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The Story Behind the Aluminum Top Shops Logo

A key component of Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops display in Booth W-10 is a Hall of Fame, where company logos machined by past winners of the magazine’s annual benchmarking program are displayed. Also included is a machined version of Modern Machine Shop’s new Top Shops logo.
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Shown left to right are Applied Engineering’s Rory Hamilton (operator who machined the logo), Brad Bohnet (shop projects manager) and Chad Harris (CAM programmer for the logo).

A key component of Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops display in Booth W-10 is a Hall of Fame, where company logos machined by past winners of the magazine’s annual benchmarking program are displayed. Also included is a machined version of Modern Machine Shop’s new Top Shops logo.

“Given that our annual Top Shops benchmarking survey is on its sixth year, the time was right to freshen its logo,” says Derek Korn, the magazine’s executive editor and manager of the Top Shops program.

Once the new logo design was finalized and the decision made to have it machined for IMTS, Derek set out looking for a shop to take on this job. “Being that contract shop Applied Engineering, located in Yankton, South Dakota, was last year’s Top Shops winner in the machining technology category, it made sense to first approach those folks to see if they’d be willing to take on the job,” he says.

Shop projects manager Brad Bohnet agreed to help, putting programmer Chad Harris in charge of the endeavor. After the new 2D logo design was completed in Adobe Illustrator, a .dxf file was exported to simplify the creation of a 3D CAD model. That file was sent to Chad on Tuesday, July 5, so he could start building the model. Less than 24 hours later, he sent Derek screen captures of what he had created based on his perception of what the machined 3D logo might look like, adding depth and dimension to various individual elements, such as the Modern Machine Shop logo and the banner that wraps around the shield.

After CAM programming, including the removal of a good deal of material from the back side of the workpiece to lighten it, Chad used SolidWorks to approximate the final weight at just a little more than 45 pounds. He then turned the job over to Rory Hamilton, the operator who machined the logo on one of the shop’s HMCs. The shop left most of the toolpath witness marks as instructed, but took the initiative to polish the Modern Machine Shop logo to make it pop. The result is an attractive workpiece that is the centerpiece of the Top Shops attraction in the West Hall.

“The people at Applied Engineering did a fantastic job machining our new logo, and we couldn’t be more pleased with it,” Derek says.