I spent the last month designing our teardrop camper in 3d. I finally had everything figured out to the most minute detail and took the camper apart and reassembled it in 3d computer space multiple times. We spent a few days buying all the materials and were thrilled to finally be underway.
Last week we tried to export files to the CNC machine (basically a giant printer but instead of spraying ink it cuts wood with a router blade), but hit a major snafu. We couldn't get an export from sketchup in a reasonably clean manner and our progress came screeching to a halt.
The next few days were stressful as we searched for other solutions and sought out experts to help make the teardrop a reality. Just as it appeared that we had no choice but to start over drawing and cutting things by hand, the ADX crew worked some magic and figured out how to clean up the files and get them into the CNC.
First thing the next morning we loaded a sheet of plywood onto the machine and within moments our teardrop shape started to appear before us. Awesome and terrifying all wrapped up together... What would have been days (if not weeks) of tracing patterns, jigsaw cutting, sanding and matching pieces was literally happening in hours.
By midday we had the skeletal frames for our wall sections, the bamboo skin cut to match and a few bins full of random parts that will eventually allow the stack of wood to turn into a camper (hopefully). I have always loved the design phase of any project, but rarely can i remember such immediate gratification in seeing something that started a cocktail napkin sketch suddenly transpire into reality in minutes rather than days/weeks/months of work. Truly technology at its finest.
Everything looked phenomenal, although in need of sanding and some work on the edges. Now we can start the process of putting the pieces together and figuring out if i made a huge mistake somewhere in the planning. Jen and i celebrated with a makeshift cocktail before leaving for the day and toasted the birth of our new teardrop camper.
We are a long way from completion, but the project just took a huge leap off the computer screen and onto a table outside the woodshop. I cant wait to get back in the and start turning that stack of wood into a camper!