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May 22nd, 2012

Joshua, it is going to be a great, great day today

May 22nd, 2012: “Joshua, it is going to be a great, great day today,” I told myself on the way to NYC by train. Can you imagine working with scientists, making your ideas come to life, and having a great city tour in the Big Apple? That’s what I am going to do today and tomorrow!!!!

My family met Mr. Metzner, Tony (the Camera man), and Mr. Mahler at the subway station in NYC. Away my dad and I went to our first stop at Caraustar at the Old Brooklyn Navy Yard. My mom and my younger sister went shopping.

the sketch of the plotterAt Caraustar, Mr. Mahler and I designed my box design on the computer. It was amazing how you could “draw” on the computer! We revised and edited some glitches in the schematics. It was strange how the box would look when it was layout flat. After we drew the boxes we programmed the huge plotter to cutout the boxes. The plotter was a 2-yard by 1-yard square machine that looked like a small printer connected to 2 computers. There were 3 cylinders with tools that could cut, crease, and fold. There was also a small targeting laser. The plotter can do its job with great precision — it made everything exactly the right dimensions. It was also very efficient — it took less than five minutes to make my box, as complicated as it might be. It turned a regular 26” paper into a sophisticated box (see the sketch of the plotter on the right).

Have you ever seen a laser cutter? If you haven’t, then go to Caraustar Industries. When the plotter was cutting out other copies of the box (we needed several copies in case there were mistakes or one of them broke), Mr. Mahler, Mr. Metzner, my dad and I went to see the laser cutter. The laser machine was 5ft. tall, 3yd. thick, and 7ft. long. It moved on treads and cut through wood, metal, and more. It featured a targeting laser, a cutting beam, a computer system, and a 2200 watt generator. It was awesome how when they turned on the laser machine smoke and fire poured out as the burned wood smell drifted around. As a gift they burned my name in the wood like this. It was very generous of Mr. Mahler to give my younger sister, who was touring NYC with my mom, a wood name carving as a gift. You cannot imagine how happy she was when she received this in the afternoon.

I also learned how to make puzzles at Caraustar. They made puzzles by molding steel into the shape of the puzzle pieces and put it into the puzzle board. Then you have to press wood into the board filled with metal which cuts the wood into puzzle pieces. When I saw the puzzle board filled with metal, I considered it art rather scientific engineering. It was amazing cool how they made every single piece different shapes. After the plotter was done cutting, together we drove to Design and Source.

the cover of the finished boxAfter a delicious lunch at Design and Source, I showed Mr. Metzner, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs. Tufariello, Mr. Mahler, and my dad my designs I made at Caraustar industries. Then we listed all the things either I needed or wanted to be on the box cover. Some of the things we listed were advertisements, race decals, and warnings (e.g. XX). Then we started to design the graphics. For the drawings I drew two of my monster trucks racing each other with an advertisement in the middle saying “This box can turn into a racetrack!” Then I put warnings in the corners and a checkerboard border against a neon green background. It was cool how the cars looked like they were racing each other and how everything stood out from the bright green. Here is a picture of the cover of the finished box.

 

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