Back in 2015 I designed and machined a walnut cell phone, which was my first experience using constraint-based CAD software like SolidWorks and Inventor. The capabilities of these tools blew my mind; they’re what pop into my mind whenever anyone mentions computers “augmenting the human intellect”.
However, they can also be deeply frustrating in that typical computer fashion of obscuring awesome capabilities behind inane precision mouse clicking and a maze of dialogs, filename pickers, and other finicky UI debris — not the least of which being that my 43 inch monitor means toolbar buttons might be literally several feet of cursor travel away from the work at hand.
In January this year while designing a simple part, all that precision clicking and tedious cursor travel finally pushed me off the deep end — I decided to build my own 2D constraint-based CAD tool, one with
blackjack and hookers all commands accessible via a fast and loose pen/gesture interface, like an open bar party for Fitt’s Law.
While I’ve only spent a few months exploring, I’m happy with the vibe of the prototype thus far and am cautiously optimistic that it might join Finda as one of my rare computing yak shaves which graduates from “research project” to “actually useful tool”.
Fascinating Production Method: Hot Wire Extensions
“To the economic historian, the biggest danger of Dracula is his potential disruption of civil timekeeping systems”
A gesture-based mobile keyboard input from 2010, the 8pen.
Upside-down, compact, portable, and super fast 3D printer - Positron V3 has it all
“[S]imple tools do not necessarily do better at helping users manage complexity than more complex tools. If anything, simple tools seem to do worse because by being locally simple they push more concerns out to the user to manage rather than participating in managing them.”
“We need to build places we can’t stop looking at. It will involve lots of plants.
An operational computer UI brick
"Covid deaths per capita in New Zealand have now surpassed Japan. That means Japan, which never once locked down, now has the lowest deaths per capita of all 38 OECD countries. Lessons from the country, that could be useful in future pandemics, have been largely ignored.”
“Housing is a uniquely dangerous form of speculation, because shelter is a primary human right”
“the single greatest thing a new science organization could do, even if it’s at the expense of ALL other things, is facilitate the creation and early development of new branches of science.”