The first post in our new series “AA Uncovered” is to meet the A team’s very own 3D printing enthusiast David Mason.
I am the Digital Manufacturing Engineer here at Additive Automations. My engineering journey started in Sheffield where I completed a 5 year masters course in mechanical engineering and inevitably fell in love with the city and the Peak District.
It was at University that my interest in additive manufacturing began through learning about the technologies and their uses. During my year in industry I used the extra income to purchase a Prusa Mendel kit, think threaded rods for the structural frame!, which quickly led to me developing my own bespoke FDM printer using the best (affordable) technology at the time to try overcome the issues I had experienced with the prusa..
After university I secured a job in Derby at Rolls-Royce on their graduate + leadership programmes. During my 6 years there I worked in a wide variety of roles from safety critical software engineering to a development engineer on the Ultrafan project. I always kept coming back to the additive manufacturing related positions though. Most notably I was the lead design engineer for Rolls-Royce’s first additively manufactured civil large engine bearing chamber on the Ultrafan engine. I was able to use the evidence from my time at Rolls-Royce to gain chartered engineer status. During my time in Derby my love for climbing developed and I soon found myself spending a lot of time out on the peak district edges and in the old quarries.
Then in the middle of a pandemic my Fiancee was given the opportunity to continue her doctor training in Sheffield and we had our chance to return to the city we loved and to be even closer to our favourite climbing destinations. This is when my job search revealed Additive Automations. Robots combined with working in the additive manufacturing field and right on the doorstep of my new home made it the perfect opportunity for me. A stroke of luck also meant that a contact I had made during my year in industry tagged Robert Bush in my Linked in post asking about opportunities in the Sheffield region. I completed the various application stages and must have made a good impression as I was offered the job!
Since starting at the company it has been a whirlwind experience with things moving at a rapid pace that Is only possible with the startup mentality and agile nature. In the last 9 months I’ve designed and built our first in-house automation cell, designed and tested bespoke end effectors for support removal. I’ve learnt a huge range of new skills and every day I encounter new challenges which makes the job incredibly rewarding and exciting!
Importantly I’ve also become part of a small but great team, with common interests in the outdoors and trying to be environmentally friendly.
And lastly remember that little FDM printer I designed all those years ago; well it also found a full time job at Additive Automations. It now spends it’s days producing custom end effector mounts and bespoke fixtures using recycled filament.