December 4, 2001
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
The “Let’s Go Design” interactive web series from SolidWorks is both innovative and entertaining. The first project in the series – the Ultimate CAD Chair – is a done deal, so it’s now on its second project.
The goal of Project 2 is to design a multi-sport practice cage with the input of an ad hoc group of engineers and using SolidWorks as well as a variety of tools that make up the engineering tool set. As with the first project, you, Ms. or Mr. Viewer, got to vote on the general outline of the design and post your comments, suggestions, and observations of what sort of particulars would make up this thing.
In the opening broadcast of Project 2, viewers were asked to vote on the combination of sports—football, soccer, and street hockey – that the cage would accommodate. Not to be a spoiler, but the voting was so close that the series host, Jeremy Luchini, opted for a cage that could handle all three sports. And that announcement is where we begin Episode 2, the design phase of the Multi-Sport Practice Cage.
Great stuff going on here. Those of you who watched and participated in the first episode of this project know that Luchini has expanded the size of his engineering team from you out there to include a bunch of really smart high school kids from Marlborough, MA. After converting some legacy DWG 2D files of actual field designs with a new free program into 3D, Luchini brings in this kid named Robinson, who we met in the first episode, to help him out. This is a nice touch on all sorts of levels, not the least of which is that Robinson gives you hope for the future.
Anyway, Robinson and Luchini dig into the design framework of the cage, including some nifty work designing virtual opponents that will make practice more real. Both new tools and new ways to use familiar tools are a big part of this broadcast. There’s even a bit of good-natured tension over how to handle scoring. The kid ribs Luchini about being an old guy every so often.
In addition to its light-hearted entertainment value, the “Let’s Go Design” series is also seriously educational. But it’s blissfully missing the suffocating sales pitch that it could have easily fallen prey to. That alone earns SolidWorks kudos in my book.
So, hit the link over there and check out the second installment of the Multi-Sport Practice Cage design project. If you missed the project opener, it’s available on-demand right below the main video box. Oh, and make sure to hit the “Star in Your Own Video” link on the left-hand side of the “Let’s Go Design” page.
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering