Over the years, some items have become repetitive talking points. On this page, we will try to answer a few of these and address some that cause confusion.
What is the meaning of "Solveering"
This is simply a made-up word, combined from "Solving" (problems) and "Engineering", the two things we spend almost all our time on. It came up as a possible match early on in the company's history and stuck around.
I just want you to convert a hand drawn sketch to a CAD model, do you do that?
Yes. Consider though that you want to capture changes early on in any design process. Though we have no problem doing 'over the wall' work, you may want to ask for help that extends beyond just drafting work.
What do you mean with "over the wall"?
A large portion of freelancers (whether in the US or outsourced to other continents) will take a set of instructions, perform the work, send the results back and then bill you. Though this is perfectly valid and useful, consider that if you missed something in the instructions, even if you think it is illogical to do it any other way, you may not get the result you want (any changes will then of course be extra).
Here we like to do things a bit differently when given the chance. We like to provide recommendations and think outside the box for two important reasons: we enjoy what we do and we take pride in the work we accomplish.
What is the difference between a "Model" and a "Drawing"?
A model contains the 3D information about a part or collection of parts (assemblies). A drawing is a 2D representation that defines manufacturing tolerances, materials, special instructions and similar items. A drawing is historiacally often also referred to as a blue print.
What kind of costs can I expect for different work?
That depends greatly on what kind of work you have in mind. You can contact an engineer through our Contact section and get more information and an estimate. In general, you will need to assume that it will cost upwards of $25/h for fairly simple design work and associated consulting. For simulations, the cost greatly depends on what is involved and how long it will take to perform the task. Frequently, costs upwards of $2,500/week are applicable for complex task though they can also be significantly lower than that if your problem is simple. It all depends on what you need done.
I just need a special screw machined. Can you do that for $10?
No. Consider the nature of prototypes and one-offs. Just setting up the machines to cut the helical portion and the material costs associated will push the price for something like this into the $100 range and higher. Consider that the development costs for a new product can easily be 100x to 100,000x the cost of the final product. If you need a small quantity made (say 10 special screws), then the per-part cost would obviously come down, just don't expect hardware store prices.
Do you do microprocessor based/backed designs?
Yes, though we only use Microchip's PIC controllers. We own both the software development tools and programmers (MikroE's MikroBasic compiler and mikroProg) so we can perform rapid turnaround on small and large projects. If you would like fully assembled parts made, we have contacts that can deliver any quantity desired.
I'd like to talk to an engineer about a specific issue.
If you live near Albuquerque, NM then a face to face meeting can be arranged. Otherwise, please use the contact form to get in touch via email.
I already have a CAD model from a different source, can you make changes?
Usually, yes, but that depends on where the files came from. Most CAD packages export to one of the common interchange formats (STEP, IGES, Parasolid, SAT) which we can all import. We can also read some proprietary formats (from NX, Alibre, Solidworks, Inventor, Rhino, AutoCAD, ProE, Catia, SolidEdge) as well as some meshed formats (STL, OBJ, DAE) though these are tricky because they do not explicitly define the features but rather just surfaces. Contact us for more information about working with 3rd party files.