Meaningful inspiration brings a project to life!
Beth Curtis hails from Harrison and began studying at Mid with her goal to find success in a stable career while staying in the local area top of mind. "I took an Advanced Integrated Manufacturing course initially, but shortly thereafter I took a CADD course and Instructor Eric Sander's passion for the CADD field inspired me to change my focus."
Beth's first 3D printed project was inspired by her passion to care for and help others. Her grandmothers, who both valued their independence, faced difficulty gripping silverware after several health issues. "Not being able to be as independent as they were before was difficult for both of them," shared Beth. "I worked at an adult care facility previously and watching those residents and both of my grandmothers struggle to perform simple tasks like enjoying a meal, inspired me to re-engineer a utensil gripping tool as my 3D printing project."
Beth re-engineered the tool in SolidWorks, previewed the printing process, developed prototypes, and perfected her design using Mid's 3D printers and PLA plastic. The material costs for the tool were just .96 cents, and she was able to successfully create a functional tool to help others grip silverware and writing utensils and improve their quality of life.
"I particularly enjoy the hums and chirps the 3D printers make while printing. It's almost as if the printers are letting you know your project is coming to life!"
"The CADD field offers so many possibilities and I still have a lot to learn, but I'm motivated to complete my degree and begin my career every time I hear a CADD graduate success story, which is often! In the near future I plan to complete my CADD associate degree and start a career at a local manufacturing company."
Beth's CADD Tip | Use a glue stick to coat the 3D printing platform before you start printing your project. The glue helps the product stay in place and secure throughout the printing process.
Local student prepared for success at Mid
"In high school I worked at a local dairy farm, but I knew I wanted to go to college. As I looked all my options over, I ruled out the idea of a big university because of the cost. Because Mid Michigan College was so close to home, I researched all the different programs they offer and became interested in the welding program.
A family friend taught me the basics, and that fall I started classes. After just one semester, I was already doing some small side jobs. The next semester, I took the Intro to CADD class. This particular course is all hand-drawing and learning about blueprints. Being the math lover that I am, I instantly fell in love. I changed my program of study to CADD and quickly set to work.
In the next year, I pushed through and completed the CADD program. I graduated with an Associates Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design and a full-time job offer from Robinson Industries. The CADD program at Mid was the best decision I have made. The instructor cares about the success of his students and makes class enjoyable. The classes are both fun and challenging, and I think the program definitely prepares you for a successful career."
- Mallory Mielke, Mid CADD Graduate
My internship with Vantage Plastics has been extended and a job offer is likely on the horizon! I have been given several projects to work on, on my own. and I’m getting ready to have my first solo tool model reviewed and sent out for prototype casting - so exciting! The longer I’m here the more I’m enjoying it, this is a wonderful company to work for and learn from. Vantage is very employee orientated and everyone here has gone above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and part of the team. I’ve also gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding my work, and regardless of what happens regarding permanent employment with Vantage, the experience I’ve gained is invaluable. I feel much more confident as a designer and team member, after just a few short months here.
- Nicole Walters, CAD Program
After graduating high school, I really had no idea what I wanted to study, or even a dream career in mind. I decided a community college would be my best financial choice, being still undecided after graduation. I had taken a vocational class for graphic design and enjoyed the creativity of that.
As I began at Mid I just planned on taking Gen Ed courses for transfer later once I figured out what I wanted to do. After my first semester I realized I had a passion for saving the environment and wanted to do anything pertaining to that effort.
Combining my love for creativity and design, and a goal to learn technologies that could help save our planet, I started looking into engineering. Because Mid doesn’t offer an environmental engineering program, I talked to my Mentor and they suggested the CAD Program Through the program I could learn the basics of hand and computer aided drafting that companies use today.
Right away I loved the course and instructor, so I changed my plans. Eric Sander and the other professors involved in the program were very accommodating and knowledgeable about the technology and the industry we would be working in. Eric was awesome about sending me internship leads and preparing me for my interviews. I did 3 interviews and decided to go with a company called Case Systems where they design and build cabinets.
There I used my knowledge of AutoCAD and SolidWorks learned at Mid, to secure a full-time position as a drafter within a year, and a few months later I got an opportunity to join their Engineering team.
The CAD program and my internship not only provided me with the skills to succeed, but multiple opportunities for employment. I could then choose my best fit, as well as where I would learn the most. In this industry experience is really important and it’s hard to find jobs without it. What started as a part-time internship, has now provided me with over two years of experience in drafting, new skill sets, a better understanding of engineering and production processes, as well as future references, and friends.
My experience at Mid Michigan College has shown me that the faculty and staff are dedicated to their students' success, I have them, and Eric Sander’s CAD Program to thank for my own.
- Josie Lefere, CAD Program
Name Chris Carter
High School Cheboygan High school, Cheboygan, MI
Mid Graduation Date May 2011, Associate Degree Computer Aided Drafting & Design
Current Company Working For Heat Transfer International
Professional Title Designer
Summarize Your Job Duties At Heat Transfer International (HTI) we are biomass gasification experts. We design and build biomass gasification plants that turn waste into energy. I design everything from the frame work the 100ft kiln shell sits on, to the hoods on the ends of the kiln. Everything from the ground up is designed and engineered by us. We can gasify wood, litter, human sludge, non-recyclable plastics, and much more to produce energy. We currently use AutoCad 2011 and Inventor 2011 software. I am also in charge of our 3D model printing. We have a Z-Corp 3D printer at our office which helps visualize pieces that I design. It puts everything into perspective when you can touch and hold parts that you design.
