CHT4 is a startup engineering company based in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. The company's mission is creating a wide array of innovative products to solve niche problems which require cutting-edge technology and design. I interned with the CEO and founder, Charles Terrill, designing some of these projects in SolidWorks and designing some prototypes in a workshop in Somerville, MA.
I worked at CHT4 on a variety of unrelated projects that challenged my engineering design skills and stretched my critical thinking abilities. The idea behind the company was to create a large quanitity of new types of products and market the ones that consumers found most appealing. My first project was designing a gear system for bicycles that would do away with the traditional method of switching a chain between multiple sprockets, replacing it instead with a single sprocket that could change size. This proved a difficult design challenge, but eventually I solved the challenges and modeled the design in SolidWorks. An added benefit of this design is that riders can change to a different gear while standing in place, which can be helpful when stopped at a stoplight on a hill, for instance.
Other projects I worked on include a large portable battery capable of powering 110 Volt outlets for powering desktop computers and other large devices on-the-go, an ecologically friendly way of heating water for homes, and a new type of air conditioner that promised ten times more power than a traditional one without obstructing your entire windows.
Although none of these designs made it to market, I gained a lot of insight into the patent process and a look at a healthy environment for entrepreneurship. I learned how helpful other founders can be and how valuable their advice can be.