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Christmas Tree of Steel

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Derek Bloomfield calls himself an artist with steel. He knows how to get with the program.

Derek is an engineer at Sivyer Steel in Bettendorf. He programs a computer and that program sends instructions to a robot. Derek is making a Christmas Tree out of steel, and it will be featured at the Festival of Trees in Davenport later this month.

The robot makes specialized cuts, designs, and castings. It can move in any direction. Bloomfield says it took awhile to buddy up to the piece of machinery. He says there was a very steep learning curve. For that reason, the robot earned the nickname Nightmare.   

The steel on the tree is three sixteenths of an inch thick and gets very hot. To give the tree some shine, Derek uses a grinder. He clear coats the steel so that it will not rust.

There will be about thirty steel ornaments on the tree. They will be blue and silver. No doubt, it will be a conversation piece. Bloomfield says just being able to create something and give back to the community is a nice feeling.