Sherpa Design hosts high school students on tour

In the hopes of inspiring future engineers and manufacturers, nearly 20 high school students visited Sherpa Design on May 8th. Making the trek from Oregon City, students from the Oregon City Service Learning Academy (OCSLA) toured the inner workings at Sherpa Design’s North Portland offices. 

Since OCSLA is a high school focused on both academic curriculum and meaningful community experiences, the tour gave students a real world view of a working design studio and rapid-prototyping machining facility. Students were shown a sample of engineering projects going from start to finish.

In the hopes of inspiring future engineers and manufacturers, nearly 20 high school students visited Sherpa Design on May 8th. Making the trek from Oregon City, students from the Oregon City Service Learning Academy (OCSLA) toured the inner workings at Sherpa Design’s North Portland offices. 

Since OCSLA is a high school focused on both academic curriculum and meaningful community experiences, the tour gave students a real world view of a working design studio and rapid-prototyping machining facility. Students were shown a sample of engineering projects going from start to finish.

In the quiet upstairs offices of the engineering studio, Sherpa Design founder and owner, Pat Barrett, told the students about his personal path to the world of mechanical engineering.

“This is where things start. We’re all engineers and designers up here and we typically work with products,” Barrett said. “We’re mechanicals, and we design things you can usually touch.”

“Now, when I first started out, I thought I wanted to be a car stereo installer,” he said. “So I went to school thinking ‘I’m gonna become an electrical engineering and I’m going to learn how to do all this stuff in car stereos.’”

“Well, after a couple years into it, I was hitting my head, I wasn’t doing well and I didn’t like it,” he continued. “I thought about what I wanted to do and then I looked into Mechanical [Engineering], and I said ‘gosh this makes a lot of sense’ because when I was kid, I used to like to play with Legos, I liked to work on my car with Dad, I used to tear things apart. So being able to touch it and actually see it, this really clicked one day.”

Barrett then explained the process of a project and where it comes from.

“The way we typically work is somebody has an idea or a need, somebody’s like ‘hey I’ve got the next best thing since sliced bread,’ or I’ve got a new cool way for you to take pictures or heat things up or carry things or a new way to shift gears on your bike,” he said. “They bring their plans or concept to us and we run with it.”

To illustrate the types of projects Sherpa Design can handle, three staff engineers displayed some recent work.

Seth Moczydlowski, Design Engineer, talked about how a project begins at Sherpa, going from the initial project scope to a conceptual design. Using the example of a recent project to design a semiconductor manufacturing tool enclosure, he walked through the process of taking customer requirements and turning them into actual parts in a 3D CAD model.

Catching the students’ eyes by bringing out a piece of military firepower, Mechanical Engineer Samuel Pepperwood detailed his contract work designing a stabilization system for a high-powered machine gun. He briefly walked them through the process of moving from a list of design requirements and specifications to a concept and then a final design. The students also saw a demonstration of the benefits that in-house rapid prototyping can offer for quick and efficient ergonomic testing.

And by taking a thermal group selfie with his smartphone, Dave Lindberg, Mechanical Engineer, showed how the internals he designed came together into a finished product for infrared imaging client, Seek Thermal. The client markets the product to smartphone users looking to visualize and measure object temperatures around them.

Barrett then turned to the world of 3D printing by talking about his brain. A few years ago, Barrett was having problems and needed an MRI brain-scan. After the scan was over, he asked if he could have the data and doctors said sure, so he printed a 3D model of his brain. Students passed around Barrett’s brain and observed its nooks and crannies.

Continuing the tour down into the machine shop below, students packed into the programming area where Michael Grant, Director of Manufacturing Technologies, demonstrated how files are refined to prepare for the machining process.

With the steady throb of machinery in the background, Grant explained his work using CAD/CAM software (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) - such as software products from Siemens NX CAD and NX CAM - to make sure the machining happens without any glitches or snags.

Out on the shop floor, Machine Shop Lead, Jon Manire, showed off Sherpa’s Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining facilities.  Looking through multiple machine safety windows, students could see demo products being shaped out of aluminum or steel. As well, Design Engineer/Machinist Devin Byerley displayed Sherpa Design’s DMU 50 for a demonstration of its 5-axis capabilities.

Sherpa Design and Applied CAx would like to thank all the students and staff of OCSLA for their visit, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors!

 

 


Make your next step, the best step...

Reach out to us about your project. We're engineers and we love to get into the details!

Reach out to us about your project. We're engineers and we love to get the details!

For fabrication requests, we will need the following details to provide cost estimates for you:

  • 3D CAD model available?
  • Drawing or PMI on model to convey desired feature tolerances available?
  • Desired material, special finishes/coatings, etc?
  • Quantity needed and desired delivery date?

Joomla Forms makes it right. Balbooa.com

Sherpa Design:
guiding others to success

Our Affiliated Partners

Our Address

6700 North New York Avenue
Suite 231
Portland, Oregon 97203
503-771-3570