BRITE Energy Innovators

An intern’s experience at BRITE Energy Labs

Lab Director Mike Drenski and Lab intern Sahaj standing in front of a 3D printed prototype at BRITE Energy Labs

One of my favorite summers was spent interning at BRITE Energy Innovators. Being an intern at  BRITE’s LABS has encouraged me to develop and learn more than previously. 

After 12 weeks of employment at BRITE, I can confidently state that this organization is unique in terms  of both culture and mission. A variety of testing tools, including IoT, battery testing, wet laboratories, 3D  printers, PCB printers, and machine shops, are housed at BRITE Labs. Having studied mechanical  engineering, I was given the responsibility of working with 3D printers, PCB printers, and the machine  shop. 

Fingerprint Scanner PCB: 

In the beginning, I assisted with setting up a PCB printer, calibrating all the parts, and printing a few  circuit boards. Users may use the Voltera V-one printer to print a high-fidelity prototype to test your ideas  directly on your desktop and iterate on your designs in hours rather than days or weeks. The main goal of  this project was to create a fingerprint scanner board that could be used to lock and open the door. First, a  circuit was designed for which the Gerber file was exported with the use of EAGLE software. Loading  the Gerber file, calibrating the components, and printing the circuit were all part of the printing process.  Many accurate calibrations were required to purge the conductive ink and solder paste onto the boards. I  was able to convert my CAD circuit into a functional PCB by using this PCB printer. I felt like I could do  the procedure of manufacturing double-sided boards with a lot more confidence than I could with other ways. 

Figure 1: Simple two layered PCB designed for fingerprint scanner. 

3D Printed Jet Engine: 

Likewise, I was beyond eager to begin a project to construct a 3D printed jet engine when MakerBot and  Vista 3D printers were first installed in our lab. More complicated designs can be designed and printed  using 3D printing than with traditional manufacturing procedures. It can produce components in hours,  which expedites the prototyping process. The major goal of this project was to demonstrate how quick  prototyping can be accomplished with a 3D printer. After two weeks of print work and numerous attempts  and errors, I was eventually able to put a jet engine together. In total of 42 components of jet engine were printed and assembled. Warped parts were the main cause of print errors, which were then fixed by  raising the bed and chamber temperatures. Because 3D printing allows for such freedom and creativity,  practically anything can be manufactured without the need for warehouses full of expensive technology.  There are no extended lead periods that are often associated with outsourcing complicated manufacturing  projects. It means that components and products may be easily made and altered without being constrained by minimum order requirements. 

Figure 2: 3D printed jet engine.

Machine Shop: 

The machine shop provided a wonderful opportunity to work with tools and CNC equipment. Mr.  Michael Drenski, who oversaw my internship, taught me a lot about machining, including how to utilize  various methods and techniques. At BRITE’s Labs, setting up the machine shop gave a tremendous  learning outcome. The lab was equipped with CNC machines, a vertical mill, a lathe, sheet metal, and a  horizontal saw, giving me a fantastic moment to learn how to operate each of these tools. 

My time at BRITE was amazing, both professionally and socially. I want to express my gratitude to  everyone for the incredible three months, and I couldn’t have wished for a better group of people to spend  my summer with! If you are thinking about applying to BRITE for an internship and you happen to be  reading this, I say go for it! Working with this group won’t be a mistake.

Share this post

The Power of Connection

Stay informed about industry trends with BRITEnetwork, the fastest-growing network in energy innovation.

Building a BRITE Future

Share your voice!

We need your input to understand how we can best optimize our Warren, OH facility!