With our first milestone behind us, the airstream trailer/teacher’s lounge is one step closer to becoming a reality! With the new fancy floorplan in hand, the Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications heads into the second milestone: building plans. Here, we’re going to plan the construction of this wonderful floor plan. This includes 3D modelling, fastening plans, wood plans, and purchasing plans; because one cannot get too much of planning.
For this milestone, each team is designing the furniture for the winning floorplan. First, we’re going to model the furniture in Google Sketchup, and later on we’re going to vote on the best furniture designs and construct them! In real life!
Right now, Gus and I (of the Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications are working on our Sketchup models, which is also pretty exciting. For me, anyway. I’ve done some work on other 3D modelling programs before like Autodesk Inventor, but I’ve found that Sketchup is so much easier. The tools are straightforward and intuitive, and they don’t have a million different options or specifications like Inventor does. It’s not as fancy as Inventor, but it gets an idea across pretty efficiently.
Although Sketchup is easy enough to figure out on one’s own, it’s good to know some tips and tricks that make life easier. I found this website called mastersketchup.com that has all sorts of neat tutorials written by a construction guru/sketchup enthusiast. In this article, he gives essential tips, such as how to use groups and components, make multiple copies, use keyboard shortcuts, and control dimensions. I will definitely be referencing this website in the coming days, if not for the rest of my life.
As Project Ventura get into construction, we’re also learning the basics of woodworking. In class we learned about centroids, beam deflection, and cut lists. Soon we’re going to make sawhorses for all our future sawing needs. I love the idea of making our designs into real-life objects, but (call me a girl) the construction process is a bit scary. I’m glad I had some exposure to woodworking through the PLTW GTT program in middle school, otherwise I would be really nervous about this. Power tools, wood, and my hands? Probably not a good combination.
Luckily, there’s websites like Wood Magazine that give plans and tips for all sorts of construction projects and beginner techniques so that we won’t accidently cut off a thumb or end up with 10 pounds of useless wood. I like this article in particular, which gave useful advice from professionals about what they wish someone would have told them when they started woodworking. I learned not to rely on tape measures, instead cutting pieces to fit. Also, one should always use sharp tools to make clean cuts, and ask for help from professional woodworkers when the need arises.
I don’t feel nearly qualified enough to put together a construction plan for several pieces of furniture that people will actually end up using, but who knows? The Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications pulled it through for Milestone #1, and I bet we can do the same for Milestone #2. See ya then!