Physical Digital are excited to welcome on board our work-experience recruit for the summer. Courtney is an MEng Engineering student going into her third year at Cambridge University. Courtney approached Physical Digital last year, looking for hands-on engineering experience and we are thrilled to have her join us until September. We look forward to working with Courtney and educating her on all things 3D optical measurement!
Courtney will be writing posts about her time at Physical Digital, so find out what she has been up to as she approaches the end of her first week as part of the team:
"My first week at Physical Digital is my first experience working in an engineering focused workplace. After seeing friends from university take on internships in large companies where they were given very little training and banished to a desk to crunch numbers for 3 months, I endeavoured to seek out a small business that I could get involved in all areas of the company and really gain an insight into working as an engineer. In November, I was thrilled to hear back from Tim and Lucy after approaching them directly and met with them to discuss opportunities for the following summer. 8 months later, I am sat in the Physical Digital office approaching the end of my first week and excited at the prospect of spending another 8 weeks with the team.
On Monday morning, I was thrown right into training; Dan, the engineering manager here, gave me an introduction into photogrammetry and got me involved right away. I hardly sat down the entire day and absorbed more information than I thought I would all week! On Tuesday, I revised all this information by (almost independently!) setting up and scanning a household fan and started to learn how to use the program GOM Inspect in more detail. Wednesday was my first opportunity to get involved with a real project, scanning and inspecting a metal grinder, and I now realise just how much detail and precision is needed for even the smallest of components!
I have been surprised at just how much is going on around me; there is such a wide range of projects that are in progress at the same time. From aircraft engine components to medical engineering equipment, there are endless things to peak my interest around me and I can’t wait to get involved as much as I can in all sorts of exciting projects during my time at Physical Digital. I'll be providing regular updates via blog-posts about my journey and how I'm getting on."
Another week of my time as Physical Digital has passed, and I have had lots of things to keep me busy! I started out the week working on my individual project – inspecting a disc out of a historic jet engine to be used by the company as a verification artefact. This involved me starting to learn how to use Siemens NX in order to create a casting model of the part. This proved difficult as I wasn’t able to get any reliable measurements by hand, so it will be interesting to see how the scan data compares to my estimates!
I have continued work on the grinder project this week and am beginning to understand some of the challenges you are presented with when scanning such small and intricate parts ! One of the most essential things I’ve learned is how to ensure data is not lost from where it is held into place, which for such tiny parts can be quite tricky. The team showed me overcome this and ensure complete accuracy, but it highlighted how the process for different parts can vary depending on size and complexity.
I also had the opportunity to exercise my photogrammetry knowledge again; this time on a much larger scale as I got to scan a custom motorbike This was a bit of a challenge as some of the surfaces were very shiny, but I managed to complete the photogrammetry with it computing first time.
On Thursday and Friday, I went out on my first site visits to two automotive design studios. They were both to scan clay models of cars which was beneficial to me to experience the same process on both visits as it allowed me to get familiar with the set-up and the process of taking the photogrammetry, calibrating and capturing data with the 3D scanner, as well as aligning and processing the data. This meant I could get more involved when out on site on the Friday.It was really exciting to be able to visit these leading automotive companies despite the very early morning starts for a student!