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Frequently Asked Questions when working with Solveering™ LLC

On this page we will address a few common questions and what we think are appropriate responses...

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. For more information see also: About

Project related:

Can you Convert Sketches to Models/Drawings/Etc.?

Yes, absolutely. We can take any form of definition of parts, assemblies and similar. This can be a simple email with some description of what something is meant to do, it can be a photo of a hand drawn sketch or pretty much anything that works for you. We recommend that you keep things simpler rather than spend too much time trying to come up with something that looks 'professional'. Often, we need to start from scratch anyway, so any time that you invest in putting together a CAD model or similar might end up being wasted. If you are familiar with CAD, then by all means, provide that, it may come in very helpful and should certainly provide a good way to communicate your idea, but don't especially learn to do so, just so that you can tell us your idea.

Convert STL to STEP/IGES/Parasolid..?

This is a complex topic, but in general, yes, we can use pretty much any file format that defines a shape as a starting point for further work. In fact, we spent years working with mesh based files (such as STL, OBJ, NAS/BDF, etc.) and out of this came the development of the InStep software. If it is an exotic format (for example, the GDML format) then there is a chance that we can work with it, but it may take some additional effort to get there. The best approach is to simply ask and we'll let you know if there are issues/complications that can be expected or if the format is easy to work with.

Are Microprocessor based Designs an option?

Absolutely. Though 'regular' electronics that use analog or digital circuitry to control a device are usually preferred for very simple situations, using a microcontroller or microprocessor usually makes sense any time things get even slightly more complicated. Depending on the level required, it makes sense to either use single components or system-on-chip (SoC) such as the popular Raspberry Pi. In general, we prefer working with the PIC line from Microchip as they are highly versatile and can provide a large range of functions at a very low cost. However, if you need an 8051, ARM, AVR or FT90x based processor, we can certainly discuss those options too.

Can you Modify Components?

Depends. For generic hardware (nuts, bolts, etc.), it often does not make too much sense to spend the time and effort to make small changes unless the project has very specific requirements. Keep in mind that 'simple' changes such as cross drilling a hole in a bolt can be very time consuming as it is a completely manual process (irrespective of whether automatic machines are being used). So if you need a single bolt shortened by a few mm, don't expect a low cost as it can take a fairly long time to get things set up and processed, then packaged and shipped to you.

Do you offer Software/Web Based design?

Yes. That is the short answer anyway. There are better service bureaus that specialize in 'App Design' for mobile and similar and you are probably best off directly contacting them. However, if you are looking for something that is inherently an 'Engineering' task (for example, creating a calculator that can estimate heat loss in a building or similar), then we can certainly develop that for you. Our current limitations are that we use the .NET framework and therefore Desktop applications are for Windows only (there is the possibility of creating a cross platform application, but there are some limitations which would need to be further discussed). If the application is computationally fairly simple, we can generate an ASP.NET application that runs on a server (yours/ours) and can be accessed from any browser. This can be a simple application that provides some capability to people in the field through more complex, database driven processes. The best option is to contact us and provide information about what you have/want and we'll let you know whether this would be a good fit and how we can help.

Cost related:

Machining Work

We consider ourselves more of a consulting company than a job-shop. As such, our in-house manufacturing is mostly aligned with doing small run prototyping work. This does not mean that we cannot, for example, machine a specific device from hardened tool steel, just that there may be better equipped companies for this specific item. However, if you have an idea and want to bring it to life, then we are well situated to taking the ideas and converting them into models and drawings that can then either be prototyped in house or sent out to a trusted vendor for the one-off or short run production.

Production Quantities

In general, we don't do production quantities. There are some exceptions to this, especially when it comes to smaller parts that are either circuit board designs or laser cut as those generally lend themselves well to being set up in a way that allows us to do them here. Circuit boards, especially with embedded software, can be outsourced and then programmed here to preserve the source code from being copied. Small laser cut parts (especially small & thin acrylic) can easily be processed in batches on our laser cutter.

Projects on Guru/Upwork/etc.

You may have seen us on Guru, Upwork or other freelancing sites. We generally prefer not to use those platforms as they can present some challenges in how projects are being bid on and handled. Far too often do proposals disappear in a sea of 'other' proposals where low cost providers seek to underbid with the intention of perhaps not providing all information about potential difficulties or similar. Also, clients on those sites are not always fully cognizant about the level of effort that such projects may involve and think it is perfectly reasonable to ask for a bid on a project marked as '<$250' that involves hours of CFD analysis...


Talk with an Engineer

Any inquiry you submit through our contact page will be replied to by an Engineer. Can you pick up the phone and call us? Well, probably, but you will certainly get a better response to submitting an inquiry and then waiting (and checking your spam folder) for the right person to put together a response. Once we enter into an agreement to work on a project, we will certainly provide you with a way to communicate with us.

General Items:

What is a 'Model', what is a 'Drawing'?

Simply put, a Model is (usually) a CAD representation in 3D that can be looked a from all sides and further manipulated. It could also be a Numerical Model where it represents different conditions and in- and outputs. A Drawing on the other hand is created from a 3D CAD model and is what used to be referred to as a Blue-Print, a representation of a part or assembly of parts that provides additional information such as tolerances, thread specifications, material being used and similar. Drawings are always created from a Model but Models may or may not be accompanied by a Drawing.

What is an 'Over-the-wall' project

This is perhaps a slightly derogatory term used to explain how some clients approach service bureaus. In this scenario a client/project owner wants to hand over only a small portion of a project and provides little in terms of overview (what is it for, what are the requirements). Though it is perfectly acceptable to do things this way, the result will only be as good as the guidance provided. Often the issue with this lies in that the client has some expectation of what the result should look like/function and is then disappointed when things don't turn out that way - not realizing that the information provided was based on assumptions which the service bureau could not anticipate.