Chocolate Factory AKA 3D Workshop

So far I have really been enjoying Design Thinking and when I was told that we would take part in a 3D workshop, I resisted the urge to smile but I could feel my intestines doing the “Harlem Shake””. Perhaps I’m just that strange person who get easily excited but I think knowing that these are opportunities that might never come again, I choose to embrace them and to learn what I can. The 3D workshop was both thrilling and fascinating. I don’t even think that I myself knew that a drilling machine or a pressure staple gun will excite me as much. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but having 100% freedom and many resources at your disposal to design and actually make a product come to life with your bare hands, without any restrictions is FUNtastic for lack of better words.

We were welcomed by Mark (Technician Supervisor), who started by going through all the rules and safety precautions. He then opened the doors to “the chocolate factory” a.k.a the 3D workshop. The recycled air, yet still saturated was dying to greet us I’m sure because all I could smell was wood. He talked about the safety measures to take every time we will need to come to the workshop (wear green Apron, eye protection, emergency stop button, not to hesitate to call a staff if something does not feel right, etc). Next, He took a rectangular piece of wood on which he drew an ark, two equal lines in the shape of an isosceles triangle then we proceeded to what I believe is called the “mansaw machine”. The image below will make more sense.

Amongst the things l can still remember from working with that first machine were: “MIND YOUR FINGERS”, it takes 5-10 seconds for the machine to start, there is a long black plastic ruler we can use to move our object if we feel that our finger will get too close to the blade. He demonstrated how to cut at an angle, where to put your fingers, how to hold the piece of wood. We used a 12mm blade and Mark suggested that we could use a 6mm blade for thinner piece of woods. Then we moved onto the sanding machine (my favourite!!) there is something so smoothing and therapeutic about that machine. I truthfully dreamt later on that day about my group making a product in wood just so that I’ll get to work with machines (wishful thinking). Enough rambling, what I learnt from the workshop is that the opportunity was given to encourage us to really think with our hands, to take ideas or concepts we will be developing and put them into actual object. Though we might not always have all the ressources when we step into the real world, I will remember that there is always a way around something.


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