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Mockups In Cheap Materials

intjonmiller

Active Member
Active Member
#1
As I mentioned in the "What do you use to design" thread (or whatever it was called), I like to do mockups in cheap materials, sometimes affectionately known as Cardboard Aided Design. I enjoyed my drafting class in high school where I did some by hand and most in the last release of AutoCAD before it got 3D functionality. Most of my work has been in digital imaging, with a few years in construction as well, and my 2D work in Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, QuarkXPress, and InDesign seem to be blocking me from getting my head around 3D design. As a result I find it easier to just mock up with cheap, easy to process materials rather than fight with the software that just isn't doing what I want. I'll get there, but I'm not there yet.

My brother-in-law uses a lot of MDF, especially melamine-faced, in his cabinet business, so I am often able to get scraps. At one point he had a stack of a couple hundred pieces of 3/16" melamine at about 18"x48" each after a massive commercial cabinet job. I won't need to go get more any time soon, as I took a couple dozen pieces home.

The beauty of this is that it is the same thickness as the hundreds of pounds of scrap A36 flat stock I have from a shop where I worked. I also have 1/2", 1", 1.5", and 2" square tubing scraps. It's very easy to make up those sizes from 1/2" and 3/4" plywood and 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", and 1" MDF scraps. When I have some scraps of those that are too small to be very useful for other things I rip them into strips that match the steel scraps I have. Then when I need it to mock up a project I don't have to set up the table saw, I just quickly cut the previously prepared "stock" to length at the miter saw.

Here's my first draft of my 2"x72" belt grinder:

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(The dowel section represents the gas shock I'm using for belt tension, at full extension.)

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Some of what is solid here actually represents tubing. Note how well they correspond:

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I try to do this to actual dimensions I will be using in the final build so I can just reference from this for all my cuts and layout later. I even have one corner of the base plate here designated as "Reference", with every dimension from that corner a nice easily repeatable fraction.

Mind you this is the actual build currently in progress:

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I learned enough from the mockup to change my mind about most of the design. Then I was confident enough to proceed without doing another mockup.

I don't know if this will help anyone, but hopefully it will get some ideas started/planted for a few others. :)
 

intjonmiller

Active Member
Active Member
#3
Weird. They show up fine in Tapatalk on both of my devices, but not in web view. I'll try again but I don't know if it will make any difference as I'm uploading from Tapatalk.

a0ce900c755a002d6725438bbfef3f4a.jpg

And I'm actually having trouble with Tapatalk uploading the images. It's usually instant but right now it keeps hanging at 95%. They must be having some server issues.

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Bill Gruby

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#4
That's all I see. FWIW, I always make a mock-up of something I design or a change the design of someone else. Mine are always wood of some sort.



"Billy G"
 

higgite

General Manger - Proofreading Dept.
Active Member
#5
I can relate to Cardboard Aided Design. I’m working toward making a polycarbonate chip enclosure/catcher/retainer thing for my mill table. I’m on my 3rd “CAD” iteration, but still not happy with it. Thankfully, the software is cheap.

Tom

P.S. I too see red X’s instead of pics.
 

Bill Gruby

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#12
Weird. They show up fine in Tapatalk on both of my devices, but not in web view. I'll try again but I don't know if it will make any difference as I'm uploading from Tapatalk.

a0ce900c755a002d6725438bbfef3f4a.jpg

And I'm actually having trouble with Tapatalk uploading the images. It's usually instant but right now it keeps hanging at 95%. They must be having some server issues.

796ce025d54a5dfc0ccfd4361205e66a.jpg

004bd6418f3609682524d8e7996d5d2c.jpg


Yup , when you get quoted the pics post, but not once you post the quote. Strange for sure. I will get together with admin to see what causes this.

"Billy G"
 

ezduzit

Active User
Active Member
#13
Sometimes much more useful, and not only for metal parts, but for many things I build for yachts, I make patterns of the shape of the interface, rather than mock-ups of the part or assembly. These are usually made from 1/8" door skin strips, of a width appropriate to the size of the pattern, and hot glue. Onto the pattern is scribed the true outline of the interface, using a pencil compass or scribing knife, or sometimes a small piece of door skin, with which irregular shapes are easily transferred. Additional notes are inscribed to describe the edge, itself, like back-beveling, for example. And tic-marks can be added to show the location of important features that fall within the framework of strips, mounting holes, for instance.

Actual mock-ups might be made by cutting out paper dolls, representing instruments, to optimize the locations of navigation electronics. Or to visualize the close proximity of related components, as shown on the electric conversion of an engine powered model airplane.

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Wreck™Wreck

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#15
I often use Delrin or PVC for testing lathe programs as we have a lot of drops lying about, did 10 internal 1 1/2-4 Left Hand Acme threaded parts yesterday using a RH tool, so ran it in a piece of Delrin first, it was not ideal as I had to hand grind side clearance on the insert.