Introducing the AWK-106

I promised that I'd have something new this week and here it is... the AWK-106 Flying Fun Plane! For now, it is a set of 100% free and open source plans for making a small, lasercut toy plane.

So, what's this project about? Well, there were a couple motivations:

  • I wanted to create an example project that shows the level of detail needed to fully define a project for a small batch manufacturing process.
  • I've used a mix of Github, Dropbox, and Google Docs in the past (and also shared drives and SVN) and wanted to test some ideas around how to organize design and manufacturing files
  • I wanted to try out Onshape for a CAD project.
  • I wanted to make something fun for my kid. :-)

The Files

One of the big things to understand your way around this project is understanding the difference between design files and manufacturing files.

For example, the design file might define and document the shape of the wing, but if you're a maker trying to create a small batch of them, you'll need

  1. the raw cardboard for the wing
  2. the .pdf manufacturing file that is sent to the laser cutter
  3. the finished part.

Those 3 items plus the original design file are all different things and can be assigned an item number. Turns out, that simple airplane wing was actually fully defined by 4 different things!

Our philosophy is to keep only the most recent design files readily accessible through the main github branch, but we keep a folder with the manufacturing files used for every individual build in a special section, where we don't need to switch branches. We've tried it on some other projects and it seems to be working well.

So without further ado:

Bill of Materials / Full Product Definition
Manufacturing Files
Onshape CAD Design Files
Github full project

As a sidebar, I do realize this documentation is on the technical end of things, and would certainly entertain the notion of putting together a more educational mini-course for it if there seems to be demand.

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