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For about 4 weeks now, I have been involved in a wide array of tasks related to my internship. It has been a very fulfilling and interesting time for me, as I have been completing projects that initially, I did not anticipate to be doing. However, this experience has not only increased my awareness of what tasks may be required in creative businesses such as this, but I have also developed skills and interests in other creative mediums which, I may not have discovered in other contexts.
Hence the title! A quote from the brilliant comedian Minchin, who recently said this when addressing the 2013 graduates from the University of Western Australia.
” Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up. Just be aware the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery, which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.”
This part of Tim’s speech really highlighted what I had already begun to acknowledge within my work and reaffirmed my intentions of continuing to take on new challenges with the same commitment and enthusiasm as I have had for more familiar projects.
Below are a selection of my own photographs, which portray some of the highlights from the previous weeks. To begin with, we now have new additions to the MCHL shop: including 3D printed Dom Tower Pendants, laser cut MCHL Clocks and 3D printed ceramic tableware. Alongside these new products, I have been producing product photos and videos which we are using in a variety of formats including the Michiel Cornelissen Shapeways shop, blog and press releases. In addition to all that. I just recently completed a window display for the MCHL shop, featuring some of Michiel’s work and the new clocks! Looking good.
On top of the daily tasks of preparing material to market and publicise new products, I have continued to develop my technical skills, learning how to operate a Trotec laser cutter/engraver for the MCHL clocks and working on a new design for the MCHL store which, will be in the shop before Christmas!
On the weekend of the 20th of September, I went to Brussels to visit two old friends and explore the capital and largest city of Belgium. I was very lucky, as the date of my trip coincided with Brussels’ ‘Car free Sunday’, a day when the 19 municipalities of the region close their territory for car traffic, as part of the European Week of Mobility(15 to 22 September). Not only did this mean that I could walk freely down the streets but it also allowed me to see Brussels in a new light and appreciate the sights. One particular aspect that I really enjoyed about Brussels was its architecture: offering a wide variety of historical buildings and the occasional, modern yet sympathetic construction.
Personally for me, it was these modern buildings that really caught my eye, especially one on Rue de la Loi or Wetstraat, a road which is known for featuring several governmental buildings. The ‘Residence Palace’ or ‘Europa building‘, consists of two buildings side by side, one, a more traditional construction and the other, replicating the pattern of historical windows in a patchwork fashion, into the framework of glass front. By creating a repeat pattern out of the original window frame, the newer addition highlights certain qualities of its older counterpart, whilst giving it a modern twist.
Two weeks have past since I started my internship for Michiel Cornelissen and I am amazed at how fast it has gone by. As part of the internship, I have had the privilege of being involved in all aspects of the business: from working in the shop, arranging displays and stock to producing signage and most recently, I was responsible for taking and editing press photos of the shop and a few designs which, are being used to publicise the shop’s official opening in the next few months!
These photos can be found on the MCHL flickr page.
And with the impending official opening of the MCHL, the press are already beginning to take notice and promote the event.
Aside from the commercial business side of the internship, I also have been set several 3D printing projects which I am currently working on. The first was to produce a ‘3DPRINTING!’ sign for the shop window, to not only demonstrate the capabilities of 3D printing, but also to inform ‘window shoppers’ of the shop’s content and allow me to familiarise myself with using the studio’s 3D printers and CAD software.
Needless to say, learning new software and operating a Makerbot/Ultimaker 3D printer were relatively new projects for me, and I anticipated that it would be a big learning curve for me. In retrospect, it was, but I revelled in the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and use the printers independently, learning from my mistakes and working as part of a team on new design ideas.Towards the end of my second week, I had successfully designed and printed the ‘3DPRINTING!’ sign and my first FDM print is now in the shop window!
To review the internship so far, (as I sit in the shop watching customers watch the Ultimaker printing from outside), I can see how much I have developed in a short space of time, but also how much more I have to learn. This is not a daunting prospect for me, as these are exciting times for the business and I look forward to becoming an integral part of the MCHL brand and assisting in its development.
