Thursday, December 1, 2011

Field trip, thanksgiving and warmth

This afternoon, one of my engineering classes, Mechanical Assemblies (MIT # 2.875 - Mechanical Engineering is course #2, so all their classes are numbered 2.*.  Sloan is #15) went on a field trip with another Mech E class to Instrumentation Laboratory in Bedford, MA, a medical device company.  Our professor has been working there on and off as a consultant for the past year and so we were able to see their manufacturing floor and testing areas.  This was relevant to our Mechanical Assemblies class because throughout the semester we've been analyzing a consumer product (our team's choice was a NERF gun that shoots foam suction cup-tipped darts).

For Mechanical Assemblies, we've had weekly projects where we've modeled the parts on the computer, drawn exploded views, written assembly instructions, explained dimensional tolerances and key characteristics that need to be present in order for the NERF gun to function properly, as well as defined other process parameters, like how long we think the assembly would take, how much our materials and labor costs would be, how we would layout the factory, etc.  Today we were able to see a real world example of how this is done and got to see ways that assembly stations, or work cells (as IL called them) are arranged in-person.

I'm still getting used to being on a school schedule again, after taking some much needed time off over Thanksgiving.  Break was filled with food and naps, some TV or a movie and then more food and more naps.  Comfy clothes, nice people.  All was good.

This week and November in general have been abnormally warm.  Besides the small amount of slushy snow we got in an oppositely freakish manner right at the end of October, this week has hit 60 degrees multiple times.  Because the leaves on the ground aren't yet snow covered or frozen stiff, I can't tell whether this means that I'm actually getting sick now or just having super late fall allergies.  The weather is definitely different from last year...though the giant snow that I remember was actually in January, when I flew out for LGO Interviewfest, not November.  Since the photo below is of the unusual January 2011 snowfall, I would NOT expect ::crosses fingers:: something like that in 2012.

The snow in Cambridge IN 2011, note the car mirror sticking out of the snow bank in the middle
Related to thinking about Interviewfest and coming to campus, applications are due 12/15 for the LGO class of 2014, so finish up those essays and please apply - I hope to see you next year!

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