In July of 2014, I was contacted by a group of graduate students from the University of Bridgeport. They were participating in a competition sponsored by NASA called CANSAT. In CANSAT, teams are challenged to design and manufacturing a satellite to ultimately be tested a launch site in Abilene, Texas.
The students reached out to me, as far as I could tell, because they were so busy with their coursework. When their semester finally ended and they had time to finally start building, the University closed down the machine shop for the summer. They messaged the 3D Printing Club’s facebook page and after a brief conversation with the team leader, I invited the group to come to my home machine shop in Greenwich, CT. At the time the garage was very well furnished with all sorts of tools and I welcomed the grad students to use them. I was surprised that they had made it so far through academia without developing a knack for power tools, so I had to intervene a lot!
Because of myself and the 3D printer I utilized for printing their parts short notice, I was able to rapidly iterate and accelerate their design process. Based off my experience with 3D printers and FDM printed parts, I successfully educated the engineering team towards what they needed to do to increase the manufacturability/printability of their design without sacrificing strength.