Brushing up on Fundamentals

Gear Technology is proud to publish technical papers that cover the leading edge of our field. We are also, as our esteemed publisher reminds in the current issue, happy to cover topics that are more fundamental in nature.

In a recent posting I compared “scut work” to a professional athlete’s routine practices. If the best basketball player in the world needs to “work on his free throw stroke” none of us is too important for the occasional review of the fundamentals.

A great way to do this is to teach someone completely unfamiliar with the topic. One summer long ago I needed to get a large backlog of simple parts drawn in our CAD system. My twelve-year-old son was bored and wanted money for a fancy BMX bike; a deal was struck to pay him a fee per drawing completed. He asked many questions; in answering his questions I had to re-think how I had drawn similar parts in the past and between us we developed a speedy way to complete the list. I got my drawings, he his bicycle. Along with a realization that engineering wasn’t for him, but that is a topic for another day.

My clients are used to me slipping into a professorial role when we begin new projects. The entire “man behind the curtain” approach to consulting work seems to do a disservice to the engineers on the team; how can you expect to get good results if you don’t understand what the rules of the game are?

Perhaps, like my very junior CAD operator, you have come to have a unique insight into a basic part of the gear designing or gear making process. We are interested in publishing papers on these topics. Not everything needs to be at the graduate school level of detail either. Our goal is to equip readers and their employers for success in a fascinating business with historic roots and an innovative future.

About Charles D. Schultz 678 Articles
Charles D. Schultz is President of Beyta Gear Service and one of Gear Technology's technical editors.