Rapid growth years

The advent of parametric CAD - Pro/Engineer

Back at the very beginning of my career, as a co-op student at Dynapert, I was somehow invited into a small, crowded, hot, and stuffy conference room to see a software demo. This was the latest tool for mechanical design - 3D parametric solid modeling. The company was PTC and they were showing us Pro/Engineer Release 7 (or maybe 8.) We were using CADAM for our tool then, a mainframe based 2D wireframe application. Technically, CADAM was a 3D wireframe package, but no one in the office knew how to use the 3D aspect. I remember my mentor leaving the demo and telling me that the meeting was a waste of his time and that the product was pretty much useless. "Did you count how many clicks he made before the first line was on the screen?" he asked me. It was true, as any Pro/E user would tell you, set up was very slow compared with 2D wireframe. The demo, however, included a pretty substantial design change that happened in a blink of an eye. The iteration speed is where my mentor neglected to see the benefit. Pro/E was my  "bread and butter" for many years. While I am happy with the tools I use today, there are still some things I truly miss about it. The following projects were all completed using Pro/E, starting in about 1998 using version 18. That was, I think, the last version that had a menu based UI (no icons or toolbars.) The last version I used on a project was Creo 3.0 in about 2012. Over approximately one year around that time, I transitioned to Solidworks as my main tool. That part of my career is shown in the next section "Later Maturity."

Ingersoll Rand / Flex Energy

NREC developed the PowerWorks micro-turbine generator that used an innovative and highly efficient heat exchanger [HX.] They sold the business unit to Ingersoll Rand who drove the development to a marketable product. My involvement initially was working with the HX group to develop production tooling, as well as explore next generation concepts for HX technology. These top two images show some of that exploration work.
Later in my time at Ingersoll Rand, thanks to my skills in modeling 3D surfaces, I got involved with the prime mover group. Those projects required me to work directly with the aero and thermo team. Taking their calculated coordinates for optimum blade geometry, I created solid models for procurement either as a casting or a CNC machined rotor.
The two images below show the pneumatically operated machine I designed for assembling a unit cell of the production HX. The circular manifolds of the top and bottom sheets are aligned on the plate with eccentrically actuated shoes, positioning the manifolds and the cell components are resistance spot welded prior to vacuum brazing.
The HX business unit within the company would, along side the production needs for the PowerWorks product, entertain custom applications for various customers. These applications would require the design of a HX for stationary, vehicle based, or ship based engines for both power generation and propulsion. Each application would require physical configuration of the HX with respect to the engine. The three images above and to the left, show some of that architectural exploration for engine packaging efficiency and ducting.


Starting in early 1999, I worked as a direct employee at Sterilite for about two and a half years. Here I became very proficient at using Pro/E and learned a great deal about injection molded plastic part design. The job almost exclusively entailed working with the industrial designers to incorporate their vision for the product aesthetics into a robust, moldable, CAD database ready for production tooling. Here is also where I first experienced rapid prototyping. We acquired both a Stratasys FDM machine and a Z-Corp "powder tech" machine. The latter used inkjet printing technology to dispense a liquid binder onto layers of powder (cornstarch or talc) to build a solid. Those were the days...

Web Engineering

In 2002 I had a few small projects with Web Engineering. Web specializes in designing and installing fuel storage and dispensing systems. In two of their projects they were looking to utilize the site's natural topography to augment the containment volumes required for the tank installation. For each case, I was given a set of surveyor data which I used to create a surface model. With this surface in Pro/E, I was able to measure the potential containment volume at any given elevation.


Somewhat ahead of it's time, Ztek was working on developing the hydrogen fuel infrastructure. They had a vision of an automotive refueling station and I developed conceptual CAD renderings for their presentations using Pro/E. They actually had acquired a site for a pilot installation. That idea never materialized and the site is currently being used as a propane vehicle refueling station at the intersection of Rts. 2 and 128 in Lexington MA.

Kaz / Honeywell

For about 9 months in 2004, I worked on an evaporative console humidifier. A fan draws air through a wick that is resting in water. The evaporation of the water adds moisture to the room's air. The main issues I helped solve with this product were the sound levels in the prototype which were 3x louder than the specification, and the housing components as conceived by the industrial designer were not moldable, nor could they be assembled. Redesigning the air handler, ducting,  louvres, and part breakout / assembly strategy,  this product went to market and was available at Target for many years.

General Electric - Meters

In 2006 I worked at the Electric Meter Division of GE in Somersworth, NH. The residential electric meter they had on the market needed to be updated with remote reading technology. This redesign also incorporated a major cost reduction effort. The greatest challenge of this project was wrestling with the legacy CAD model of the injection molded main chassis. There were over 600 features in the model. Over several revisions, many sections of the part were simply cut off so that new designs could be added. Breaking the cycle of quick and dirty boolean edits, I reconstructed the model to create a clean and efficient assembly for moving forward with GE's product development path.

Burndy - FCI

Working under an accomplished product designer, I assisted the redesign of a cordless hydraulic industrial crimping tool. The dual acting safety switch I conceived was awarded a patent (US 7,841,223) The rocker switch and injection molded housing were the main tasks under my responsibility.

Radius Product Development

My work for Radius spans from my Pro/E years to my Solidworks years. In this section, I show various design projects that were conducted using Pro/E. To the right is an ultra ruggedized Windows phone with Push-To-Talk technology (walkie talkie) designed for emergency first responders. Below is an injection device with novel lock out and tamper resistant features.
Above is an inhaler device that accepts refill canisters. To the right are two images of an industrial dilution nozzle for applying cleaning solution to a water stream. The user can twist the knob to select one of 7 different dilution ratios.

Union Street Brand Packaging

I took another direct position with USBP in late 2007. This is another company that spanned both of my CAD platform experiences. Here I worked with a small team to conceptualize and develop innovative, value added rigid packaging for consumer products. Predominantly, this looked like a method for dispensing and/or metering the product using existing packaging components.  To the right is the dispensing cap for Clorox disinfecting wipes. Below are two examples of liquid dosing or metering caps for products like laundry detergent.


In 2010 I started a long relationship with Ximedica. Today they have been absorbed by and are known as Veranex. Almost exclusively a medical device development firm, they have given me many projects to work on over the years. Shown here are 4 different early projects that were done using Pro/E. To the right is a low cost reagent bag sliding valve for blood analysis. Below are three different projects that highlight some of the work I have done with drug injection devices. My work has involved aesthetic iteration, design for manufacturing, mechanism design, FEA, tolerance analysis, testing, model building, fixture design, and nearly every other aspect of the product development process.

Click the button to check out the next section: "Later Maturity"