Although Josh McAloon ’14 did a Plan at Marlboro in photography and cultural history, he also had an interest in all things technical. It’s therefore no coincidence that he landed a job in the exciting world of “laser sintering” for the biomedical and aerospace manufacturing industries, working at Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), in New Britain, Connecticut.
“Laser sintering refers to the way in which these machines perform the ‘additive manufacturing process,’ building a part layer by layer from a three-dimensional blueprint,” says Josh. “Individual layers of powdered polymer are laid down, one atop the other, while two overhead lasers score patterns into the powdered layers, melting and fusing (sintering) the material to itself.”
While laser sintering is not something you come across every day on Potash Hill, Josh found that many skills he gained at Marlboro have helped him considerably in his position.
“Critical thinking is important, as additive manufacturing is a relatively young industry, and as such there are unexpected and unproven situations that tend to arise,” says Josh. “To navigate these situations, employees not only need to be able to work together, but need to be able to keep focused on new strategies for success.”
Josh is excited to be working in OPM’s biomedical facility, where they manufacture cranial and facial parts to precise, patient-specific parameters. “Most of the patients who benefit from these medical implants are trauma victims and cancer patients who have lost portions of their skull or had them removed surgically,” says Josh. “There is something different about knowing that when a part leaves the building it’s actually going to become part of somebody.”