I recently found an interesting ed.ted lesson on extruding aluminum that came in quite handy for a research project I was working on for an engineering class at the university. Resource extraction is a fascinating subject and considering I’m thinking about going into mining engineering, it’s definitely a relevant subject. My professor suggested I work on a paper for extra credit in which I examine various extrusion techniques and how they have changed, if at all, over time. The only problem I encountered was finding enough information on the topic. Sure, there were books, but visuals are so much better.
I read several dense tomes about extrusion and while it made sense, it was difficult to figure out the steps without actually seeing the process in action. Considering I am currently about five hundred miles away from the nearest aluminum mining facility, just popping in to watch them in action wasn’t an option. Believe me I would have rather gone and seen it done up close. Maybe I could have snagged an internship for the summer with the company, but in the meantime I needed to see something to make this paper really gel. I needed video.
So I went online to the usual places and did lots of searching. You’d be surprised at how many mining videos exist and how many people watch them! Most of the videos didn’t quite show what I was looking for, however, until I stumbled over a TED video that used a simulation to explain the process. I mentioned reading the dense engineering books and I wish I hadn’t after watching the video because it truly did in a few minutes what took me weeks reading to accomplish: I had an excellent understanding of the process and was able to explain it much better in my paper because of this video.