When you make something, there’s a point in time when everything comes together.
Every little bit of hardware fits in just right, all the seams are closed, and it ticks like a swiss clock.
Did this happen to you?
In fact, it doesn't happen that often.
It's dirtier and more fun, if you do it the right way.
And there are usually two ways we can make stuff, or anything really.
The first is to design everything upfront. Every little detail stays on paper and each fidget is calculated before it’s made. You make sure the tiniest detail will fit. Then, time passes (usually a lot) and you end up with the whole product in hand.
And it’s everything you wanted it to be.
Unless it is not.
Usually something is missed, a feature isn't entirely designed and everything is stale and useless.
What do you do?
You redesign everything, make sure nothing is missed and repeat the whole process again.
Another chunk of time passed, and do you have something to show for it?
Do you still remember what you aimed to make at the first place?
The second way is breaking the entire project into chunks and delivering each one of them consistently.
One week it can only stand (with your help).
Next week it can move (maybe only forward).
Third week you can control it.
Forth week it's bulletproof and goes into the world.
In between you're making the necessary adjustments and decisions.
So, we never see the final outcome in the beginning, it becomes clearer only as you approach the finish line. That's why you can never anticipate everything on paper.
With the second approach you're making the right decisions with what you have working at this point. And you make sure it'll work in the end, something that can't be promised upfront in the first case.
Why the long preview?
Because, this thing started moving by itself this week:
And the funny thing is that I didn't imagine it this way. I was planning for the motor to engage near the axis, but it didn't work.
Also, during the final adjustments the motor moved all over the place.
But, these quick fixes were easy and didn't put in risk the whole project. And there's no way I could have plan ahead for each one of them.
Even the link is made out of wooden dowel at this point...