The latest edition of the ‘Guest Careers’ blog comes from Gareth Hunt – Research & Development Engineer at MGF Excavation Safety Solutions. In the article, Gareth discusses his job role and his thoughts surrounding 3D printing and its impact on education and the construction sector.
About Your Career
“I studied Mechanical Engineering at Salford University, specialising in 3D design and 3D printing for my fourth-year thesis. After joining MGF, training was given so I understood all the products and how to use them, but a lot of my day to day activities are self-taught – such as 3D printing and discovering new applications for Inventor and AutoCAD.
Our briefs come from the MGF Board of Directors and we are tasked with researching current competitor products, markets and customer research to draw up a design concept to the product specification. Once the relevant research is complete, the team carry out calculations, CAD geometry tests and prototyping with the 3D printer before manufacturing with steel. Following this, the steel prototype is created, in-house testing and out-of-house destructive testing takes place to validate all calculations and test the safety of the new product.
We are always using CAD software so, a strong understanding of it is vital for my role and an excellent customer rapport is needed in order to get the best service from our suppliers and in turn give the best service to our customers. I enjoy the freedom to use new materials, processes and ideas, so long as the product works, is in budget and fulfils the agenda.
Salaries range to whatever you feel you should be earning, you’ll start with a good wage and progress quickly up the financial ladder if you put the work in to make your products the best they can be. Plus, the more hires and sales your item gets the better your bonuses will be!
I would advise anyone aspiring for a similar role to mine, to work hard at remembering not only everything about structures but to learn all the varying factors that may affect the work you weren’t taught at university. Finances and delivery times are as important as safe working loads and weight measurements If the product cannot be made in time for the job then it doesn’t matter whether it’s the lightest and the strongest…”
How Has 3D Printing Helped?
“3D printing gives us the ability to test our ideas without having products specifically made. Many times, Inventor creates a great looking product, but the 3D print has shown us the reality and kit in action. We often use these prototypes with steel pins, aluminium bars and plastic nuts to get the best outcome for the build.
3D printing has allowed us to both prove concepts quicker than ever before and demonstrate scale models from the comfort of the customers office.”
Can Education Benefit From 3D Printing?
“I think every school needs a 3D printer: it helps educate children on manufacturing processes and nurture their career developments. It would also provide the school with an ability to print items, such as for science experiments or art projects – every subject would benefit.”