I have to build an electro-mechanical device that has a few sliding and rotating parts controlled by servos and actuators from Phidgets.
I made the prototype with wood; it was crude, imprecise, and looked like it was built from scrap from a junkyard, but it proved the concept.
Now, we are going to need to make the real thing. I spoke with a local company that does CNC work and I tried to explain to them the concept. But I suck at drawing, and the original prototype covers just a part of what we need.
I have several options that I am contemplating:
- Building something out of wood again to show them what I need. But it was time consuming and not very good last time
- Build something, without the motors, out of legos to demonstrate the moving parts.
- Make a proper model in SketchUp, but it won't be able to demonstrate the moving parts. The CNC company told me they'd be happy to see SketchUp/Autocad files, but I'm afraid this won't convey how things move during the operation.
- Writing on Stack Exchange to get some fresh ideas :)
What would be the best way to describe a device to people foreign with the concept? They need to understand how it operates, the constraints for the moving parts, etc and eventually come up with the final schematics. So I need to get the point across.
I have never done this before, and this is domain that is foreign to me.