Taylor Cox, a sophomore in manufacturing engineering, was one of eight students from North America given the opportunity to participate in a competition related to his major.
“My professor, David Borck, has done this in the past and has a very good reputation there. He told me about the opportunity and I decided to participate,” said Cox.
Cox flew to Florida on April 2 for the annual Catia Operators Exchange (COE) Annual Conference and TechniFair. While there, he presented his video on his single-stage stamping die that he made with a partner. The die stamps out parts for a small aluminum airplane.
“Essentially, we were given a 2D drawing of a die, imported it into Catia (which is a 3D modeling program), made a 3D model of the drawing, then produced all the parts,” said Cox. “Pretty much we were given a sheet of paper and had to end up with a steel stamping die. My video was about the steps I took to produce the parts.”
The focus of the competition was how students use Catia products in an innovative way. Cox presented to 15 to 20 people who work in the industry and members of the COE board.
“Even though I didn’t win, I didn’t care,” said Cox. “Everyone’s presentations were really good, and I was going up against all older and more experienced competitors; the winner was a 28-year-old graduate student. To me, the best part of it was all the networking and getting to see so many things related to my field that I never even knew about.”
While there, Cox also volunteered to help at the registration desk and sat in on a few of the conference’s sessions. One of these included a presentation of the newest version of Catia: V6.
“Catia is very expensive,” said Cox. “A license of Catia with other associated costs can be up to around $50,000. We have this set up for product design and manufacturing students here at FSU. The program can also be used for shipbuilding, architecture, and so many other things…it’s a very versatile program. It can also be used to design airplanes; the winning project looked at stresses of airplane wings.”
According to Cox, the conference consisted of about 700 individuals from the industry who want to explore the possibilities of the new tools that are available. Companies like their workers to go to these conventions so that they can be more efficient and save money. Companies will pay for their workers because it is a very expensive conference—it’s over $1,000 just to attend, not including lodging.
The trip wasn’t all work and no play, however. Cox had time for a side-trip to Disney World while he was in Florida.
“I went with some of the other students,” said Cox. “They live in Canada and wanted to go to the LEGO store.”
Cox plans on participating in the COE Convention competition again next year, which is being held in Las Vegas.
“It was a good experience. I definitely plan on going to COE next year. I’m going to work with my professor to come up with a project for next year,” said Cox. n