A Bit Stuck

I’m a bit stuck right now, any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
This was my previous post.

I don’t have the money right know to go back to school for ID. I am trying to get a job that will give me some experience or training in a beneficial area while I save some money. I recently applied for a job, as a mold-maker for a product design / engineering company. I think they work with the medical and toy industries,

There is two positions available:

  1. working in the rapid prototyping department, with sls, sla parts and casting them in small production runs, ect.

  2. working with in the mold-making department machine shop with cnc tooling mainly for dies and injection molds, ect.

Which do you think would be more useful in gaining ID related skills?

I got job #1 working in proto model shop, which has been great because most of the people I worked with were older guys that had come from the toy industry and it made a pleasant enviornment. Unfortunately the company is going through some changes and had to let me go recently.
I have applied for some model making jobs but it seems most Model Maker jobs mean Tool and Die Maker. So I enrolled in some subsidized technical classes at a local community college to fill in some of the gaps in my training mainly CNC/CAM. I was thinking I’d end up in a prototyping, fabrication type position, but the enviornment at school is so different and now I understand what people were taking about when they said “… at the end of the day the model maker is just making what was designed by the designer nothing more.
In my previous job most model makers were creative and had sculpture ability and had a desire to worked on there own stuff on off hours. The people in my class now are machine shop tradesman with seemingly no interest in right brain things. I just turned 26 still don’t have the money to go back to school for ID and I’m starting to bug. I see jobs like the one below and wonder why does it say you need a bachelors in ID?

JOB
Responsibilities/Expectations:
> Lead model making and prototyping projects from initial customer meetings though execution and follow up. Create Ultra-High Quality Solid Visual Models, Working Prototypes and Concept Models for Industrial Design, Marketing and Engineering. Operate a variety of rapid prototyping and traditional model making equipment as required. Model finishing including sanding, polishing, painting, texturing, silk-screening, color mixing and assembly

Knowledge Skills: > Four year degree in Industrial Design or equivalent required. Must demonstrate the capability of machining, finishing and painting Ultra-High Quality solid visual models utilizing traditional and rapid prototyping techniques. Ability to interpret 2D drawings and sketches into mockups, visual models and 3D CAD models. Must be capable of interfacing with a variety of CAD and CAM software. Excellent communication and organizational skills and the ability to use a variety of computer systems and new software is required. Candidate must be self-motivated and must be capable of meeting schedules.

Basic Qualifications: > 1+ years of experience using Pro-Engineering software…

My desire to produce tangible results is really making life more difficult, maybe instead of learning Solidworks I should have been learn 3D Studio Max or Maya. :confused:

They probably want someone trained in ID because as you’ve seen, some people are just learning how to “work the machines” and don’t have that designer side that would help them understand how the designer wants their surface to look. They may not grasp the importance of or difference between a plain radius on an edge or a curvature continuous blend. An ID trained model maker would understand the important distinctions between the two.
Also, with all of the rapid prototyping, etc…are you sure this is a secure basket to put your eggs in? Think about what possible things you could be doing with this choice 5 and 10 years from now while looking at how fast technology is changing. Just something to think about.
You might want to look at groups that make models for movies like ILM, etc where you’ll still be doing cool stuff and working with creative types but may be able to get away with not having the formal ID education.
Good luck to you.

skinny makes great points.

there’s a reason why the really good prototype personel were “crusty old guys”. still, maybe what you want to do is concentrate on fabrication?

a good designer will still take a fabricator’s advice. i do.

on the other hand, maybe you need to bite the bullet and take out the loans necessary to get a degree? perhaps a good portfolio will land some scholarships to help offset the costs.