My current job entails two utterly unrelated fields: I’m a parts buyer, and I run a CNC router. The latter of the two jobs requires that I have at least some understanding of CAD programs and such. Fortunately my previous experience in the video game industry means I’ve very familiar with the concept of 3D space and navigating / manipulating / referencing it. I also tend to be someone who can visualize concepts and solutions quite rapidly in 3D within my mind.
Recently, my boss got very frustrated with an engineer we’ve been contracting with, to the point that he offered me an opportunity I don’t intend to pass up: take classes on Solidworks so that I can handle most of the design / modeling work for the company. Solidworks is a pretty high-end CAD solid-modeling program, everyone from car companies to the Department of Defense to small time manufacturers uses it, so it’s a valuable skillset to have.
It also means that the major hang-up for moving forward with the MogRod – designing the new chassis – will become something I can fully visualize in 3D before a single weld bead is laid down. This has a few big plusses for me. First, it means I can have a professional metalwork shop handle building the chassis to a spec that isn’t just sketched down on a napkin. Secondly, it means I can check and change the placement of things to suit my needs. Thirdly, it means that, heaven forbid something should happen, I have a precise reference for the chassis to repair / rebuild it with. Alternatively, if I should ever get a wild hair to try and mass produce a kit car based on the project, I have everything ready for that.