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Become A Research And Development Machinist

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Working As A Research And Development Machinist

  • Getting Information
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $52,130

    Average Salary

What Does A Research And Development Machinist Do At Harvard University

* The mission of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University is to transform human healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds.
* Developed as an alliance between Harvard and other premier academic and clinical partner institutions, Institute faculty and staff collaborate in high-risk, fundamental research and science-driven technology development.
* A major focus of the Institute is to translate the technologies developed by its faculty and staff into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators and establishment of corporate alliances.
* For more information, visit: http://wyss.harvard.edu/.
* The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University seeks a talented and creative full-time 3D Printer Technician who can work directly with Wyss Institute staff, researchers, and faculty to support the processing of print requests, production of printed parts, inventories of print materials, and the maintenance of associated 3D printers.
* He/she will also assist researchers with simple evaluations of 3D printer files as well as conduct any necessary training to users of 3D printers.
* Candidates must have previous experience in running commercial or consumer level 3D printers.
* Additional duties and responsibilities include:
* D Printer Operation
* Responsible for the setup, operation, and maintenance of various types of 3D Printers and various technologies which are being use as service machines to Wyss Institute researchers and staff.
* Process 3D model print requests including reviewing files, validate printability, notification of exceptions, and the establishment and communication of printing schedules.
* CAD model review and processing and manipulation in order to efficiently fill print trays running multiple projects and parts per print job
* Manage print queue and material changes in anticipation of requests and print schedule.
* Inspect 3D printer parts for print quality and print errors.
* Post processing of 3D printed parts to remove support structure and clean parts per the requirements of the researcher or staff.
* Manage the inventory levels of all 3D printer materials, confirm stock availability with vendors, and re-order as necessary to ensure there is no down time of 3D printers.
* Train users as needed to operate 3D printers and/or assist researchers in need of modification of printer properties.
* Track printer usage of all print jobs and prepare utilization summaries for administrative staff.
* Design Assistance
* Develop basic CAD models creation skills necessary to fulfill simple design requests and modification to create 3D printed parts.
* Prior CAD experience is optional; design assistance will increase based on CAD experience developed on the job.
* Read CAD drawings or 3D model assemblies directly in CAD applications, manipulate models to obtain assembly intent, dimensions, and part quantities.
* Assembly and debug of 3D printed parts per the direction of CAD assemblies and feedback from researchers and staff.
* School/Unit:Harvard Medical School EEO Statement:We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by

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How To Become A Research And Development Machinist

There are many different ways to become a machinist or tool and die maker. Machinists train in apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, or community or technical colleges, or on the job. To become a fully trained tool and die maker takes several years of technical instruction and on-the-job training. Good math and problem-solving skills, in addition to familiarity with computer software, are important. A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary.


Machinists and tool and die makers must have a high school diploma or equivalent. In high school, students should take math courses, especially trigonometry and geometry. They also should take courses in blueprint reading, metalworking, and drafting, if available.

Some advanced positions, such as those in the aircraft manufacturing industry, require the use of advanced applied calculus and physics. The increasing use of computer-controlled machinery requires machinists and tool and die makers to have experience using computers before entering a training program.

Some community colleges and technical schools have 2-year programs that train students to become machinists or tool and die makers. These programs usually teach design and blueprint reading, how to use a variety of welding and cutting tools, and the programming and function of computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines.


There are multiple ways for workers to gain competency in the job as a tool or die maker. One common way is through long-term on-the-job training, which lasts 1 year or longer.

Apprenticeship programs, typically sponsored by a manufacturer, provide another way to become a machinist or tool and die maker, but they are often hard to get into. Apprentices usually have a high school diploma or equivalent, and most have taken algebra and trigonometry classes.

Apprenticeship programs often consist of paid shop training and related technical instruction lasting several years. The technical instruction typically is provided in cooperation with local community colleges and vocational–technical schools.

Apprentices usually work 40 hours per week and receive technical instruction during evenings. Trainees often begin as machine operators and gradually take on more difficult assignments. Machinists and tool and die makers must be experienced in using computers to work with CAD/CAM technology, CNC machine tools, and computerized measuring machines. Some machinists become tool and die makers.

A number of machinists and tool and die makers receive their technical training from community and technical colleges. Employees may learn this way while being employed by a manufacturer that supports the employee’s training goals and provides needed on-the-job training as well.

Even after completing a formal training program, tool and die makers still need years of experience to become highly skilled.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

To boost the skill level of machinists and tool and die makers and to create a more uniform standard of competency, a number of training facilities and colleges offer certification programs. The Skills Certification System, for example, is an industry-driven program that aims to align education pathways with career pathways. In addition, journey-level certification is available from state apprenticeship boards after completing an apprenticeship.

Completing a recognized certification program provides machinists and tool and die makers with better job opportunities and helps employers judge the abilities of new hires.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Machinists and tool and die makers must understand highly technical blueprints, models, and specifications so that they can craft precision tools and metal parts. 

Manual dexterity. The work of machinists and tool and die makers must be highly accurate. For example, machining parts may demand accuracy to within .0001 of an inch, a level of accuracy that requires workers’ concentration and dexterity.

Math skills and computer application experience. Workers must have good math skills and be experienced using computers to work with CAD/CAM technology, CNC machine tools, and computerized measuring machines.

Mechanical skills. Machinists and tool and die makers must operate milling machines, lathes, grinders, laser and water cutting machines, wire electrical discharge machines, and other machine tools. They may also use a variety of hand tools and power tools.

Physical stamina. The ability to endure extended periods of standing and performing repetitious movements is important for machinists and tool and die makers.

Technical skills. Machinists and tool and die makers must understand computerized measuring machines and metalworking processes, such as stock removal, chip control, and heat treating and plating.

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Research And Development Machinist Demographics


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Top Skills for A Research And Development Machinist


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Top Research And Development Machinist Skills

  1. Manual Lathes
  2. 1St. Prototype Components
  3. CNC Lathes
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Job shop utilizing manual lathes and mills.
  • Manufactured parts and fixtures from drawings and sketches on manual and CNC lathes and milling machines.
  • Machine shop support for scientists on new and ongoing projects.
  • Work with Chief Engineer and Production Manager on improvements of prototype parts for more efficiency.
  • Supervised all contract machinists and provide facility safety on a weekly basses.

Top Research And Development Machinist Employers

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