May 2009 Archives

My new job…


Finals are over, and summer has officially started. I did not make dean’s list two semesters in a row, but I still received decent grades. The best news is that I just got hired for a summer internship. I will be working at Teleflex Medical in Jaffrey, NH. They have offered me an interesting job and a very good wage. I am going to fill out paperwork tomorrow; I expect to start early next week.

Teleflex makes plastic medical assemblies, catheters and heat shrink tubing. They use extrusion and injection molding, a couple of process that UML plastics has made me very familiar with. This will be my third internship in engineering so far, and my second internship at a medical company.

The only downside to this job is that it is quite a distance away. It takes about 1 ½ hours to get there. That means 8 hours of working and 3 hours of driving every single day. On top of that I will be taking a night class two days a week. Because of this I will be busy most of my week, and probably most of my summer. The good news is that I will have my weekends off, so I can go to my cottage in Vermont or go camping. Also, Teleflex is hiring one of my classmates as well, so together we can commute to work. I am very excited about starting at my new job, and I will make sure to write about it once I know more…

Plans for the summer…


As we wrap up the last week of finals, summer is almost here. I’m sure most of you have plans for the summer already, plans including work, trips, living situations, etc. I am sort of up in the air about what will be going on this summer.  As far as academics are concerned, I plan to take a couple of summer courses and work on my research project. This much I know, but as far as working goes, I am still unsure.

Right now I work at an auto shop in Lawrence. It is about a half an hour away and I am very familiar with everyone who works there. The pay is decent and there is the incentive of making more money for doing more work. The advantages to working here over the summer are as follows:

·         I know the people I work with.

·         The shop is not too far away.

·         I don’t have to worry about dressing formal; I can change when I get there.

·         I can ride my motorcycle to work, this goes with the bullet above.

·         I won’t need to go through orientation.

On Wednesday, I have an interview for an internship over the summer. The internship is at a Medical devices company in Jaffrey NH. This is approximately an hour and a half drive. The pay would probably be better than the auto shop and this job would look good on my resume.  However, there are a few disadvantages about this job, they are listed below.

·         It would be 3 hours of driving per day.

·         I would have to be oriented.

·         I don’t know anyone who works there.

·         If I take the job and don’t like it I would have already given up my other job.

This puts me in a tough situation days before summer starts. I think a lot depends on how the interview goes and how well I like the company. I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how things end up.

This semester I am enrolled in Mold Engineering (26.373), a second semester junior level class in plastics engineering. For a semester project, we break up into teams of four, design a part, and make mold inserts for it. They call this project the “Art to Part,” project.

Once the team decides on a part to create a concept is created using Solid Works, a solid modeling program similar to CAD. Once the model is approved by the team and the teacher, a prototype is made using a 3D-printer. Next a mold filling analysis is created for the part using MoldFlow. Using the solid model, a mold split is created on solid works to define the cavity and core of the mold.

Before the two halves of the mold can be machined using the CNC, the tools used and the tool paths have to be defined. This is done using a program called Mastercam. This is also one of the most difficult and time consuming steps in the project. Machining is also very time consuming, typically about 4-8 hours per mold half. After the two halves of the mold are machined they need to be polished. Polishing can take approximately 7 hours of labor for each side.

Once the mold inserts are polished to a near mirror finish, they can be assembled into a mold, and installed in the injection molding machine. Finally, parts can be injection molded using a plastic material and color of choice. This project takes your idea from a drawing to an actual production part.

For this project, our team is creating an ice mold. In more detail, it is an ice mold that makes shot glasses. We have just finished machining the core half of our mold insert and have done about 3 hours of polishing on the cavity insert. This means we still need to put in about 10 hours of polishing in before the mold can be put into the machine. Even worse the project deadline is next Monday. I think with a little bit of hard work we should not have trouble finishing this project.

I’ll try and put up some pictures soon…

   My last few days in Arizona were spent visiting some cool places. First we went to Sedona, AZ. Sedona is nothing more than a national park and a tourist attraction.  Sedona is a scenic part of Arizona with red rock plateaus as in every direction. We went on a desert jeep tour, which was pretty interesting. We went on the ‘extreme adrenaline rush’ jeep tour.  Which I thought would be full of fast jumps and risky turns. But unfortunately it was just a really rocky trail that made a very bumpy ride. Overall it was fun and the sights were pretty amazing. I’ll try and post up some pictures.

The next place we went was the Grand Canyon. If you ever get the chance to see the Grand Canyon, don’t miss out. This was the single most amazing place we went to on our vacation. We started out by taking a helicopter tour over the canyon. This was fun because it was the first time I was on a helicopter. I will never forget when the helicopter first flew above the south rim of the Grand Canyon. However, the tickets for this ride were close to $200 a piece, so I probably would skip this. It’s amazing enough just to drive in, walk to the edge, grab onto the rail and look down over the canyon. It’s just as breath taking without the helicopter. I’ll try and post some pictures, but I know that they won’t do the sight justice; you really need to see it for yourself.

The thing no one tells you about Arizona is that everything is at least two hours away. The trip was a lot of fun but there was a lot of driving involved. We finished off out trip by eating dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Phoenix. I had a great time but the schoolwork I missed is already catching up on me. I spent most of my day working on it and barely made a dent. The next few weeks are going to be really tough, but summer is right around the corner...

Here are a couple pictures of Sedona, AZ.

Sedona2.jpg Sedona1.jpg


and here are some pics of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon1.jpg

    Grand Canyon2.jpg

This last one is a view of the Grand Canyon from the helicopter.

Grand Canyon3.jpg


This week I am on vacation with my girlfriend and her parents. We left Boston Saturday morning and flew into Dallas/Fort Worth. We switched planes in Dallas and flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. We got here early in the afternoon, but keep in mind; Phoenix is three hours behind Boston. Exhausted from travelling, we all fell asleep shortly after settling into our room. The jet lag really took effect when I woke up at 4AM Sunday morning. This is because I am used to waking up at 7:00 in the morning every day.

Even though it is in the middle of the desert, Phoenix is beautiful. There are a lot of palm trees and grass that people have planted. But anywhere outside of town is nothing but sand and rocks. Every way you look you can see mountains. Unlike mountains in New England, these mountains are bare and much steeper. Besides the mountains the land is mostly flat.

So far everyday has been in the high 80’s without a cloud in the sky. We went to Tombstone, AZ on Monday. Tombstone is an old mining/ cowboy town that turned into a tourist trap. We saw some fake gunfights and took a tour of the town. It was kind of corny but also fun. We plan on going to the Grand Canyon on Thursday. This is the part of the vacation that I am the most excited about. I’ll write about it next weekend when I get back.

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