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Tanner Gunn’s 1B Summer 2015

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This summer I got the opportunity to
work on the Opal Nugget Ice Maker team. My co-op rotation began right as Opal
was in its infancy. This gave me the unique opportunity to influence the early
development of Opal. I worked to design and build multiple prototypes, from
visual units to a functional design guidance prototype. I worked with
FirstBuild’s vast repertoire of tools and equipment to design and make many
parts such as the stainless steel wrap that defines Opal’s modern look, the
internal plastic structure, the clear double walled ice bucket, and others. I
used tools such as the press brake, water jet, 3D printer, laser cutter, welder
and many more.

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As I worked on these prototypes, several
challenges arose. One of the challenges that I spent a significant amount of
time on was dimensioning the external skin. We were using new tools in our
press brake to get the curved corners. I worked with FirstBuild’s technicians
to develop the tooling code for Opal’s skin. In order to match the plastic
parts and the skin we needed to know what the bend radius of the skin was. I
worked with FirstBuild’s lasers and Solidworks to develop a set of tools to
measure the bend in the skin, allowing me to design the plastic interior and
the top and bottom of the ice maker.

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Another challenge was assembling and
mounting all the parts. I worked on a chassis that could hold all the vital
elements of the ice making process together. I worked through many iterations
of this part and was able to build the prototypes at FirstBuild, and test them.
Through this process I arrived at a design that supported the entire system,
was able to be assembled, and which limited moments on the structure.

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All in all, I had a wonderful time
learning and growing in FirstBuild’s unique environment, getting to see both
the development and marketing sides of a product launch, engaging with the
maker community and developing valuable technical skills.

Thank you FirstBuild for a wonderful summer! Looking forward to
getting my Opal Nugget Ice Maker in July 2016!

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