Kickstarter sneek peek

 

 

 

2015-08-06 14.48.44

 

 

RIM RING , the bike rim bottle opener/keychain

 

 

Ava, my second daughter and I spent one afternoon to come up with a kickstarter campaign for a little product I have been prototyping for months. Literally this took a few hours one evening and a few hours yesterday. I am going with the MVP approach to product development here. Please check out this test page and offer any suggestions to the campaign before we go live. Please click on the link to view and comment.  Thanks so much!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/110500571/1231712285?token=2219f09c

Trueform Office

2015-08-07 09.21.512015-08-07 09.22.07

2015-08-07 09.22.25

 

TRUEFORM OFFICE NOW OPEN

 

FINALLY! I finally have wifi at the new Trueform Shop. I spent a part of yesterday morning setting up the office space. I have adopted a stand up desk for office work. I think it helps with productivity and adds more movement to my day. My desk is a Harbor Freight Special but I love it. I though you might like a few shots of my new office. I’m sure its not like many you have seen. I guess this is due to the fact that I really don’t have an office job…. While more and more work is done through computers, I am really a machinist. I can take three steps and I am at my workbench, mill, welding table,etc. This meager office area provides exactly what I need for the design, project management, research, purchasing and communication elements of my business. I hope you can come visit soon to see it in person. Take me up on my offer and Ill provide the hot or cold drinks…. See you soon.

 

3200 Dutton Ave

#220

Santa Rosa, CA

95407

 

888-405-4445

The SHOP is OPEN!

2015-06-05 16.43.57

Well, after a long several months of being a bit of a nomad, I have opened the Trueform Design & MFG PROTOTYPE SHOP! My business plan has always been to utilize the smallest footprint possible while offering superb service to my clients. By opening this shop, I believe my service capabilities have greatly increased while reducing lead-times. This also allows a great meeting place for clients and I to discus production plans and brainstorming. As I move forward to a Grand Opening, I will update you on new capabilities as they are implemented.

The shop is at 3200 Dutton Ave, unit #220 in Santa Rosa, 95407. All of my other contact info will remain the same. As soon I WiFi is accessible at the shop, I will move my office there. Until then, I will continue office operations from my home office. That puts me at the new shop mostly in the afternoons for now. The shop is 1000sq ft with a small bathroom, roll up door and plenty of 3 phase power. The previous tenants, (medicinal growers) left plenty of electrical outlets and ceiling vents for me too! I still have a long list of To-Dos for the shop but at this point, at least its functional.

The plan is to have a prototype mill, Lathe, welding area along with a stocked assembly work area at the shop. A huge 4′ x 10′ workbench will double as a conference table when needed. As I am a big believer in the “stand up desk” movement, you will probably not find any chairs at the shop, however, shop stools will always be there to take a load off. Of course the coffee and espresso machines were the first installed. And of course the mini fridge will hold the celebratory beverages.

Please stop by sometime and check it out. I will post about the open house well in advance so hopefully you can make it!

Waterjet cutting….FAQs’

waterjet parts

Most frequently asked questions for waterjet cutting.

Water jet cutting is the most effective way to cut shapes in metal for the majority of jobs. I guess I’m bias as a water jet cutting provider. Though the water jet cutting machine industry is becoming ever refined, the acceptance of water jet cutting is still growing. We have new customers all the time. They usually have a bundle of questions. Here are just the first five questions we usually get when a customer starts cutting with us.

1). How does water cut metal?

The water is really just the vehicle for the cutting media. Abrasive garnet is mixed with the high pressure water to make the cut.

2). How many pounds of pressure will the machine generate?

The early water jet machines would pump at 30,000 psi. The most common is 60,000 psi but 90K and 120k models are coming out now.

3). How thick can you cut?

The great thing about water jet cutting is that you can cut any thickness. However, the thicker you cut, the slower the machine travels. While it may take one minute to cut a part out in 1/4″ steel, it may take an hour to cut the same part in 3″ steel. For each part, there is a thickness that hits diminishing returns. Often times parts thicker than 1.5″ can be flame cut and machined for the same cost as water jetting.

4). What materials can you cut?

About any material can be cut with water jet cutting. The harder the material is, the better, as long as it’s not brittle. Plastics can do well but if the material is laminated, I don not recommend waterjet cutting. The stream of water will break through the first layer but then while entering the second, the blast will rip the layers apart, delaminating the material. It will end up looking like bad plywood left out in the rain for a year. Sometimes, a trick to eliminate this is to add a long “lead-in”. The lead-in is the cut between the initial pierce of the waterjet and the start of the actual cutting of the feature. A lead-in is used to eliminate any distortion from the pierce and enhance the tolerance of the cut feature. The lead-in is always left in the scrap drop, or the parent plate, not in the part.
Any metal, stone or solid plastic arterial is a fine candidate for waterjet cutting.

