Join Kipp Bradford for an in-depth discussion in this video My story, part of Skilled Trades: Manufacturing Careers.
- I started off as a kid making things and got really excited about engineering. - Realistically I've always been the hands-on kind of girl. I love to get myself dirty, I like to work on cars, I like workshop, I like building things. I'm pretty much doing a project every weekend at home. - I was a school bus driver, and I was looking for a job that require specific skill. When I was young, I like to build my own stuff, like, I build chair, just small chair, small table, work something, build with my hand, and fortunately I found this program that I can learn specific skill, build a part by the machine, and I like building part. - Sometimes it's hard to explain to friends what I'm doing down here because I came from a world that was in a makerspace, it's easier to connect it back to that. People talk about manufacturing, and they don't, the connection isn't always made between makers and manufacturing, and, to be able to bridge those two together, since they're so closely connected is what I tell people what I'm doing down here. It's the thinking a project through, it's being able to come up with an idea, and to do some quick sketches, to flush the idea out, do some designs on the computer, and then with this technology that we have, just in this room here, be able to bring the prototypes into the physical space, and take them to the next level, so it's rapid prototyping, and we're able to create products in a day, and iterate them till they become a final product. - This class to me is kind of like, going to get that car, but they don't just give you the key and say take it out for a drive, they kind of take it apart, every nut and bolt, piece by piece, so you get a real deep understanding of what you're doing, and why, and how it works. - Oh, my children think it's super cool that I'm down here. They're very jealous (laughs) that they don't have this technology at their school. They're happy that they can come down here with me on the weekends and use some of the equipment to make some different things. But it's cool that you can make things that you want, when you want, and anyone can do it. - [Pisey] Yeah, it's cool when we take a raw material and we can build it apart. - I would have thought about manufacturing as like a jewelry shop where they make a thousand rings, and then one lady's stamping it like back in the cartoons in the 1970s, and then it's going through the belt, and then another lady's placing the diamond, but she's messing up like "I Love Lucy" 'cause it's getting all piled up, I'm joking, I'm joking, but that was kind of my perception of manufacturing prior to this. It was just kind of like, I thought it was like a belt system, and everyone had a station, and it was just like a button-pusher, that's what I thought, but it's definitely not that. - This is a circuit board that I've designed on my computer, I've sent it off to a factory, that then sends me back the physical object. - This little propellor for example, is, this tells a story. I look at this, and I remember everything that the students went through to design this, to build it, to just put something this, appears to be simple, put it together, and come out with it, and having it be a finished product, it's more than just taking raw materials together, it's a part of you, there is a part of you that goes into every single part that you will ever make, and the journey that it takes to get there, that's what it's really all about. It's, the end result is obviously important, but if you don't, if there's no passion behind it, if you're not dumping yourself into what you do, then it's not going to come out the same. - I know of people who have been teachers in previous careers who've become manufacturing experts. Plenty of engineers obviously, get involved with manufacturing, but also, artists, designers, musicians, there are a number of different ways that people have to get exposure to manufacturing fields, get involved with those trades, and get jobs in factories that are the advanced machining centers of tomorrow. If you enjoy making things, you might find yourself being strongly attracted to manufacturing careers. What you get to do, what you get to see, is materials start in a raw form, and go through machinery that you're in control of, and those machines turn those raw materials into all kinds of crazy products, so you get to be involved in those processes, you get to watch those processes, you get to shape those processes.