Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kids, not consultants, design the new Em2 model.



We're nearly finished with a complete redesign of our Em2 model.  Here's detail of a wood/acrylic mock up of the new legs.

How to design.   Hire consultants?  For a small project, the finding/contracting can dwarf time spent on actual work.  I have to start by explaining that we simulate fluvial geomorphology in an aluminum box filled with ground salsa bowls.

I've called in clever people who'll help for free, and Sauer Machine in St. Louis, who'll build the final design, is there as always.

Hundreds of hours have gone into this; I can recite a lot of dimensions, angles, and have memorized the weight per linear foot of  2" x 0.125 square aluminum tubing, and we've built a dozen mock ups like this.

Good design demands it.  It requires passion and immersion in the problem, and unless you have a lot of money, you can't get this from a consultant.  This is an Emriver, not and iPod.

So I'm glad LRRD isn't a real for profit and runs on me not getting paid much, because otherwise we'd never make the cool stuff we do.

And I have to credit this 2 year old who, as I watched at the Cache River Nature Fest last weekend, tried for twenty minutes to break the Em2's notch gage,  And the other kids wailing on the model, who reminded me how strong it should be.

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