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Empowering Innovation: Inside Madison College's Mechanical Design Technology Program with H2I Group

Step into the dynamic world of Madison Area Technical College’s Mechanical Design Technology Program. This special feature unveils how the college is leveraging Additive Manufacturing, a transformative force in today’s design and production industry.


Ryan Ubersox: You really can’t become an expert in this industry because the technology is moving so quickly that we’re learning something new every single day. The nice thing about that is we get support from H2I Group in the training that they offer us. They keep us up to date on what the newest technologies are and what industry is using as far as additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping so that we can stay on the forefront for our students who are going to be out in industry tomorrow.

My name is Ryan Ubersox. I am an instructor at Madison College in the Mechanical Design Technology Department. I’m also the program director. So our program here at Madison College basically introduces students to the design world. It’s almost like a two year mechanical engineering degree, so it’s called mechanical design. And we do a fair amount of prototyping throughout the program.

So students design things and then we prototype them on the machines that we purchase from H2I Group. As far as the projects that we work on here at Madison College in mechanical design, we start with visual representation, right, and orientation. So we teach students how to understand what a product is going to look like and represent that product on a 2D plane on a piece of paper.

With that, we find that printing, 3D printing, the products that they’re designing really help them understand and visualize every angle of the product. And in the end of the program, students are using all of these rapid prototyping techniques in order to produce their own products. This is an electronic generation system that you would put into a river and allow the water to flow through the system, and then it has a charging mechanism with it that allows you to charge your phone or anything it might use.

So those are the types of things, Kind of in a short nutshell of what we try to do within the program with the technologies that were purchased. For me, teaching in this environment is really kind of exhilarating every day, right? You wake up and you never have a hard time getting out of bed when you know that a student is going to come up with an idea that doesn’t exist. And we have the capabilities on-site to design and create the prototype that didn’t exist the day before.

Armand Carlo Agbulos: My name is Armand Carlo Agbulos. I’m an incoming second-year student here at Mechanical Design Technology. I’m originally from the Philippines, and I moved to the US last August. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved designing stuff. I’ve always liked making stuff. And so I came to a realization that if I went and studied here, I’d be able to put that passion to work and apply some science and engineering behind it. And so far it’s been great.

Ryan Ubersox: Carlos is the type of person that’s training other students on things and knows enough to have questions about and hopes about what he can do in the future with these machines, as well as learning just enough to be dangerous with them right now.

Armand Carlo Agbulos: As soon as I got here, I applied for a position for Ryan because I really wanted to have the chance to work with these amazing machines and we have a wide range of them too. Will we have 3D printers, and resin printers over there; We have a laser here, an Objet here. So I figured why not apply, and get the chance to learn more. And that’s what’s been happening. Right now, I’ve just been passing that information to other students and it’s been very rewarding so far.

Ryan Ubersox: What I see from our students when they come into the program is that some of them have some experience with industry, some of them have some experience with design and with the capabilities of rapid prototyping. What they’re able to do in our program is actually get their hands on industry-standard 3D printers and rapid prototyping machines. So when they walk out the door tomorrow, they can really be an asset for the company that they’re working for because they’ve had training on up-to-date machines that those companies may or may not already have on site.

Armand Carlo Agbulos: What I see in the future after finishing this program is for a couple of years work in the industry just to apply the skills that I’ve learned and to build on it because you can always learn more and there’s always innovation, there’s always new ideas that we learn and I want to be part of that. I want to be part of figuring out how we can improve these processes, right? And afterward maybe come back here and share that and share those learnings because you can always contribute the body of knowledge, right? You can always help people achieve their goals.

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