Tools of the



"Your mind, your hands, your trusty notebook, any simple 3D Program... And Google!"


Our mind

Is a terrible thing to waste, and yet all of us do that. Sad but true.

Enough of that, just remember, innovating is hardwired into your brain, you can't escape it, so use thatbefore anything else!

Sometimes, what could be done in a day, with 5 moving parts, ends up being made in a Year, with a few hundred! And for what?

For it to be re-done when it comes to manufacturing it, Industrialists aren't fools when it comes to save time and work.

Oddly enough, the one-day job is often the brainchild of a lot of thinking, and the Mammoth Prototype is a creature of hurry-hurry mental self-indulgence!

Plan, look ahead for trouble, think Simple! You only have to make a machine to illustrate and prove the working principle, not a FINAL PRODUCT!

Your hands!

"Think" with them! Imagine the movements, get some odd objects, go into the tool shed and use hardware pieces, even borrow your son or kid brother's Legos, a piece of wire, whatever!

Seeing the thing working on your mind's eye will not happen in a flash, and may not guarantee results, but exercise your mind, you'll get there!

If you can "sketch" the thought, even in something that looks downright silly, you can do an impressive job with the right tools and materials, or even some general purpose, never-fail ones.

The notebook

It's a real lifesaver. Have it always at hand to sketch your thoughts, take notes of original Gizmos and neat solutions you'll find anywhere on the streets...

And to make notes of addresses of Stores you didn't know, services that are available, or machines you never heard of before. Even if you think you'll NEVER need them... You will!

Illustration 6 Wings 3D, free Software, but Boy, does it perform!

Simple 3D program...

Why "simple"?

Well, believe me, you don't want to get your hands on those 1000+ options for each operation, photo-realistic, artsy-fartsy Masterpieces!

You will end up loosing your patience, your time... And what's worse, yourinspiration, trying to set the damn Lighting effects, the Background, the Textures, etc.

And for what? For a Grand Cinema production, when all you wanted was to see the pieces, and how they would fit!

Of course there's 3 of them I recommend, the real deal being Wings3D.

Illustration 7 Done it on Wings, just see it on Sketch! Yum!

You can't miss being good at it, not with a Tutorial that would teach even a Politician to do 3D like nobody's business, come to think of it, most of them, ought to be doing that, instead of what they do...

You've learned Wings, you're an Ace on GoogleSketch, I don't receive a Cent, honest, but since the way Sketch works is so similar to Wings, and they happily share .3ds documents, well, only Wings-Sketch way, not the other way around, no program's perfect, anyhoo, GoogleSketch gives a 3D view a kind of Architect / Science Magazine Illustration look you just can't beat!

Illustration 8 Calligary's TrueSpace 3, on a Gimp-made Background...

And they're both FREE, and so is TrueSpace 3, for a more smooth look, but without all the useless bells and whistles of other programs I could name...

Illustration 9 Search on the Net, Googlewise, you'll end up building this beauty! A Charcoal Foundry!

A good supply of hand tools and some power tools also come handy, but you'll have to have a good workspace, too, like a garage or a tool shed.


Now I don't take a Cent from Google out of telling you this, but I'm sure that's the www. place to look for anything you can imagine, and some things you don't!

Let's face it: You put that simple phrase on that text tool of them, and you will find it, or else it doesn't exist!

And sometimes you'll find it EVEN if it doesn't exist, but will exist someday, or had it's day, now it's gone!

It's all a matter of A. Being flexible in your search, and B. Being stubborn.

The magic words are: DIY whatever, Home made whatever, and How I made whatever, whatever in this casebeing what ever you're looking for.

Use some deep lateral thinking:

I found out tons of Prototype building techniques, tools and materials...

From Home Gunsmith pages!

Illustration 10 Lookie, lookie, the things that come out of guns, even fake ones... Springs, levers, pins,Yum!

Bluing, steel tempering, spring making, Dremmel-using fabrication shortcuts, riveting, the poor man's lathe, that's a hand drill, attached to a vice, holding a piece you then work with a metal file!

Also, the New Zealand guy that built his own Cruise Missile, now, if he can teach you all of that's related to it , like building a pulse jet(!), the missile steering and the electronics, you will learn a lot, and maybe in some of those E-books and Videos you'll find the answer to a very difficult Prototyping problem..

And there's the endless list of Gadget suppliers, the Surplus and such little wonders that you find like magic by the use of a few chosen search words.

Popular Mechanics also have a lot of articles you should seek, but that fall on the Useful Links category, something to see far ahead.

Now it's time for a very simple project, a Power Supply, out of the entrails of a discarded PC!