Women in Model Making: Suzanne Brasure Schmitt

submitted by Audrey Farrell and Midwest Prototyping

 A recent graduate of NWTC and first time conference attendee Suzanne Brasure Schmitt describes her new career in model making.

 

Women in Model Making: Suzanne Brasure Schmitt

submitted by Audrey Farrell and Midwest Prototyping

 

We welcome new member Suzanne Brasure Schmitt of Midwest Prototyping, to the Association of Professional Model Makers! Suzanne recently attended the 2018 APMM Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Suzanne has been in the field of model making for 5 years, first as a student and now as an employee of Midwest Prototyping. She attended Northeast Wisconsin Technical College where she received an Associate Degree in Prototype and Design in 2015. 

“I was working with the Green Bay Police in the maintenance department, and I really felt that I could do something more with my skill set, so I headed back to school,” Suzanne recalled. “I wanted to really feel like a contributing member of a team. I was looking for a more fulfilling career using my creative talents.”

She became interested in model making after completing a college assessment and speaking with a career counselor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

In her last semester at college, Suzanne did an apprenticeship at Midwest Prototyping in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. 

“During my apprenticeship, I was able to work with all the technologies at Midwest Prototyping.  The service bureau encourages interns to experience different areas of additive manufacturing,” said Suzanne.  “While I was interning, I worked with Selective Laser Sintering, Stereolithography, cast urethane, finishing, and Binder Jetting with the Z-Corp machine.  One of my main projects was working with the Z-Corp.”

 

Near the end of her apprenticeship she received an offer of employment at Midwest Prototyping as an Additive Manufacturing Technician. Her area of expertise is in Additive Manufacturing and Quality Control. Suzanne said, “When I started full time at Midwest Prototyping, I was excited to take on more responsibility and use my model making skills in the real world.”

When asked what she enjoys most about her career, Suzanne replied, “I enjoy working on new projects and learning new technologies. It seems like every day presents different challenges and opportunities.” 

What is her typical day like? Suzanne says, “Every day is different, which makes coming to work exciting. I love coming to work and not knowing what I am going to get into: it may be operating machines, or sanding, or working on the computer. Most days I work in the Stereolithography (SLA) department, but I also spend some time doing finishing and quality control.”

“My work in the SLA lab entails all kinds of tasks,” Suzanne explained. “I work with a few others to handle operation of the SLA machines. I start, supervise, and stop builds. When the parts are done, I clean off the support structures and uncured resin, and finally I put the parts in a UV oven to cure.”

 

Her other duties include quality control, to make sure that the parts that leave the shop are exactly what the customer ordered. Suzanne says, “This typically involves evaluating the parts against the customer’s specifications and documenting that information in our system.”

Suzanne impacts many areas at Midwest Prototyping. This includes supporting cast urethane operations from the SLA department. “I often make master patterns in SLA that we use in our urethane molding process.” Suzanne also does some assembly work and finishing as needed. 

She explains, “I don’t spend much time painting or finishing since we have a separate finishing department, but one of the great things about Midwest Prototyping is that we all pitch in and help out where needed. If finishing needs help, I will jump in and help sand and paint when I can, and I know others will help me when we need help.” 

Suzanne has some insight to share with women entering the field of model making and prototyping. “It can be hard to be a woman in this industry, but we can do it. We multitask, focus on small details, and balance priorities – we do this at home, professionally, and in every area of our lives. In the prototyping industry, we have a place and are needed.” In spite of these challenges, she encourages everyone to consider this industry. “This field is for those who are detail-oriented and enjoy a variety of challenges. It offers the opportunity to be involved in a product’s full life-cycle, from concept, to design, to manufacturing. The prototyping field is both challenging and rewarding.”

When asked where she sees herself in the next few years, Suzanne replied, “Midwest Prototyping is always growing and bringing in new technologies, so I am constantly learning new things. My long term plan is to stay at Midwest Prototyping and grow with the company.  It is an exciting time to be a part of this industry.”

 

Return to 2018 Summer Newsletter

  

  Association of Professional Model Makers Summer 2018 Newsletter

 

 

 
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