Typically it's the letter "A" in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and a new project that's given me cause to continue my education. I've taken grad classes at Tufts, MIT, and MassArt, taken online classes at Coursera and MITx, I've self taught, and I read voraciously.
End to end product development from concept through fulfillment, including independent product launches and Kickstarter campaigns. Distrubution is through awkwardengineer.com and traditional retail channels.
Client engagements in both project based and hourly roles. Work has included concept generation, design sketching, CAD modeling, physical prototyping, and design for manufacture and assembly.
Lead mechanical engineer / industrial designer for a cell phone charging startup. Through iteration, developed a deep understanding of product requirements across the complete product lifecycle from sale, through manufacture, installation, customer use, and service. I developed the product form and worked very closely with our manufacturing partner to design for their fabrication processes.
precision mechanism design
finite element analysis
sheet metal design
injection molded part design
design for manufacture and assembly
industrial design drawing
embedded programming / Arduino
During the concept phase, I work to understand the context of the problem. I do basic research, look for analogous problems and solutions, and think how all aspects of a business are impacted. This could include branding, the marketing strategy, tooling costs, available technology, etc. Then, I get busy with my sketchbook.
The prototype phase is all about getting things done quickly, so you can learn as much as possible, as fast as possible, as cheaply as possible. Work is done using cardboard and foam, Arduinos, 3d printed parts, hobby electronics, and of course, pen and paper.
The looks like/works like stage is a lot about risk reduction, settling in on the final appearance of the product and ensuring the feasability and functionality of the parts in question. It might not be exactly the same as the final product, but it's getting close.
The output of the quotable alpha stage is a design package that can be sent to manufacturers for review and quote. A great deal of design work goes into detailing designs, getting them under revision control, and prepping them for release.
This stage will incorporate feedback from manufacturers, any lessons or changes from an alpha build, and culminates with a final design package to get ready to ramp up production.
As part of supporting a final release items like first article inspections, test jigs, fixtures, and other items are developed. The end goal is smooth sailing as the production lines run.