BAKER COLLEGE OF CADILLAC CAD STUDENTS HELPING MARK CHMURA BRING TO LIFE A FISHING ROD HOLDER HE ENVISIONED FOR YEARS!
Baker College of Cadillac students in
the computer aided design (CAD) program are angling to help a Manistee County
inventor bring his patent-pending fishing rod holder to market and netting
real-world experience in their classroom along the way.
Mark Chmura has spent two years
designing and prototyping a fishing rod holder and has been working with the
Alliance for Economic Success (AES) for a business plan. When more
manufacturing information was needed, they turned to Baker College.
Students in instructor Tom Carrington’s SOLIDWORKS course this quarter will reverse engineer the rod holder, model it and provide recommendations concerning scaled manufacturing to achieve ideal production costs.
“Students will also assess design and part alternatives that may better meet product and production goals,” Carrington said. “This type of analysis is what CAD professionals provide for manufacturers, so students are learning skills that they will be able to apply at their jobs after graduation.”
Carrington also hopes to be able to identify
companies in the Manistee-Wexford region that have an interest in manufacturing
Betsy Evans, AES business development director, said, “We are extremely pleased that Baker College accepted this project. We’re looking to them for specific plans to create a prototype that can be put through a rigorous production analysis, ensuring the rod holder is engineered to support its claims. And, we need assurance that manufacturing costs will enable a reasonable market position and that its design is scalable as sales increase. The involvement by the students will help move Mark’s invention one step closer to becoming a product that can be sold worldwide.”
Providing this type of experience is
important to these CAD students, according to Mark Lagerwey, Baker College of
Cadillac dean of business and technology.
“There is an extremely high unmet employment demand for people with CAD skills in the Cadillac area,” Lagerwey said. “We want to ensure Baker College students are job ready at graduation.”
Chmura claims that his fishing rod
holder can be easily shifted to 1,000 positions with one hand and that anglers
can remove a rod from it effortlessly, with or without a fish attached. He sees
great potential for the rod holder, citing that boats on the Great Lakes for
anglers seeking salmon and trout often have 20 or more rod holders, most of
which currently have challenges involving use and durability.
Chmura operates Pier Pressure
Charters and Guide Service on Lake Michigan, is a fisherman himself, having won
a number of fishing tournaments, and represents a number of fishing equipment
and tackle manufacturers.