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zbrubaker's blog
Posted by zbrubaker | Jun 10, 2015 @ 07:50 AM | 1,280 Views
I get asked frequently about the process I go through to design my kits, so I thought I'd share the process I go through step-by-step. I think the design process is my favorite aspect of creating and producing a new kit. Some aircraft are easier than others to design, but they all present their own unique and separate challenges. It's the unique challenges that really drive me, I love the mental challenge of finding the most simple and effective solution to a design 'problem'.

So, where to start? Step one for me is finding a subject that I'm interested in doing and that I think others will enjoy as well. This is probably the most important step, because if I'm not interested in the aircraft there's no motivation for me to actually design it! (seriously...because I'm certainly not in this for the money!)

Once I have a subject in mind, step two is: documentation, documentation, documentation... and did I mention documentation? 3-view drawings are the starting point, finding cross sections is a huge plus (but rare) and then lots and lots and LOTS of pictures!

A 3-view will only give you outlines - cross sections and pictures really help to give a complete view of the actual shape of the aircraft. I spend a fair bit of time studying pictures not only to get a good understanding of the shapes but also to help me work out the design approach I want to take. Does it have flat sides for slab sided construction? Does it have straight lines to allow for sheeting? Is it mostly a compound curve that requires planking? Each of these questions (and many more) help to determine the structure and construction of the airframe. Other considerations are electronics (motors, etc...) and hardware (retracts, landing gear, etc...)

Once I have an over-all concept in mind for the design it's time to start bringing that idea to life!

Stay tuned...
Posted by zbrubaker | Nov 20, 2013 @ 07:54 AM | 3,456 Views
With the new parts storage I built I have finally been able to sort through and organize my various stacks of extra parts sheets. As an added bonus I also was able to get all of my scrap balsa organized instead of all being mixed up in one bin.

The laser is in it's new location and the shelving above the laser has been redone.
Posted by zbrubaker | Nov 19, 2013 @ 07:27 AM | 3,002 Views
OK, so I've never blogged here before (obviously!), but I figure it's a place to post stuff that not really something that needs (or should) to have it's own thread.

So the big thing I am working on right now is a MAJOR shop overhaul. Probably the biggest need in any shop is more storage space. Since I'm manufacturing kits along with building planes, my storage needs are even greater. In an effort to meet those needs I plan on building three storage cabinets along with a new workbench. I am also going to relocate my laser to (hopefully) improve workflow when I am cutting kits.

First item built is for balsa/ply storage. I figured I'd make better use of space going vertically. The different cubbies are for the different sizes/grades of balsa I use.