Eric Tremblay’s truck bumper design earned him first place in Autodesk Fusion 360’s sheet metal challenge and a prize that included a trip to San Francisco.
During his week-long incredible experience in California recently, Tremblay fabricated his design at the Autodesk Pier 9 global technology centre.
When asked about his tremendous feat (the contest was open to all residents of North America), the Labrador West man said things started almost two years ago when he was looking for a design program – his search led him to Autodesk’s new software program Fusion 360.
Touted as the first 3D CAD, CAM and CAE tool of its kind, Fusion 360 connects an entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works with both Mac and PC. The software allows the inventor to design, test and fabricate in a single tool.
“I was able to download the software and learn everything about it,” Tremblay said during a recent phone interview.
Tremblay also learned that Autodesk was running a contest asking people using the software to design a front bumper for a truck.
He entered three designs into the contest. His sheet metal design was chosen as the contest winner.
“I used their new product – a sheet metal tool inside their software - and I designed the whole bumper using their sheet metal tool... and I found out that I came first place in all of North America.”
The Pier 9 facility in San Francisco is a state-of-the-art centre with millions of dollars in manufacturing equipment, Tremblay said. The Autodesk team uses the space to test its software. The facility also hosts many scientist and artist- in-residency programs, Tremblay said, where they use the space to create and study new products.
Tremblay said his time at the Autodesk Pier 9 in late October was a great learning experience.
“I got to see a lot of technology that we don’t have here in Labrador,” he said.
Tremblay said he was impressed not only by the facility but by the Autodesk Fusion 360 team who are all passionate about what they do.
“Without that great team those millions of dollars worth of tools are pretty much worthless,” he said.
During his time in San Francisco, Tremblay met Eric Wilhelm one of the creators of Instructables.com – a website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects.
“I talked to (Wilhelm) for about an hour-and-a-half. He was very interested in Labrador and our mining industry,” Tremblay said.
Tremblay also spoke with Angelo Juras (Instagram @the_true_croatian_sensation) a programmer/machinist who works for Autodesk.
“I was following Angelo on Instagram for awhile before I got to meet him. He is very approachable and knowledgeable. I could listen to him talk about machining for hours.”
Tremblay is a technician with Epiroc – previously known as Atlas Copco.
Originally from New Brunswick, he has been living in Labrador City for about five years. His wife is from the Big Land. They have one young child.
“I really love Labrador... we have so much opportunity to makes things bigger and better around here for all the people that live here,” he said.
Tremblay is passionate about technology and creating things and is now working on a market space project for Labrador West which would make tools and technology more accessible to the community.
His next step is to create a Facebook page about the initiative and to engage the community to see if others are interested in such an organization.