These engineers don’t Settel(s) for less!

After being picked up the bus driver, our journey to Eindhoven, where Settels Savenije’s office is located, finally began. For the Taylor board, the 1.5 hours of travel time flew by due to changing of outfits and indulging in the occasional Brinky, a cookie with the ability to lighten the mood of anyone who devoures it. Time may not have passed as swiftly for the other travelers on the bus, but time is certainly relative, so who is to tell?

Upon our arrival at Settels’ office, we were swiftly guided in to view a presentation led by none other than the company’s founder, John Settels! Instead of boasting about Settels Savenije himself, John opted to let the employees speak for the company through a video presented in an interview format. No expenses were spared, evident in the high-definition video showcasing the employees’ satisfaction with their job, workplace, the firm’s mentality, and most importantly, their colleagues. After the presentation, Ralf and Dennis guided the students in groups on tours of the faculty in different directions. Here the students got to see the production, assembly and shipment of High-Tech projects which they have learned so much about.

Before indulging in meaty snacks and cold ale, a short yet powerful case study was conducted in the presentation room. Here, students were challenged with designing a 4 Degree of Freedom system (one translation and three free rotations) using only paperclips, elastic bands, pushpins, business cards, and blocks of cork. Creativity flowed as the students tackled the challenge before them. Two groups arrived at a similar design, utilizing two non-parallel paperclips as wire flexures, enforcing two constraints. This design displayed potential as it served as the foundation for a real design challenge that the Settels team had faced and solved with a similar solution. Of course, the actual design Settels used to position a mirror with micrometer accuracy was far more complex than the cork and paperclip models. The other groups, were less successful, some having trouble with the problem description. The takeaway message from this case study was clear: ask questions!

Finally, before returning to the beautifull city of Delft, the students refreshed themselves with a cold drink and enjoyed ‘bitterballen’ in the cosy canteen of Settels Savenije.