If you like to tinker with physical stuff on a prototype and engineering level, then you know that there are some great resources in modern times to help you recognize your visions. Theories, concepts, and ideas are great, but the hands-on part of the discovery process is what many people really enjoy digging into.
So if you’re a person with that real-world leaning, a few categories of thought and research to consider would be learning about details of machining, using 3D printers, designing prototyping with software, using finding campaigns, and finding places where you can potentially experiment with your ideas.
Details About Machining
A big part of engineering, prototyping, and manufacturing eventually is how to do accurate machining. And the accuracy of this process is determined by a number of very detailed factors. The material properties of plastic and metal are extremely different for example, so depending on what kinds of parts you’re making for your design, different machining techniques and the math surrounding them are going to be at the heart of the creationary riddle you have to solve.
3D printing technology is here, and it’s allowing engineering experimenters to test the limits of their imaginations. For a reasonable amount of money, you can invest in a 3D printing and printing materials, and have access to infinity design options. There are still kinks to work out in the process, as the tech is still in its infancy, but for early adopters, this is a huge development, so that they don’t to rely on insanely expensive prototyping orders to major manufacturing plants, instead being able to keep production in their own hands.
Prototyping with Software
And just as important as the ability to print out your design with physical materials, you need to be able to get that design into the printer, which means understanding how to use 3D modeling software. It’s a pretty dense experience learning all of the options that are possible with today’s computer software packages, but once you do learn then, the sky’s the limit.
One of the things about the modern internet social structure is that you can use online leverage to help fund your engineering ideas as well. There are thousands of crowdfunded projects that have been successful since the idea took hold, and now, so long as you present your case in a logical manner, you can expect some degree of success.
Finding Places To Experiment
If you live in an area where there’s a college campus nearby, there are some institutions that will allow you to use some of their more hardcore engineering machines if you just ask. This is a great way to get hands on experience with professional equipment without having to buy it yourself.