Outside of my work, I like to work out and play video games in my free time. During this pandemic, I have become very limited in what I can do for fun. Much of what I did in my free time prior to the pandemic is now not possible. However, video games have been a great way to stay connected with my friends and still maintain somewhat of a social life online. I also have taken advantage of the pandemic by becoming more disciplined in my workout regimen. I work out as frequently as I can. I still 3D print things for fun. I print little things for my friends or girlfriend and print parts for personal projects I’m working on.
Over the course of my life, I’ve had a lot of passion for creating with my hands. As a young boy, I loved playing with LEGO. From there, my love for designing and creating only grew. This drive led me to start my Mechanical Engineering degree in 2018 at York University. I’m currently in my third year of university. In these 3 years I have been exposed to many amazing and innovative tools, with one of them being 3D-printers. Unfortunately, it always took a long time to receive our parts. That resulted in there being very little time left to make any improvements to our designs after receiving our parts.
In engineering, prototyping is a big component of projects. This service didn’t give us the window of time needed to effectively prototype. I considered getting my own 3D-printer. One day that happened when my uncle informed me he had bought one and wanted me to get it working for him. I guess he saw how quickly I became invested in 3D-printing as he let me keep the printer and create the parts for him whenever he needed. After that, I spent months gaining a ton of knowledge and experience with the printer. I fell in love with 3D-printing. I approached two of my peers, who I knew had 3D-printers themselves, and together we created MPN Prints. It’s now been about a year and we have multiple printers. We 3D-print parts for a large manufacturing company that sends our parts to automobile plants overseas. We also print parts for engineering students whenever they have projects. We are still in our early stages but growing every single day. We all want to continue doing this for the long-term.
My advice is that you can never learn too much. I’m learning new things everyday, whether it be from resources I find online or through the mistakes I make. 3D-printing is full of troubleshooting and fixing problems that pop up. Each one is a chance to learn more about your machines and how to make them work better than before! On starting your own business, my advice would be to go for it if you can make time for it. I started my business at age 20, but there are people that have started their businesses much younger than me and now have more experience than I do. You’re never too young. Your business can start as a small side project and grow into your full time occupation. The only thing that matters is that you need to know that this is right for you. If you put the time and effort in it will pay off.
I get to wake up every single day and do something that I love doing! As cliché as that sounds, I started 3D-printing as a hobby. It opened me up to a whole new world of science and engineering that I grew a deep passion for. My job is now an extension of that passion. I get to do something few other people have even heard about, let alone do as a job. I have fun with every part of my job. I enjoy prepping my printers for an order and even driving to the post office to send out an order. It’s all rewarding to me because I get to share my passion with my clients through every order and showcase all our creations to everyone online. This job is also something I can share with my friends. I have used it to bring us closer by 3D-printing personalized gifts that they could never have found at a store for special occasions. It has also provided me with valuable experience working with my hands, communicating with clients in a professional setting, and managing finances. I love that I get to see my company grow through the effort and hard work I’ve put into it, while also seeing myself grow as a person.
The great thing about running MPN Prints is that I get to have fun with science and technology! My day is also determined based on how I decide to approach it. My workload is pretty flexible. It's usually controlled by the number of orders we are processing at a given time. I make sure to be as productive as possible. At the same time, I am also taking adequate breaks to ensure I don’t burn myself out. My average workday consists of communicating with my team to process our orders quickly and efficiently. I keep our clients updated on their orders by using email. I also advertise our services on our social media accounts. We all have equal decision-making power but make sure to communicate with each other before making any big decisions. We are all good friends and go to school together. That has definitely helped with our partnership while running the company!
My line of work is heavily based in STEM so every day I have to apply my set of related skills to ensure I do my job properly and effectively. Operating and maintaining 3D printers requires a lot of different STEM skills. The 3D printers used for my job are complex pieces of technology. They use a motherboard to control all the components of the printer. This includes the cooling fans, the heating, the movement of the bed, and the motors that push the plastic out. When I started, I didn't have any formal training for operating 3D printers. What I know now came from spending countless hours learning everything I could about 3D printers. This included time spent with YouTube videos, online articles, and participating in 3D printing forums. I had to learn about every component of my printers so that I could make sure they were all working properly. If a printer breaks down, which happens a lot, I have the skills to know exactly how to fix them.
I also use my engineering and math skills to design 3D models that can create solutions for clients with practical problems. One example of this is making custom brackets to screw a power bar into a wall. 3D printing needs a fair amount of hands-on problem solving because of how much troubleshooting is involved when a print fails. I’ve learned a lot about perseverance and determination from having to make adjustments to my printing settings. There is a lot going on during the printing process, such as the printing speed, temperature, and how much plastic is pushed out at once. I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge from fixing all the problems I've encountered.
- Industrial Arts
- Physical Education/Health
- Brought People Together
- Always wanted to be outside
- Organized activities for my friends
- Played on a sports team
- Enjoyed working with my hands
- Was motivated by success
- Wanted to be in charge
- Played video games
- Was really creative
- Never wanted to be in the classroom
- Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
- Always knew what I wanted to do
- Liked to take things apart to see how they worked
- Liked to design or build things
- Learned Best by Doing