Thursday, February 2, 2012

Drafting, Biking, Driving (in that order!)

I've finished the flashlight. The exploded view wasn't part of the assignment; I did this for fun.

With all I've learned thus far, I got the itch to try again on drawing a little nozzle part that we manufacture for the cooling tower construction and maintenance industry. The first time I tried to tackle it, I was still thinking in 2D AutoCAD and just couldn't quite wrap my brain around how to build it.

SolidWorks has been an exercise in adaptation for me, that is for certain. The best way I can think to describe it now is that using SolidWorks is more like sculpting than drawing. And sometimes getting that 3D sculpting to come out right on a 2D screen is tricky. But it's been a fun challenge, and I am very glad that I have learned from this.

The nozzle is coming along. It is a fairly complex part (compared to the prior exercises I've been doing) with external ribs, shelled features, additional tabs and extensions to add via boss/extrude, and that last bit of the daisy wheel on the bottom I hope I can find a stock layout of on DSS 3D Content Central. In the past week I've thought more about what I could do next, and that's partly what reminded me of the nozzle project.

There are many other projects out there that I looked at in puzzlement back at the beginning - those I need to look at again. They won't be quite so much like Greek to me anymore.

In other news, today I took Juno (the puppy) running again with the bicycle. I bought a Springer bike attachment. Very cool device; it was recommended to me ten years ago on the stay at home parents forum I used to frequent, but I couldn't afford it at the time and just bookmarked it and kept looking wistfully at it every so often.

And so I just used a leash to bike with Lucky - at least until that shepherd got out of his fence and scared her. I do have to use a prong collar in addition to a harness in order to keep Juno on course (gotta love Amazon reviews and user suggestions), but she runs right along until we pass people or dogs - then of course she wants to visit and I have to click at her or whistle. My son has ridden along the last couple of times I've gone, and my daughter went with me Monday.

Their bikes got stolen out of our garage a couple months ago (meany head criminals) so they have to take turns using their dad's bike. The thieves didn't take my or my husbands bikes - I guess they were too old to be of interest. Since the kids are showing this interest in travelling along while I run Juno, I think we are going to shop for some used bikes this weekend. Money's tight though. The really annoying thing about their bikes getting stolen was that they each had saved birthday and Christmas money to buy their own bikes. It took them each more than 6 months to save that up. I get so annoyed when I think about it. I avoid thinking about it most of the time.


Anyway, letting the anger pass and moving on ... the other thing I did today was let my daughter practice driving; I'm trying to make sure we practice at least every day that she is home early enough. She has her permit and we are working on earning her hours for the parent-taught driver education program. I don't quite understand why the "professional" programs only require 6 hours of behind the wheel training to get a discount on your car insurance, but the parent-taught program requires 55 hours to get the same discount. Not quite what I would call "equivalent" -- things that make you go "hmm."

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