, 2014

Sign for Mark

At the end of last semester there was a student who wanted to make something for the Metal Lab Professor. The Professor who gave me the name Betz Mobile Engineering. You could say I am a sucker for helping students. Especially when I know what the extra curricular project is for. For some people this may sound weird buy I am here for the students. I do not have any needs to move up the food chain, well at least currently and I do not think I will want to in the future. I enjoy teaching and working with students. So when a student told me he wanted to make something for this professor I was all about it. After all sometimes us teachers do not get enough recognition. So I asked him what he wanted to do. The problem was he had no idea. I suggested that we do something with the laser engraver. Now being the Unmanned Systems professor so of you may be thinking, Why do you have any idea how to use the laser engraver? The answer is simple I wanted to build a helicopter and I designed it to be laser cut out of 1/8 in plywood so the laser engraver could cut it out. Since then I have done a few more projects. See my website to see the projects.

So back to the project for the other professor. I told the student to go look for images that he would like to etch. Ideally a raster image so we could scale it without any issues. The next day he told me he could not find one he liked. This surprised me a little bit with how many images are on the internet. First thought was he did not try very hard so I did my own google search and guess what. I had the same problem. I found one I liked on but I did not like how things don't line up properly. Yes I know that was done on purpose but I still do not like it. Pl
So what do I do. I use that image as a inspiration to create my own. Now up to this point I have used some of Adobe's programs for photo editing and document layout but I have not used Illustrator to do that much. Sure creating boxes and lines is easy to do. However recreating the above image had some difficulties to it. I learned how to cut the shapes into different sections and combine them to make one shape. Did I do this the most efficient and proper way, I guarantee you I did not however I got the job done was extremely happy with the finished product. I focused mainly on the lathe. The guy in the background I did not want to do without. Plus I already have a line art guy. He is kinda my symbol. A guy plugging things in. So when I was down doing the lathe I add the guy that I drew before in the background and get what you see below. 
Now you are probably thinking. You did all this for a student? The answer is YES!!!! Without the students I would not have a job and without students caring about the professors and what they are learning my job would be really boring. Students who are excited and want to learn is why I am a teacher. So if a student wants to show there respect for another professor by making them a little thank you gift you better believe that I am going to do everything I can to help them. 

Now that we had the image we wanted to use it was time to prep the wood and etch. I showed the student how to safely use the tools necessary, some where new to him like the laser engraver and some where just refreshers like the table saw. He got the wood planed down to proper thickness and cut down to size. All we had to do was the etch the image and guess how is walking by and decides to stop in and see what and how we are doing.  You guessed it the metal lab professor, luckily we did not have the image up and the student quickly said he was making something for his mother. After the other professor left we engraved it and gave it a light sanding. I am very happy with the final product.

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