For the past two months I’ve been using SOLIDWORKS to design the core I of the Bigelow engine house. Today I started cutting out the puzzle pieces on the laser cutter.
While I have SOLIDWORKS at work and manage a team developing a software application for it; I’m not an accomplished CAD designer. Mostly we use data provided to us. Sometimes I make simple parts, assembly and drawings so simple the geometry in them does not matter. The engine house core was not easy for me. I had to grind it out. I watched YouTube and has to go back to it and iterate again and again. It is just simple flat walls, but it has lots of angles. It to me time to learn in context modeling. That is the designing of parts inside the assembly. If never done that before.
At this time I have the core designed and I’m starting to cut the pieces out with the laser. The idea is to assemble the core of of 1/4″ (5mm) plywood then laminate it with milled clapboard.
Today I test fit the pieces of the core to confirm the design goes together and looked good on the layout. The remainder of the post is photos of the tests.