Share a Few Thoughts on Your Experience at Mid in the CADD Program When I first started at Mid my focus was getting an AAS in fire fighting. I had taken one of Eric's CAD classes as an elective because I have always had an interest in mechanical things, and how better to know then how to design/draw them. After taking Intro to CAD I was hooked. Eric gave us a sneak peak at some 3D software that he also taught. From there it is history. I took every class Eric offered and picked up on it very fast. After Eric opened some doors for me in the job world I finally landed my dream job here at HTI. I am learning new things everyday as is the entire company. We are a fairly new company only being 5 years in the making. I am lucky to have gotten in on the ground level so I can grow with the company. My goals for the future are to be a part of history and become a respected leader at HTI.
If you have an interest in "how things work" or just have a passion for designing new things, I highly recommend the CAD degree at Mid with Eric. He is extremely knowledgeable in what he teaches. He is not only a teacher but a friend. Because he not only teaches but works as a CAD designer as well, I believe it helps make him more in tune with what people want to learn versus what the books teach you. I greatly appreciate all the work and time Eric has invested into me to get me where I am today.
Name Eric Demerath
High School Shepherd High School, Shepherd, MI
Mid Graduation Date May 2010, Certificate of Achievement in Computer Aided Drafting
Current Company Working For J.D. Metalworks
Professional Title Engineering Technician
Current University Attending Ferris State University, Mechanical Engineering
Summarize Your Job Duties As an Engineering Technician at JD Metalworks I'm responsible for design work, detailed drawings, and some engineering for loading dock products using AutoCAD and SolidWorks. I am currently still working for JD Metalworks and attending Ferris State University for their Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. At Ferris I received my associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology in the spring of 2012 and my Bachelor's Degree in the spring of 2014.
Share a Few Thoughts on Your Experience at Mid in the CADD Program After high school I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I ended up working in a grocery store with no plans on going to college. After about a year I decided that I should at least try something, so I looked into going to Mid. While looking through the programs I found the Computer Aided Drafting program. I had some experience with CAD in high school and I enjoyed working with the programs. I'm mechanically inclined and love to know how things work. The program seemed like a great fit so I applied and started the following fall.
Once I started I found myself looking forward to going to class and learning; something that was new to me. Eric Sander made the classes interesting and easy to follow. I began to pick up the skills very quickly. This gave me the confidence to challenge myself to learn even more. While still in the program an opportunity arose to apply for SolidWorks Operator position at JD Metalworks of Clare, Michigan. I interviewed for the position and was offered a job. I accepted and started working shortly after.
Working while going to school really accelerated the rate I was learning at. I was able to learn how products were built and use that information to create better drawings and representations. I still found myself wanting to learn more. I wanted to know if something was going to be strong enough or how to design a mechanism and be sure it would work properly. After finishing the drafting program at Mid in the spring of 2010 I moved on to Ferris State University.
The Computer Aided Drafting program at Mid put me on a path to a successful career and a lifetime of learning. The drafting field is a great place to start a career. It's very diverse and offers countless opportunities. If you're interested in manufacturing, architecture, or engineering this program is a great place to "test the waters". Until I went through the drafting program at Mid I never thought I would be a Mechanical Engineer, now I couldn't imagine a career that would fit me better.
Name Bruce Vermillion
High School Ogemaw Heights High School, West Branch, MI
Mid Graduation Date May 2011, Certificate of Achievement in Computer Aided Drafting
Current Company Working For Alro Steel
Professional Title CAD Operator
Share a Few Thoughts on Your Experience at Mid in the CADD Program I graduated from Mid in 2011 with a certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design. Before I graduated I was given an opportunity through Eric Sander to apply for a position at Alro Steel as a Cad Operator. I am happy to say that I just hit my two year mark working for Alro all thanks to Eric Sander and his teaching. At my job I take orders from companies and either draw the part for them or take there CAD profile that they provide and tool it up to be cut out on our 4-plate lasers, we provide service to anyone whether it is Joe Shmoe Farmer or a world-wide company. I could be programming an implement for a tractor one day and a piece that will go on an aircraft the next. It is amazing to think I was working as a cook and had little experience in the field, and now I am working with complex machines in my career field making great money. Thanks go to Eric Sander and the other instructors at Mid, it is a great program and if it wasn't for them I would probably still be flipping burgers.
I just wanted to say thank you for a great semester. I really enjoyed your class and learned a lot........ I didn't get a chance to say it in class, but thank you for always making me feel comfortable and not out of place. I was afraid I would be the lone one out that had no idea what was going on, so it helped a great deal when you made sure you had time to help everyone whenever possible. You have great teaching techniques and I look forward to attending your classes in the future. Hope you and the family have a great break and wonderful holidays. Enjoy!
Thanks again you are greatly appreciated.
Congratulations on 10 years with Mid. We are a better institution because of your contributions.
I know that you are always one of the first to help with students and for that I am always so grateful. In my book you are one of the finest instructors Mid has ever had.
I just wanted to keep you posted on what has been happening. I start working full time on February 1. I will be doing Drafting/Design and work into some sales as well. I'm really looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that are in my future. I would like to thank you again for all of your help this past fall. You do a great job and make it easy to learn, even for old guys like me. I am still planning on taking a class or two this fall. I'll keep in touch and hope you will as well.
I want to say a big thank you for everything you do! You make all of your classes fun, interesting, and very easily understood. Plus your personal, honest, and encouraging guidance through, well everything really, has really been a blessing to me (and it's obvious that a lot of other students feel the same as me about that!). I sincerely mean it when I say, you are one of the best (if not the best) professor or even teacher, I have ever had.
Thank you again!
Just wanted to say hi. My new job is going great, I'm really glad I took your classes last fall.