Plan to take all the tutorials!
More specifically, I essentially attended every ‘University of Google’ class I could get my overpriced mouse click on. While there is plenty to learn this way, avoid it at all costs. There will be lots of tire spinning and many wasted weekends. If I had to do it over again, it’d probably be along the lines of this upcoming list. Keep in mind it’s a total work in progress.
- Write/sketch everything. Work through the idea and think about how to make it mega awesome. Pro/con each aspect.
- Research those ideas so see if it’s possible in the space/cost/power/CNC footprint/physics budget. Tweak and reassess.
- P.S. Nine times out of ten, if something odd is happening in a design it’s probably due to cost.
- If I don’t know to interpret if something is doable, learn about that subject matter then reassess.
- Conceptualize a prototype.
- Research prototyping and see which route is best for the project.
- Identify skill gaps needed to make that prototype housed in cardboard and duct tape work. Now fill those skill gaps with all the relevant ‘YTSU’* classes you can handle.
- (YouTube State University)*
- Play with your new toy for a while and show it off to no one if you have a beard. Well, the cat is fine. Although, they tend to not care about anything outside food so…
- Time to make a detailed design, and really think about how it’s going to be put together in the end while designing in CAD.
- Start designing all of the tools, jigs, fixturing, forming, and whatever else needed to make each component in the design. This will easily take up more time than actually designing the finished piece.
- Make the finished piece and realize some tiny miscalculation back at the beginning of step 6 screwed it all up.
- Add section analysis to the workflow at every opportunity when in CAD land.
- Procrastinate and make a blog.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, learning, plans, and how I’d do it all again. I learned from failure a lot. Plan on it. Expect it. Welcome it. Ask yourself how you failed, learn from it, and implement a fix.
Well, it’s either that or take out your rage on a never ending horde of paper targets.