Isaac: What I Did Last Summer

Isaac with engineers at EPS this fall.

I had a great experience working at EPS in the engineering department this summer!

I worked as a mechanical engineering intern, and worked with a team of practiced engineers to design printers for a variety of customers and applications. This internship gave me a much better understanding of how the industry works, and helped me refine my own engineering skills, especially in computer aided design!

I went through one project, a fixture for holding parts steady while they were printed on, from beginning to finish, which provided a better overall sense of how the different departments in the company meshed along with their respective role in creating a final product.

Overall, it was a very beneficial experience for me, and I would be happy to do something similar in the future!

Real Engineering: A Visit to EPS

On November 11, the Manchester Machine Makers visited the workshop of Engineered Printing Solutions in East Dorset, VT. There, we shared our work with engineers who have real-world experience in robotics! We enjoyed a tour and got some fantastic suggestions about improving our designs.

Additionally, their donations have allowed us to experiment with new designs and try to get the right parts and tools for the job (as opposed to the usual club methods involving duct tape and rubber duckies).

A huge thank-you to EPS – we are very grateful for your partnership!

New Members Welcome!

The Manchester Machine Makers, a First Tech Challenge Robotics Team, are recruiting team members for the 2022-2023 season. We are open to students grade 7-12 in Bennington County. Our current team members hail from from Burr and Burton Academy, Long Trail School, and Maple Street School. We meet twice a week: Wednesdays from 5:00-7:00pm and Sundays from 10:00am-12:00pm.

Know a lot, a little, or nothing about robotics? All abilities are welcome, and we encourage students to come to a meeting, talk with team members and learn what we are about.

For more information email us at and plan to attend our next meeting on Wednesday September 7 from 5-7pm at Smith Center, Burr and Burton Academy. The kick-off event for First Inspires FTC Challenge Power Play is Saturday September 10 where we will learn what our challenge will be for the year with the culminating Vermont State Championship scheduled for February 11, 2023.

The Manchester Machine Makers have been building awesome robots since 2019! We look forward to welcoming you to our team.

November 2021 Newsletter

Jacob, Takoda, Piper, Amos, Isaac, and Charlotte 
during a photoshoot at the Manchester Machine Makers’ new headquarters.
Jacob, Takoda, Piper, Amos, Isaac, and Charlotte 
during a photoshoot at the Manchester Machine Makers’ new headquarters. 

We have gotten to work on our robot! Here is what the team has been doing this fall:

  • We have been cleaning out and organizing our new space donated by TPW Real Estate that we are sharing with two local First Lego League teams: the Fiery Froggies and the Explore team. 
  • Also, along with the new space, we have welcomed some new members this fall: Amos, Jake, Zach, and Takoda. See their full profiles on the Team page. 
  • After finalizing our strategy and plans for our robot, we have documented our goals and deadlines for the season. Currently, our drive base is scheduled to be fully built by November 23, 2021.
  • On October 24th, Randy Marsh, our engineering mentor, who has helped the Manchester Machine Makers before, attended one of our virtual meetings, giving a demonstration on different aspects and features of the 3D modeling software, Solidworks, which the team uses often to model its builds and custom parts. Helping the team further, he provided the team with valuable feedback and advice on our custom field element. 
  • On October 29 we met with our founding mentor Mike Cole to brainstorm ideas about our delivery system
  • We fully constructed our half playing field for the competition. Additionally, we catalogued the parts we already had and ordered more for the robot. 
  • We received a donation and an internship opportunity for team members from EPS, Engineered Printing Solutions in East Dorset VT (see blog post, EPS Supports Manchester Machine Makers). 
  • We also have been working on the design of our robot’s intake mechanism, since it will be vital in Freight Frenzy. We can’t score points without being able to accurately and efficiently pick up freight!
  • As of mid-November, we have finalized our custom field element, and it will be 3D printed as soon as possible (most likely in December). We have also fully finished creating a 3D model of our drive base.

However, this is just what we have done so far!

EPS Supports Manchester Machine Makers

Isaac Vernon and Charlotte Ruley receive check from EPS’ Julie Glover. 

FTC Team #16221, The Manchester Machine Makers 4-H Club, is pleased to announce that Engineered Printing Solutions in East Dorset VT has joined us in a partnership of support and mentoring.  Additionally, they will offer an internship program to team members for the 2021-2022 FIRST Tech Challenge Season. EPS is committed to inspiring our young roboticists, building a community of scientists and engineers here in Northshire.

The competition theme this year is “Freight Frenzy” and the team is busy designing and building a robot to accomplish the tasks outlined by the FIRST organization (  FIRST was founded in 1987 by innovator and inventor Dean Kamen to promote STEM advancement for young people, and is continued and supported by thousands of volunteers and mentors around the world. 

The Manchester Machine Makers is a 4-H Club with members in grades 7-12 from all over Bennington County. For more information about the team and Engineered Printing Solutions visit and Additionally, see EPS’ blog post on the topic at