It’s not that big a stretch of the imagination to see someone who was interested in building with a “humongous” Lego collection when he was young become fascinated with today’s hottest advanced technology—3D printing/additive manufacturing. David Kriesberg is that person—an undergraduate mechanical engineering student with a December graduation date.
David wrote an award-winning paper on 3D printing and won the Italian Machine, Tools, and Technology Award (IMTTA) and a trip to Italy sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency. The paper focused on the different kinds of additive manufacturing (AM) processes and how 3D printing could be introduced into the undergraduate curriculum.
David learned how to use conventional subtractive machining mills and lathes working as the manager assistant in the college’s machine shop, which is equipped with a variety of 3D printing machines. “I’m more of a hands-on person. I learned open and closed software 3D printing programming, just as I learned CNC machining,” David said. His responsibilities in the machine shop range from ensuring that proper safety procedures are followed to training students in the use of various machines such as lathes, mills, laser engraving and 3D printers.
David, who came to the US from Colombia when he was 18, studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, MD, before attending the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. David is fluent in Spanish and has been active in prominent Hispanic organizations on campus and in the Washington, DC area. As treasurer of the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, David has been able to help students receive financial assistance to attend a national conference and managed a budget of about $6000. As house manager of the Gala Hispanic Theater in Washington, DC, David has supervised management of the 360-person performance arts facility.
The goal of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers is to encourage high school students to pursue a higher education. Members visit local high schools and sponsor science nights where professionals can work with parents, teaching them about financial aid and how to apply for it.
“We try to treat our meetings and activities like a community or family where they can feel comfortable and speak Spanish with their friends. We encourage attending national conferences, bring in companies to talk about opportunities that are available, and even provide resume writing clinics.”
David intends to pursue a master’s degree focusing on additive manufacturing. He believes that there is a great deal that has to be learned about how different materials behave in 3D printing and that applications are just now scratching the surface of what AM will be capable of in the future. The skills that he has gained include programming in Creo, Inventor, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, MeshCAM, among others, and proficiency in laser engraving and cutting, CNC milling and lathe work.
Beyond the master’s work, David has considered how working for a company can help him gain knowledge and experience that would help him create his own start-up company or consulting firm to help people’s ideas and dreams become a reality.
This article was first published in the July 2016 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Read all of the 2016 30 Under 30 Profiles as a PDF.