During my internship with Dutch Designer Michiel Cornelissen, I had the opportunity to experiment with and review the 3Doodler – 3D printing pen.
I first heard about this product during the Kickstarter project for the new and smaller Lix – 3D printing pen. Initially, the idea of a 3D printing pen sounded like a fantastic product idea and I felt it would fit well into the 3D printing market which, is booming at the moment. With proper product design execution and technical consideration to the extrusion process, it could potentially allow users to produce three-dimensional sketches, supplementing the design process.
However, I have to admit, I also had initial reservations, believing that 3D printing or applying the FDM process to a pen, may lose the key element of what makes 3D printing so successful: its ability to print three-dimensional objects with a high level of precision. By removing the computer, printer, CAD files and modelling software, and introducing human error, the process becomes inconsistent and inaccurate.
Unfortunately, my suspicions were confirmed when I began to use the 3Doodler. The product itself was simple enough to use, with a fast and slow extrusion, a setting for PLA and ABS, a reverse option and heating light. However, the pen was large and cumbersome and I found it very hard to construct anything three-dimensional.
My biggest issue was with the extrusion cut off point: to stop extrusion, one would simply let go of the button, but, the plastic would still slightly extrude and drag, meaning I had to guess the length of time for each extrusion and clean up the plastic afterwards, not ideal. The only positive I found with this product was that you could draw onto paper without it sticking and when enough pressure was applied (and the extrusion did not curl up on itself), you could draw reasonable flat designs or text.
So overall, I am pleased that I did not personally invest my money into this product. I still believe this could be an exciting product for the 3D printing market, even if it is limited, but this particular product was disappointing. I hope that the slimmer, LIX pen, will have resolved some the issues mentioned in this post.
I travelled to Utrecht at the end of August, giving me time to settle in my new surroundings and sort out living arrangements and travel. Upon arriving, I was surprised to discover it didn’t match what I had imagined. Firstly, Utrecht is a lot bigger: I had expected a large town or a place that resembled Venice: with long winding historical streets and canals. In some ways, I was correct, walking around the city for the first time gave me the chance to take in all the beautiful buildings, the shops along the Oudegracht and the history of the city. However, alongside that, I felt the city boasts a fusion of history, tradition, affluence and modern city features, making the city even more inviting.
Unlike Britain, I found the provided cycle paths and encouragement of cyclists/cycling to be truly brilliant and an initially terrifying experience. Having only ever watched out for cars/vehicles when crossing a single road, I found myself completing a 180 the second I stepped off the pavement in an attempt to avoid colliding with a cyclist, then only to do the same for actual road. Aside from a few hairy moments, I really appreciate the provision of cycle paths. Admittedly it is a novel concept to me, but in a busy city, I can already see the benefit of them.
During my first week in Utrecht, I spent my time seeing the tourist hot spots, including: the Domtoren (Dom Tower), the Trajectum Lumen tour and the Oudegracht (Old Canal) and its diverse range of shops and cafes. Simply walking around the city was a pleasure and with the help of tourist blogs, I managed to get some great views of the city from the Hoog catharijne. A pleasant surprise was that I immediately felt at home in Utrecht and this was emphasised by the people living there: who were all very welcoming and helpful.
In April 2014, I finished my contract as a technician at Loughborough University and began looking for work. During these 4 months, I began to assess the direction of my career, leading me to consider working abroad again, similar to my Erasmus year in the Czech Republic.
I decided to get in touch with Michiel Cornelissen, a Dutch designer based in Utrecht who produces products for clients whilst also running his own design studio and shop: stocked with his own design ideas, the majority of which are 3D printed. With a background in design engineering from Delft University of Technology, numerous publications in magazines and blogs such as Gizmodo, Wired, Designboom, Core77 and NotCot and the winner of the IF and Red Dot awards, the opportunity to work with him would not only be invaluable but also very relevant work experience.
After several emails, a skype call and two weeks, I was invited to come out to Utrecht and work for him for 4 months as an intern. Whilst working for Michiel, I will have the opportunity to develop my design skills, contribute design ideas and assist in the running of the business.