Recently, three Chancellor’s Honors students, Kyle Goodrick (electrical engineering), Aaron Young (computer engineering), and Andrew Messing (computer engineering), were highlighted (see insert) in the Torchbearer magazine for their efforts in helping to design one of the world’s first functioning 3D printed car. The Chancellor’s Honors Program sat down with them to learn about their experience.
Aaron Young explained that the students worked collaboratively with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Dr. Lonnie Love, a Group Leader, Automation, Robotics, and Manufacturing engineer at the the laboratory to complete the project. In their high school years, the group of students founded the robotics club at Hardin Valley Academy, a high school located just outside Oak Ridge, TN, and recruited Dr. Love to be their mentor, so the partnership was a natural fit.
As interns at ORNL, their main task in the project was to rewrite, modify, and rework open source code for small desktop 3d printers. The new altered code was modified in order to accommodate 3D printing on a much larger scale. “I was an intern for ORNL when the announcement about making the world’s first 3D printed car came out, and, later when the project began, I chose to start working on the ORNL Slicer as I had experience with writing software,” said Andrew Messing. The first car was recently unveiled at the Chicago International Manufacturing Technology Show, and the students have also worked to print a car that resembled a Shelby Cobra.
The students commented that the project really helped make their UT experience and broadened their future outlook. “This project and internship have been really amazing for my career and academic outlooks; I’m doing an internship right now at Siemens here in Munich and during the search and interview process, I was told that, even in Germany, they had heard great things about [ORNL],” said Kyle Goodrick.
Aaron Young had this advice for other honors students considering research and hands-on experience: “I would recommend other honors students to seek-out summer internship opportunities; they are a great experience, allow you to gain job skills, and apply what you have learned in the classroom.”