Engineered Art

Matt Lee, senior industrial engineering and technology major, throws sparks while working on the project.

Matt Lee, senior industrial engineering and technology major, throws sparks while working on the project.

A small class of dedicated engineering students create internationally themed art for Missouri Southern.

Last year, they built the Eiffel Tower. This semester ,students are constructing a 15-foot long and 6-foot tall version of the Brandenburg Gate.

“It’s much more complex than a box on top of a box,” said Eric Ostendorf, industrial engineering and technology major and computer assisted manufacturing major. “Definitely more work involved than the Eiffel tower.”

Don Schultz retired from his position as an instructor of computer assisted manufacturing technology this December, but that did not stop him from returning as an adjunct to help build the Brandenburg project.

“I would not miss it,” Schultz said.

This project is tougher than his previous effort, the Eiffel Tower. For the tower, pieces were cut by water jet, but the large-scale construction involved in the Brandenburg Gate required more. Sheet metal was donated, cut and bent before they could begin assembly.

“We got out on the Internet and downloaded the CAD drawing, the detailed drawings,” Schultz said.

A new piece of equipment helped them picture the concept. Housed in Ummel Technology Building, a 3-D printer built the eight-inch scale model students use. A traveling arm inside the printer builds up the ABS plastic to create models of working parts and prototypes.

The 3-D printer was purchased with grant money. Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the school of technology, said the department requested it for a couple years and she saw it as a good recruitment tool.

“Our students will be able to graduate with the most recent skills and be knowledgeable so they are marketable,” Strait said. “There are industries that do not have that piece of technology.”

Instructors and Strait say the real world experience is valuable for students in the engineering and technology program.

“How many students can say ‘I designed and built the Eiffel Tower?'” Strait said.

The large-scale models, once completed, will be displayed on campus as art. Students are eager to finish the project, working Saturdays to get it finished.

“It’s gonna be awesome big,” Ostendorf said.