Besides writing, I enjoy knifemaking. While I could only admire the knife world from a distance for months, I’ve made my way back into the knifemaking world thanks to CAD.
I always thought Computer Aided Design (CAD) was something expensive and out of reach to the average Joe. My first glimpse into the world of CAD was when I rode shotgun as my dad went to pick up building plans from his “CAD guy.”
Through my young eyes, I saw CAD as expensive, confusing and something you probably went to college to learn.
But thanks to 3D printing, CAD is almost ubiquitous. Want to create a 3D image? There is free software that you can use, like SketchUp and TinkerCad, in addition to the professional-grade software. With this software, you can design an image, hit print and a few hours later you can hold your design in your hand.
3D printing technology is in its infancy. Like the personal computer, techies say it will revolutionize the way we manufacture and consume goods. I figure it would be a good idea to dabble in the technology, before it does, or does not, take off.
So this weekend, I messed around with CAD. I first downloaded SketchUp, but it had a high learning curve. I slid right down the curve and switched to TinkerCad. The program is also free, and it was designed for the weekend craftsman.
It’s almost stupidly simple and in a few minutes last Friday and Saturday, I created this space-age looking knife:
It’s a knife I would be proud to make in real life.
Just so you know, one of those large squares equal an inch, so the knife is about 10 inches long.
I’ve noticed with both SketchUp and TinkerCad that it’s difficult to create curves. This knife has many straight lines and angles — something I hope to fix in the future because I think knives shouldn’t have many straight lines.
This knife will probably stay in the design stage. With the limited free time I have, I want to make knives that will get used by me or other people. This knife looks like something an astronaut in a dystopian sifi would use. For what, I don’t know. We’ll let Hollywood figure that one out. Sure is pretty, though…