Welcome to the 10th edition of the Makerspace Weekly. Greetings from (we count things really slow) Georgia. If you're in the US I know you've been hit over the head with tons of news the past few days. Hopefully, the projects and links below will give you a nice break 😉.
A few weeks back my interview podcast came back from its summer break. Last Friday we chatted with Lars Christensen all about the 3D modeling program Fusion 360. I learned a ton of what I know from Lars and he has been the go-to teacher for Fusion on YouTube for years!
⛔️Over the summer Space X sent the first private crewed spaceship to dock with the International Space Station. In addition to having the coolest spacesuits of all time, I couldn't help but wonder what it was like to control the ship with just a touch screen.
I recently ran across a similar situation, but this time in the Navy. It turns out they are pushing to add physical controls back to their control surfaces as opposed to touch screens.
Because it's still easier to find something physical than digital:
When you look at a screen, where do you find heading? Is it in the same place, or do you have to hunt every time you go to a different screen? So the more commonality we can drive into these kind of human-machine interfaces, the better it is for the operator to quickly pick up what the situational awareness is, whatever aspect he’s looking at, whether it’s helm control, radar pictures, whatever. So we’re trying to drive that - link
🛠️ A dream build of mine is a traditional woodworking workbench. Especially one that includes one of Andy Klein's twin-turbo screw vise. I had Andy on my podcast a little while back and he was starting to build a workbench for Adam Savage. This week it got installed and Adam was pretty excited!
📺️🌲 I'm a sucker for backyard theater setups. Rogue Engineer has a great one that is all battery-powered.
Aaron Massey (Mr. Fixit) has a more permanent solution that he did a build video on about a year back.
📃 I recently had Kevin Kelly on an upcoming podcast to chat all about Wired, the future of technology, and making. He mentioned that he had started publishing some maker videos to YouTube. I especially liked his kraft paper roll cutter for a workbench.
💻️ And speaking of Kevin his son put out a great follow-up video to my Photogrammetry project that goes into more detail on how to clean up models in Blender. This is a great option if you want to do 3D scanning and are looking for free solutions instead of using ZBrush as I did.
Think of the last project you did. It could have been a room remodel, furniture build, or some crazy prop from your favorite movie. Before you started the project what would you have said if I asked:
If you're anything like me then the answers to those questions would have been a good bit lower than reality. In fact, when I tell my wife that I'm about to start something she just always assumes it will take twice the amount of time that I tell her. She just looks at what I've done before and uses that as a basis to predict.
Turns out my wife would make a good behavioral economist.
The Nobel winning economist Daniel Kahneman describes this as the Planning Fallacy in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow based on his research with partner Amos Tversky.
Amos and I coined the term Planning Fallacy to describe plans and forecasts that are unrealistically close to best-case scenarios could be improved by consulting the statistics of similar cases.
So if I'm horrible at predictions, how do I fix it? Turns out I need to think more like my wife.
Instead of predicting based on what you think will happen, just look at what actually has in the past. Have you already built a bunch of tables before? How long did they take and how much did they cost. You can use that as a starting point and adjust your estimate from there.
But what if you are building something for the very first time? Kahneman and Tversky have a great suggestion:
Identify an appropriate reference class (kitchen renovations, large railway projects, etc.). Obtain the statistics of the reference class (in terms of cost per mile of railway, or of the percentage by which expenditures exceeded budget). Use the statistics to generate a baseline prediction. Use specific information about the case to adjust the baseline prediction, if there are particular reasons to expect the optimistic bias to be more or less pronounced in this project than in others of the same type.
What was the last thing you made? Did you over or underestimate it?
Hit reply and let me know!