Thinking about CAD


I admit, I am new to CAD. Well, in a way I am very familiar to CAD. I’ve just never taken the opportunity to use it in a context like I have recently.

The Pencase was one of the more complex projects where I used a dedicated CAD package and NOT  an entertainment related and focused bit of software.

I’ve said before that anyone serious about 3d printing should get serious about 3d modeling. Old news. But CAD is a deeper profession and calling – and when you design everything as well, cad is just part of design.

There are many roles in design and engineering just like entertainment. And in the biz, I’ve always been considered a generalist, someone who can do many things when the job calls for it.

I have always hated the accusation that generalists are “masters of none” following the old saying. But what’s the alternative?  Sometimes that means the job won’t get done at all.

So CAD is yet another methodology and skillset I am definitely working at integrating into everything I design for 3d printing. 3d modeling skills have already given me a huge leap forward in that respect in that so many of the software elements are so similar.

What really has made a difference has been an old carpenter’s saying “measure twice, cut once.” Or in this instance, measure many times according to tolerances and environmental co ditions, and print again and again until it comes put just right EVERY TIME after.

Thats been a key diference and challenge with the pencase. Whereas before I would print single useful object as one piece, like my inkwell and pencil/brush holder, the pencase had moving parts that needed to work over and over.

Having an Ultimaker 2 to work with has been one of the saving graces – the reliability and cleanliness with which it prints makes the difference between this being just an expensive hobby and a viable business in then future.

I still stand by Google SketchUp for now, but as the future projects are more in need of component and electronic pairings, there will be a day when I part ways with it.

Until then, the pencase testing phase is well underway with 70 percent of the beta testers their getting their test models soon. I hope to get additional models in pipeline soon.

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