Sunday, March 26, 2017

Things You Don't Think About When Dating

Does this woman have goods spatial analysis capabilities?  Is she adept at seeing alternative mechanical design strategies?  The short answer turns out to be, "Yes."  We got high-centered on a fiber optics bundle raised mound in central Nevada in the 1980s.  I was pretty flummoxed, but she saw how to get us off.

More recently, as I looked for ways to reduce manufacturing and inventory costs for ScopeRoller several years ago, she saw a way to simplify the design so that four basic components covered 95% of the product line.

I have been working on a ScopeRoller product to provide mobility for Dobsonian telescopes like this:

There's no tripod and these are often quite heavy.  (Dobsonians are often signs of severe aperture lust; there must be a support group somewhere.).

I have been working on a design that conforms to ScopeRoller's current product line strengths: don't change the telescope's "footprint"; compact and light enough to ship in Priority Mail boxes worldwide; use of off-the-shelf raw materials (no specialized, custom parts); no new skills required (like welding).  I was fighting a losing battle around getting the holes and slots in three separate sheets of aluminum to align.  She suggested an alternative strategy which requires aligning holes in two sheets at a time: A bolts to B; B bolts to C.  In nerd terms, B is an interface between A and C. Another benefit is that instead of cutting slots in aluminum plate (which is very slow on the Sherline mill), I can solve the problem of how to get a 1/4"-20 bolt to screw into a threaded hole holding B and C together by using a 3/8" through hole.  This allows for a few hundredths of an inch misalignment while still locking down tightly with washer

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