I have decided to start documenting the progress that we are making in starting Design For Making. I have grown up dreaming of starting my own company, and have slowly been developing the skill and acquiring the tools necessary to be able to provide what I think is a worthwhile service.
My passion that drives me to pursue starting this business is creating things. I just love to build stuff. I believe that everyone has that innate desire to create. Whether it is a drawing, sculpture, song, or in my case a tool its fulfilling to know that you have created something new that will help others, or at least that is something others can enjoy.
I grew up learning to build just about anything out of wood and metal, and there came a point when I thought that I was a proficient woodworker and welder, and in order to measurably improve my skills I would have to spend an absurd amount of time and energy for only a little improvement in my skill level. I would compare it to Olympians competing in a swimming competition. At first the Olympians will practice and learn that they are fast swimmers, but then the obsession starts and they train day in, and day out. I've seen interviews where the Olympians say that they practice for years and years, and out of all of that effort and training they will measure their improvement by mere milliseconds.
Now I think that a tradesman specializing in woodworking/ metalworking does about the same thing. They develop the basic woodworking skills needed to build what they need to, but then to develop little techniques over the years with small improvements to the quality of their work compared to the effort that they put into it. I feel like I came to that point where I would have to decide whether or not to continue honing my making skills at a incremental pace, or to choose something different.
I wanted to continue making things because that is what I'm passionate about, but I didn't want to stagnate my progression. That is when I realized that creating something new is a large process, and that I had only barely scratched the surface in creating the physical product. The concept selection, design, and analysis are all things that are essential to creating something worthwhile, and yes skilled craftsman may be able to create a lot of things on the fly with just their experience as a reference; but there comes a point when a product has to be engineered/designed to be successful.
This is where I decided to become an engineer. I solely became an engineer because I wanted to be able to build stuff better; which was very different from the rest of my engineering classmates who became engineers because they liked to do math. I have come to realize that the design/analysis phase of a products life cycle is essential, and that I need the design and analysis skills to really improve my creating skills at a good measurable pace.
I will continue why engineering is so valuable to you in another post, but I hope that this post helps you to see where I am coming from. I am not a typical engineer, but I am qualified, and I am here to help.