5). How fast will the machine travel?
This is a function of three things; the material being cut, the thickness of that material and the quality of kerf quality desired.
The less dense the material, the faster the travel speed is. Aluminum is about 2-3 times faster cutting than steel. Stainless is about 5%-10% slower than steel in the same thickness. If the part will be machined to size and final shape later, then a faster cutting speed can be used, reducing cost. Many times the final part finish remains the waterjet cut shape, so a slower travel speed is used to enhance the cut surface.

I will update with the next set of FAQs’ regarding waterjet cutting soon. I hope this is helpful and I really hope I can bring waterjet cutting into your workflow. Contact me any time for more info or a quote.

6cl653tg

Custom adjustable speaker mounts.

Audio speaker mounts

Custom Speaker Mount

 

 

 

I have been attending Hoe Chapel for about 18 years. That entire time I have been looking at the homemade brackets holding up the Church speakers. Whoever made them had a challenge. Our church meets in an old renovated yellow barn. The walls in this building are far from plumb. Picture the shape of a pentagon, that’s the basic section view of our building. The walls in the sanctuary are around 60 degrees. Roughly  30 degrees out of square from the floor. This actually works out well for the acoustics in the building but wreaks havoc on wall mount speakers. When Chad, the music leader secured new speakers to replace the old blown set we used, new mounts were needed. Chad gave me a few constraints for mount design; first, the speakers were already purchased so I could just measure them up. The new speakers are much taller and heavier. Chad also wanted to be able to adjust the direction of the speakers, left to right. This is not too much of a challenge as the new speakers have female sockets on the top and bottom for mounting but still allowing rotation. The tough one is that Chad wanted them to tilt as well. The old mounts did not have this option but when it was time to install them, whoever did the work, just mounted them at an angle. This worked but in all my years, it really bugged me. Obviously they were not designed to tilt so they just screwed them to the angled wall crooked so that it always looked like the speakers were about to roll right off the mounts. I was so happy when Chad asked me to help him with the new system. I could finally wright this engineering wrong. Of course another constraint is that the speakers needed to be removable, easily. The last challenge was of course the odd angle of the wall that the mounts hang from.

A great friend and contractor, Andy, volunteered to help measure and install the finished product. Once Andy and I measured the speakers and deciphered the angle of the wall, we also verified the location of the studs. These new speakers weigh a ton so we needed to be sure that the new mounts would secure into solid framing. At this point, it was time to make some sketches of a design that would encompass all the given constraints while still remaining under $100,000.

The finished product employs everything that Chad hoped for as well as the Hope Chapel logo subtlety cut into the bracing of the mount. One hand screw secured the speakers in place while a rubberized finish keeps the speakers from rotating or vibrating. Another hand screw tightens agents the bracket to allow for tilt adjustment. I am completely satisfied how they came out. One of the best complements I received is that someone didn’t even notice them holding the new speakers. They tend to blend into the background. This is the type of custom job that Trueform excels at. Give us as many constraints as necessary, a budget and any other pertinent information and my team will knock it out of the park.

 

What’s in a Door Handel?

TRUEFORM CUSTOM DOOR HANDLES

door hardware, stainless steel

                               Custom Door Handles  

custom stainless hardware

Interior and exterior view

custom stainless steel , brushed finish, custom hardware

Double door custom handles, stainless steel, hand brushed finish.

 

 

Custom door handles are one of the first things that people notice when they approach home, business or restaurant. It is normally the very first thing someone touches. The next emotion or memory they have will be framed in the reference of that very first touch. Sure, you could have your guests enter through a standard “straight from the hardware store” door knob or handle, but think of the impact that a custom door handle would make. Perhaps the logo of your business is the first thing touched, or as you pull the door of the bike shop open, you notice a bicycle handle bar in your hand. This would engage your guest before he or she even enters your shop. I think she would have a sense that you care about her shopping experience if you went to such lengths wow her.  Recently TRUEFORM completed a job like this. For the home owner, no off the shelf handle would work for her custom double door. After we consulted, I designed a handle that she and her husband loved that also solved a problem. Unfortunately the door was purchased with standard hardware bores already milled. This limited the custom options that were desired. My design incorporated the use of the pre-bored holes and resulted in a great custom look that the client was looking for. The construction material is all 316 Stainless Steel. And a hand brushed steel finish was employed. The result is a stunning effect with the eccentric radii and contrast between the deep mahogany wood and the bright smooth stainless.  Imagine what effect a custom handle would have on your door. Contact Scott at Trueform Design for a free consult of your situation.

