In Depth blog post #4

Yesterday, I had my first mentor meeting. For almost 8 hours I was helping out my mentor as he showed me where he spends most of his time, the bottom levels of the Hennings building at UBC. For the past few weeks, I’ve been emailing, calling and video-calling my mentor discussing different designs of the robot that I want to build.I also did some CAD (computer-assisted design) with a program my mentor recommended, OnShape, to create a 3d model of the robot. Yesterday I made my way to UBC and met with my mentor. He came to the front door wearing safety glasses and ear protection, already a great first impression! He brought me down into his “workspace”, consisting of a metal shop, with multiple CNC machines, a waterjet room, grinding/sanding room, electrical room and multiple multi-purpose rooms. When I arrived, he was still in the middle of a project. Since September my mentor has been working with a team of other UBC students to create a rocket. Yesterday, the team tested a testing system for a rocket. I won’t go into to much detail, but it was awesome and very interesting to watch. After the team finished with the rocket, Griffin and I worked on our project. We started by cutting out a piece I designed with OnShape with the waterjet. The waterjet is an interesting CNC machine that shoots water mixed with a sandy material at 3000 PSI. This is able to easily cut through thick aluminum sheets. Then, we created the first rough “draft” joint of my robot. To thank my mentor for the day, I treated him with pizza.

I asked for clarification when my mentor taught me about the waterjet.

Him: The proper way to finish the waterjet instructions is to add a tab to the path, as a way of securing the cutout to the rest of the aluminum.

Me: What’s the benefit of securing the piece to the aluminum slab?

Him: Well, without the tab the piece will fall through the slats of the water tank and we’d have to go fishing… even though that’s what I usually do.

Me: Ah ok, and I guess we would just grind down the tab afterwards?

Him: exactly, usually it’s quicker than fishing for the part.


Here is some evidence of my In-Depth:

OnShape document:


Waterjet cutting:




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