Shop Time



Base Camp


Shop Time

Assuming your design project needs to be built, you are going to be needing the help of one of the Engineering shops to get your stuff built. The main shop used for this class is located in Dana Room 46 on the bottom floor and is accessed by the last door on your right at the far East end of the hall. The office inside is run by Miles Pepper (Engineering Tech Supervisor) and he will be your primary contact with the shop.

Note: A wood shop, located in Dana across the hall, and more buildings South of EE/ME are also used by this head shop. Use of any tools, machines, or facilities are done by permission only. Do not use the equipment unless Miles says so!

More Than Just A Pretty Face

While the shop is here to provide a service for the labs and departments in the area, the most valuable tool at your disposal is the advice and experience from the guys that work there. At any given time you can find either Miles, Gary, or Kurt in the shop and they are often more than happy to talk about a project.

Things to keep in mind

-You may have been studying engineering for 4+ years, but some of these guys have been working in shops since before you were born. They can usually tell you if something is going to work.

-Be open to change. This is a design project. What looks good on paper may be extremely difficult to manufacture. Or, there may be a simpler solution available.

Note: The shop can order whatever materials needed for the project and will include the cost in the work order. They also have lots of parts and materials in stock to reduce lead time.

Getting In Line

So you have some parts, or maybe the entire project designed, and you want to get it built. What's next? Shop time, and the sooner you get queued in line the better.

While you may have talked to the guys in the shop about your project, they can't design it off of memory and conversation alone; they need documentation. The perfect package for a given part or assembly is as follows

-The part file modeled in a 3D program such as SolidWorks. (This is for reference, and may not be necessary)

-CAD drawings for the parts, as well as the assembly with all required dimensions and views included. These will be printed drawings that are referenced in order to build your project.

-Any .dxf files, or similar, necessary for water-jet or computer milled pieces.

Assuming you have this package in hand, don't just plop it in their inbox. You want to make sure you hand it personally to whoever is in charge, go over the drawings to see if anything is missing, and possibly have a thumbdrive with parts files if those are to be included. If you have never made drawings before, look online at common formats. SolidWorks has default settings for drawings, but get familiar with industry standards.

Ordering Work? Need a Work Order

What the shop is going to ask from you is a work order. Basically this is permission from the department (specifically ME 416) to charge the shop time and materials. You can do this by filling out a work order as described in another section of this wiki. Miles will want a work order number from you signed by the secretary, and the secretary will need written permission from Dr. Chuck.

If you are not sure how long to bill the shop for, talk to the guys there. They can look at your project and estimate times depending on how specific your design is. An estimation is exactly that, so don't expect exact numbers until all is said and done.

Final Thoughts

- Try and get shop time scheduled ASAP. This doesn't mean rushing the design, but many other people are using the shop time too. Your project may get slated to get started 2 weeks out. The closer to the end of the semester, the busier they get.

- The guys in the shop work there, but they care about the projects. By getting advice and working with the shop to design your project it improves your design but also gives you both a greater sense of pride and responsibility in the project.

- Remember, you aren't the only ones needing their time. If someone you need to talk to is busy, be patient or see if you can return later.

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