What have I been working on?

machined parts

What have I been working on you ask?

a personal Electric vehicle with exciting cutting edge concepts

a Large custom home remodel that requires custom railing, desks, benches with integral alcohol burners and out door façades.

developing an invention that will hopefully be showcased in every pet store in the US

a custom door handle, designed and installed

a portable staging system

a custom display for a pipe connector manufacturer

along with the development of my line of products for the retail and restaurant industry. Yes, that is broad and has been keeping me quite busy. What can I work on for you?

www.trueformdesign.com

How do your Customers know what you want them to know?

wine label holder

Hold cards, labels or place settings.

 

In your wine store, you don’t want your customers grabbing bottles, rifling through stacks of bottles just to find the last Merlot in the Zin display. How better to communicate with your customers than with custom label holders? Just put one of these classy handmade label holders in front to identify exactly what you have for sale. The beauty of these label holders is that they can be changed out quickly and easily. And best of all, you don’t buy them at Costco like every other tasting room out there! Fixtures like this set your self apart from others. Let me set you up with a complete set of label holders. I can even custom design units with your logo or an emblem that conveys your brand while educating your customers. What do you want your customers to know? It is my job to design a clever way to help you answer this question. From label holders to plaque holders and banner stands, My team and I are dedicated to clear communication of your message while selling your brand.

GOOD DESIGN and a powerful LINK

When designing a part or product, there are several things you can do to reduce the overall cost of manufacture. For years managing a machine shop, I have come across some terrible drawings. The ones on the napkins or scratch paper are sometimes the best. Often times, machined partscompanies retain high level engineers that have never made anything. Of course this may not be their fault but designing parts that can actually be made with machine shop tools is a learned skill. Recently, we were machining a cover with an O-ring groove. The print had no flatness callout. When we asked the customer how flat the plate needed to be, their answer was, ” you know pretty flat, but don’t machine it flat.” Now the tolerance for the depth of the O-ring groove is +/- .005. There is absolutely no way that can be achieved with out machining the surface of the plate. Of course when the plate came in from the customer, it had a bow in it roughly 3/16″ or .190″ This required grinding and pressing before we could even touch it.

  This type of problem is so common. Designers always forget the most important information, or just assume that the fabricator or machinist knows what the designer was thinking. We all see parts differently and seldom do I just guess correctly. There are two ways that engineers and designers can combat this expensive cycle; education, and experience.   Experience- Even if an engineer doesn’t actually make a part, just having him or her in the shop while the machinist or fabricator is building the item drawn, can be a huge advantage. We have had our customer’s engineers call or stop by so they can really see some of the issues we deal with, and it cam be extremely helpful for all involved.   Education-   This is where my blog post may be most helpful… Last summer, I made a connection with a local shop that specializes in very high end complex parts made in difficult materials. They are a wonderful group of guys and gals ready and willing to help out when the parts get a little too fancy for our capabilities. Over the years, the CEO has developed an E-book that deals with these issues in a real world way. This e-book should be required reading for ALL designers and Mechanical engineers. Following these points will save an immense amount of time, money and frustration when the designs can be easily made. Most of the time small insignificant changes made to the drawing can save hours. Engineers, please read this short book and set yourself high above your competition.

go to this link, http://www.omwcorp.com/resources.  and click on, Designing Cost Effective Machined Parts                         ‘

Whats New?

Grand Tetons, Beer

Yes, that is a Grand Teton Sweetgrass American Pale Ale posing with my brother in front of the GRAND TETONS!

Whats new? everything. I have not posted lately because I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to Wyoming to celibrate my grandmothers 90th birthday. While my Dad, brother and I were there, we went on sevral shop tours. Wyoming is machine, fab and toy shop central. Who knew? The oil fields are very dependent on local machine shops as well as the huge AG business around there. And when everyone is done working in the shops or in the field, they go home to play in their personal shop. I must have viewed over 75 motorcycles (indoor only) , a few boats, many many cars including perfectly restored 60s’ and 70s’ muscle cars, snowmobiles (not ‘snow machines’ in this part of the country)and more than one race car. I was born in Wyoming and I have never been more proud of that fact. The people of Cody WY are the proudest people I have ever met. Not in a bad way, just in an honest way. I cant wait to go back. Great landscape, great people, great towns, great beer. Next time there will be some vintage dirt bike riding- no joke.