Time To Get Prototyping! (Newton)


Last week, Vertabend and everyone else in StarPathDesign began OHSA training. As we continue our training for certification, we’ve begun the prototyping process. It’s amazing to think that by the end of this year, we will have a (hopefully) working model of our neck pillow innovation!

To do this, our group has split along the BioMedical and Engineering lines once more. Zabdi and Zane will work closely, conducting further biomedical research on hour our design will affect the human body, and what exact materials we will be ordering. All of our materials will be ordered by Thanksgiving so we can get to work building our prototype after the break.

Karrie's SketchUp (original photo)
Karrie’s SketchUp (original photo)

Jordan and I, the engineering students, will be creating a 3D model of the pillow in AutoCAD or Google SketchUp. When we found out that we’d be doing 3D modeling, we were very excited and happy, since we loved our modeling class in ninth grade called Intro to Engineering Design. We were taught how to model in AutoCAD and couldn’t wait to dust up on our modeling skills….however, the computers in the portable where we currently have class only have SketchUp. Jordan and I for the moment are going ahead and each making a model, although I’m planning on making one in AutoCAD if that’s possible. SketchUp does have the advantage of being free and available almost everywhere. In any case, it’s a good skill to have, and part of Vertabend’s “agreement” with each other that we will be FLEXIBLE and adapt to adversity. Go GRIT!

Jordan's SketchUp (original photo)
Jordan’s SketchUp (original photo)

The main difference I’ve noticed so far between SketchUp and AutoCAD Inventor are how the tools are access and implemented; when using Inventor, many tools were simply accessed by right clicking or clicking directly on a face or line and in SketchUp, they must be selected on the toolbar at the top of the page. I was having issues selecting dimensions on SketchUp, but Jordan pointed out a few tricks she’d learned as the primary SketchUp user during our tenth grade engineering DAP project. I’ve also been learning how to use SketchUp with Google’s online user guide.

As I’ve been working on the model (pictures of both Jordan’s model and my model are above), I’m starting to realize that this project is REAL; we’re actually translating vague ideas into tangible, solid substances. No more are the measurements for our pillow just ideas in our head; they are values that can be seen and manipulated as needed in the 3D model, which will eventually live not only on the computer screen, but in the actual three dimensions of our world. Wow.

I might have been a little late to the “deep realization” game, but hey, it was bound to happen! Anyways, I’m exited for my team to progress in our design and expand our entrepreneurial skills, and I am confident that we will be ready with a quality prototype to present to a panel of professionals at the end of the semester.

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