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Robotics

Karen Stout

December 30, 2016

CAD Specialist

You’re going to lose your life, but love every minute of it.

Karen Stout has a friend who loves to talk about robots. Night and day, she’d hear rambling stories about the Culver City High School FIRST robotic team and all of their trials and tribulations, achievements and accomplishments. And when she learned about all the creative potential with computer-aided design (CAD), Karen’s curiosity was thoroughly piqued.

Her friend had succeeded in roping Karen into the world of robots, but left her with this warning: “You’re going to lose your life, but love every minute of it.”

“She was right,” Karen laughs, “Nearly fifty hours a week sometimes and I still can’t get enough.”

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Ever since she could first hold a pencil, Karen was fascinated with drawing and art. Her best outlet for stress or anxiety, drawing serves as a calming and joyful experience and she loves giving her creations to family and friends. One of her prized possessions is a drawing kit from her grandmother with hundreds of pencils. It’s new home is right next to her PC workstation at school, helping to inspire her and make the transition to designing 3D robots.

“I feel like almost everyone I meet who CADs is also an artist because it’s so connected and important,” Karen says. “I love to expand my mediums and I’ve gotten better and better at the process every time I CAD.”

Although she won’t admit it openly, Karen is one of the most important members on her high school’s FIRST robotics team. FIRST is an international robotic competition where each year students have six weeks to create a robot that can complete various tasks. Karen’s role as the CAD specialist is to “make the robot before the team builds the robot.” Impressive.

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So instead of getting their hands dirty and before a single hole is drilled, Karen steps in and takes charge, making sure everything that the team has designed works in the real world first. She’s a self-trained pro at SolidWorks, a modeling CAD software program for PC. So her workstation and the components she uses need to be sufficient to handle the software and match her needs as she goes about the tedious task of bringing the robot to life digitally.

That’s why Cooler Master reached out to the Culver City robotics team and showered them with our PC components and peripherals, helping to upgrade their CAD workstation. “By far the most important item for me is the Sentinel III. When I CAD, I use a 3Dconnexion mouse and the Sentinel III in tandem to simultaneously perform all of my CAD functions and manipulate my view accordingly,” Karen says, “I’ve set up a number of macros on the Sentinel III that help improve efficiency. For example, one of my buttons is programmed to automatically save files, which has proved to be incredibly useful.”

Sentinel III

“By far the most important item for me is the Sentinel III. When I CAD, I use a 3Dconnexion mouse and the Sentinel III in tandem to simultaneously perform all of my CAD functions and manipulate my view accordingly,” Karen says, “I’ve set up a number of macros on the Sentinel III that help improve efficiency. For example, one of my buttons is programmed to automatically save files, which has proved to be incredibly useful.

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