I can't believe I have been learning electronics for about 6 years now!
My progress has been slow because I have no training or school credentials and I had been very busy doing a full time career and taking care of everyday family matters.
I started with a super power. I am a very intuitive and conceptual thinker. Ideas for improvement on products and services are always forming in my mind. It's a passion of mine and why I ended of getting an MBA eventually.
Concepts are great and the beginnings of fantastic products. There is one major problem: They are not real. Not real in the 3D physical world sense.
You can exercise your mind into becoming a conceptual powerhouse all your life but the concept is only one HALF of a two sided coin and concepts are DIRT CHEAP.
The other half is the actual physical work involved into bringing that perfect concept into the physical 3D world that we interact in.
My struggle has been in the actual creation of my "perfect" concepts because, from a young age, I have always struggled with the inner workings and mechanics of things.
In my late 20's I decided I wanted to fix that. I wanted to become someone who could understand and put things together so I started with disassembling a brand new malfunctioning M4A1 full metal fully automatic airsoft gun I had bought at the time. YIKES!
It quickly became a pile of $350 of metal and plastic junk in a box.
I had no idea what I was doing and all I had were 2 screwdrivers.
It took me about 2 weeks to a month but I finally got that thing put back together in the middle of a dark, snowy, grey, boring AF winter semester at University.
If I drank back then I would have toasted to my first success with a complex mechanical machine. This is coming from someone who couldn't figure out how to put together a $7 lego set in the 90's. I blame the older style instructions. They were confusing!
How did I manage to fix this heavy, expensive toy I should have never bought in the first place?
Fast forward a few years in South Korea and I am making some damn good money, more than most foreigners will ever dream of yet I was bored. I needed something to stimulate my mind.
I found videos about "Ardweeeeno" and ended up getting a kit. I had no idea what to do with it. There were barely any printed materials let alone that were any good and the videos online during the early Youtube days were terribly boring and confusing.
Fast forward to Christmas 2021.
I got sick just like everyone else. *cough, cough*
I was fine after a few days and realized a New Year was fast approaching.
I wanted to become the "Maker" that I had dreamed of years ago.
I knew I wasn't making things as well as I thought I could.
I ran into serious limitations trying to mix and mash various household items because I had no training or experience.
So, I decided to design my own 3D printable designs. I saw my need to expand my knowledge. By this point I was very familiar with the learning process which is key.
I knew what it is like to start learning from zero and get the momentum going.
The key to that is: CONSISTENCY.
Anything worth doing generally takes planning and hours of work
Now, with the internet and video hosting sites being what they are today, it is much easier to find information and tutorials that you need to succeed.
People make a living out of calling others out in every industry and sub culture you can think of. This sets higher and higher standards resulting in a higher quality library of self-help for you.
Why I Started Learning CAD Design
I took this knowledge of the importance of consistency and sought out a SLOW and EASY to understand tutorial on CAD design and Blender and found what I needed.
Over the course of the week I was recovering from THE illness and experienced something that pissed me off to no end (I'll have to share that later on in the future). This chaotic soup motivated me more than ever to put in the work, put in the hours...and take what is ours.
I started Dry January and started eating healthier and going to sleep earlier. I woke up and was ready to GOOOOOOOOOOO!
In just three days I felt comfortable with the fantastic Open Source CAD design program FreeCAD and started poking around with whatever settings and tools on the various workbenches I didn't know anything about.
Soon, I was able to print and refine, print and refine, print and refine...yeah I wasted a lot of PLA and electricity...
But, it was worth it. The final result after just a few days of focus and healthy eating and sleeping were my 2 opposing laser and ldr boxes with the correct size holes and even screwable lids!
My consistency and focus combined with my sacrifice of muh beloved beer diet propelled me into the CAD design world of 3D printing. It wasn't even that hard!
Now, I am kicking myself for not believing I could do this sooner!
If you haven't checked out FreeCAD, give it a try! It has some amazing addons and it's all FREE.
Like all things, it takes some getting used to, much like Blender or any other 3D modeling software.
Make sure to check out my channels on Youtube and Odysee for more shenanigans with JiF and what I design in the very near future.