Materials and general fastening techniques were covered in an earlier chapter, but here we go over how to actually make something, or get someone else (or a machine) to make it for you. This starts with a design, whether it’s a napkin sketch or a full 3D CAD assembly. From there, some projects will be made by hand by sawing aluminum extrusions or using off the shelf components. Others will lend themselves to rapid prototyping, including 3D printing and laser cutting. Free and cheap software for design will be covered as well to speed up the design process. It also helps to have the method of fabrication in mind when initially designing the product, an idea called “design for manufacture” by the pros.

Project 9-1: Download part CAD model from McMaster into Alibre Design

Project 9-2: Drill a centered hole without a lathe