Hi! My name is Katie McDonald. I am 15 years old and a sophomore at Agawam High School. But more importantly I am a member of FIRST team 839, Rosie Robotics and this is my Pro Engineer story. It all started my freshman year when I joined the robotics team at the request of a friend. I had no intention of joining permanently never mind becoming an engineer. However I stayed which turned out to be no mistake. When build season rolled around I was placed on one of the team’s engineering subgroups rather than my requested marketing subgroup. On my engineering subgroup I had become the designated engineering notebook writer. This was true until one day the leader of the subgroup Rj, had moved to the computers to start putting the conceptual designs to life in a CAD program. As I saw this virtual robot come together I became immediately enthused. It was the day I asked to try this program that would forever change my life. Throughout that build season I used Pro Engineer everyday and with each day I became more and more fluent with the program. This sparked my interest in not only learning the program but learning about what I was cadding. I had this new found desire to learn about the robot and how it ticked. I was inspired. When I received my first part back from the machining subgroup I could not have expressed in words just how amazed I was that I had just designed that and on a computer and now I could hold it in my hands. I saw my thoughts become parts with the help of this amazing program, Pro Engineer. Pro Engineer has become an everyday thing for me now. This last build season for the Logomotion game, I thought more like an engineer, so I came to realization that using Pro Engineer was an amazing resource. It aided me greatly with my design process for starters. Instead of the constant prototyping by making a prototype resemble more like Swiss cheese with every idea thrown out, I turned to Pro Engineer. Every clearance needed for a bolt head, every weak point in a design, and every hole could be seen, fixed or placed the first time. I could ensure that the robot could stay within the size constraints that FIRST put in place without a problem. It allowed me to see where moving parts of the robot may come in contact. Features such as the round tool or the chamfer tool allowed me to create parts with sleek designs that can be seen all over our robot. What strikes me as being the coolest part of my Pro Engineer experience is knowing that real engineers use this program every day. This is giving me the chance to have experience with my future career as an engineer. Without Pro Engineer I can honestly say my FIRST career would have never taken off. Pro Engineer allowed me to become a leader and a respected member of my team. By developing such a skill I now want to do more and more incredible things. It inspired a new interest and a future engineer. Now at every FIRST event you can even catch me sporting my red PTC hat. And I’ll never forget when one of the mentors on FIRST team 839 asked me near the start of my first build season if I was interested in an engineering career and I replied unsurely, but if he ever asked me again I would reply yes and this is only the result of Pro Engineer. Thank you PTC.
Sincerely, Katie McDonald
Thats a great story. I always think about when i was your age, how i wasnt exposed to these things and how for me, choosing to be an engineer was a great leap of faith to the unknown. This just shows everyone what FIRST is all about.
please share your designs with the group. I would love to see what you designed!
That's a really inspiring story; I just joined an FTC team this year and in a way I think I'm having a similar experience. My team uses Pro-Engineer a lot in our designs and although there are many parts of it I'm still finding confusing, it allows us to figure out so many things before we actually have to physically build them. Pro-Engineer allows us to prototype ideas we discuss and determine which ones are feasible and we should persue and which ones wouldn't actually work. I agree the most amazing part really is to see the parts of the robot that we've modeled actually come to life when we physically build them. I really look forword to learning more about this program this season and through the rest of this season and in the future.
Thanks for your post as well. If you can, please post images of your designs. It would be interesting to hear what investment as far as time it took for your FTC team to incorporate Creo into your designs.
welcome to Planet PTC and the FIRST group!
It's awesome to see somebody involved with FTC here!
I encourage you to participate here and encourage your team mates (and mentors) to join as well.
Please, feel free to share your questions here. There are plenty of people to help and I'm sure others will have similar questions.
Good luck and hope to hear more from you and your team!
Awesome story. Really enjoyed reading how ProE enabled you to make a better robot. I go out to schools very frequently and learn how engineering tools like Creo and competitions like FIRST empower kids to make cool things and have fun. And now I have learned more from reading your online story.
Thanks for sharing!