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How to get started with designing your own custom product?

Do you have an idea for a great product? Or maybe you have an existing product but wish it was done just a little bit differently? Are you the type that likes to create things and are into the Maker Space movement? If you answered yes to any of these questions, but don't know how to get started on designing, keep reading.

Personally, I went through this exact process not long ago as I was interested in designing a quad for my own personal satisfaction. The first thing I did was google everything I could about the subject and found that to design a quadcopter, I needed to get some software that would produce a .dxf file which is one of the files that is accepted here on this site. Since, I'm a fan of the Open Source movement, I downloaded several different software and found QCAD to be the easiest to use. This software is free and can be downloaded at http://qcad.org.

If you are like me and learn best by example, the next step was to get examples. The best place I found for quadcopter examples is a site called http://untestedprototypes.com. From here, I took a look at the examples and looked at the dimensions of mounting holes, etc. Most importantly, I just got familiar with the software. One of the views that I find very beneficial is the Property Editor. To get the Property Editor view, go to the View Menu and select "Property Editor". It will look like the following:

In the image you can see the information from the circle that is found such as radius and the diameter of the circle. Note when designing that any line that you produce in the file will be a cut that is made in the material, therefore, the circle above would produce a 5mm hole in the material.

Team Armattan