You Jin Park '16, computer engineering
The process of fabricating prototypes in the Project Development Lab was the most valuable experience I was able gain by working on this research. Since I had to research about tools used to bend steel wires, most of my prototypes were all made out of steel, and in order to fabricate the prototypes I had to make numerous trips to Bucknell's PDL. As a computer engineer, I never got to witness firsthand all the work that went into physically making even simple tools. I learned a lot from working with the machinists for the purposes of my research. Parts often took longer than I anticipated to be completed and I couldn't understand the delay until I decided to actually observe for myself how the machinists made the parts. I learned from observing the machinists that although my parts were simple, many required high-precision machine work, meaning it would take long time for the machine to be set up correctly before drilling or cutting. I also struggled at first to provide proper tools' drawings in SolidWorks, as I didn't know which dimensions the machinists had to know in order to produce the desired prototype. The machinists were very helpful in teaching me what dimensions are necessary (or not) in the drawing. Finally, the machinists in the PDL gave me advice on how quoting is generally done in machining companies, and it was very interesting and valuable for me to learn about how to determine the machine cost of the parts. Overall, it was useful to learn how the other half of prototype fabrication process is done as part of my research, since I hadn't previously considered much of it being on the designing side of the equation.
Advisor: Professor Charles Kim