Learn 40 Years Of Mech Prototyping At Lightspeed

So, what are you doing for the next five and a half hours?  If you’re as busy as we are, you might have to digest this amazing 18 part series of videos over the course of a week or so, but we can almost guarantee you’ll learn a lot. It’s a speedrun through the best collection of Mechanical Engineering knowledge we’ve every come across.

In this epic Youtube video series [Dan Gelbart] shares his knowledge of 40 years of prototyping mechanical designs in a way we’ve never seen before. Not only does he show you how to build things, but he gives away a life time of “tips and tricks” that only a veteran builder would know. There are so many little gems of wisdom in this video series, it’s hard to know where to start with our description. He covers all the usual topics: everything from materials, adhesives, coatings, and such. But the real value of this series is all the little trinkets of information he shares along the way.

Don’t be intimated by some of the tools he’s using – chances are there is a DIY version of the piece of equipment out there, and often you can find a hackerspace or enthusiast in the area who will help you out with their gear. We think this video series should be a must watch for any engineering student or hacker. We made a video playlist for you so you can start watching the videos after the break.

33 thoughts on “Learn 40 Years Of Mech Prototyping At Lightspeed

    1. Yea. Sorry about that Vikas. ;) We should mention the first two videos are a bit slow. (although if you are smart, you’ll watch the shop safety video – ya know, just cause a reminder is better then a lost digit) The 3rd or 4th video seems to pick up steam. And then we were hooked.

    1. Agreed. Can I suggest the HAD tip line the next time you see something awesome we haven’t covered yet? I think I found this via my Facebook feed. Odd. Right?!?!?

  1. You might be interest in this MIT seminar by Erik Vaaler too:

    Machine Shop 1
    Machining Skills for Prototype Development
    Duration 40:32
    1) Basic
    2) Layout Techniques
    3) Basic Tools: Drill Press, Band Saw, Belt Sander & Grinder
    4) Locating and Drilling Holes
    5) Tapping Holes

    Machine Shop 2
    Machining Skills for Prototype Development
    Duration 57:33
    1) Basic 2
    2) Drilling Holes
    3) Special Drills for Plastics and Hard or Abrasive Materials
    4) Drill Press Limitations
    5) Bandsaw
    6) Suitable Speeds, Feeds and Materials
    7) Bandsaw Setup
    8) Using the Drill Press Vise

    Machine Shop 3
    Machining Skills for Prototype Development
    Duration 30:02
    1) Basic 3
    2) Good Practice – Clean Up
    3) Small Belt Sander Configurations
    4) Grinder Operations and Materials
    5) Deburring and Buffing
    6) Finishing Techniques

    Machine Shop 4
    Milling Machine 1
    Duration 50:33
    1 Milling Machine 1 Layout & Use; what the different parts do
    2 Quill Feed Allows you to move tool up and down
    3 Axis Handfeed Feed/Crank on Axis with Dials to adjust the Bed
    4 Gibb Locks Holds/Locks Bed to Saddle & Saddle to Knee and Knee to Body of Machine Locking Ring Adjustments
    5 Power Feed Attached to one or more of the Axes Forward/Reverse Knob and Variable Speeed Control
    6 Digital Readouts Measure position of Axes to 0.001″ or in mm
    7 Milling Machine Set-Up Squaring the Head Square=Z-zxis of head [Quill] is perpendicular to axis of Bed
    8 Squaring the Vise Adjusting the vice so back [stationary] jaw of vice is parallel to bed Machine Safety, Protocol, & Shop Safety 9 Milling Machine Accessories & Workholding Techniques Milling Machine Tools Drill Chuck-drilling & reaming Boreing Head-more precise cutting to 0.0002″ Fly Cutter-used to square up a part [4 teeth and 1 single tooth] End Mill-shank type milling cutter Collett Chucks-holds End Mills Saws-used to make deep narrow slots-installed on an arbor Reamers-used to smooth out inside of drilled holes Edge Finder & Center Finder-used to locate punches or holes on a milled part Boreing Tool-Used on a shank head to bore holes

    Machine Shop 5
    Milling Machine 2
    Duration 1:03:33
    1 Milling Machine
    2 Square and Hex Collett Blocks-used to hold/clamp parts to machine features on 4 and 6 sides of a part, respectively 2 V Blocks Holding parts to machine features into parts and end of parts
    3 Hold-down Clamps Used to hold large or irregularly shaped parts
    4 Using Angle Blocks Used to hold materials to machine features not perpendicular on a part
    5 Drill Press Vice Used to hold a part to machine a feature @ 45? angle and other positions/angles Also used with angle blocks to hold parts
    6 Lathe Chuck With Vise Used to hold parts in the milling machine; not accurate method, but quick/convenient
    7 Double Sided Tape Used to hold a part in a vice securely without distortion
    8 Squaring High Aspect Ratio Parts Used to hold a part to be machined securely and squared
    9 Right Angle Attachment A right angle gear box to mill features in an end of a larger/slender part that is clamped in the vice.
    10 Slitting Saw A saw blade that is used to cut slots/slits/features in a part Can also be used with a right angle attachment
    11 Rotary Table A bench/table attached to the bed of the machine used to machine circular parts, grooves, circles, segments Dial indicator and Co-Axe indicator uses to square/center the Table to the Y axes
    12 5 C Collett Indexer Used to hold Colletts and position parts in up to 24 positions for various milling features

    Machine Shop 6
    Milling Machine 3
    Duration 46:33
    1 Milling Machine 3 Squaring a part, maching all surfaces so they are flat and perpendicular to one another and nominally to the part that will be milled; removing burrs
    2 Squaring a Plate Squaring the sides of a part/plate to the dimensions of the finished milled part; remove burrs
    3 Using the Edgefinder Used to locate the edge of a part relative to the spindle of the machine
    4 Drilling Holes Drill press used to drill holes in parts; center drill milling and other drill bits; setting depth stop

    Machine Shop 7
    Milling Machine 4
    Duration 45:33
    1 Reaming Holes Reamer is used to make a drilled hole larger and smoother within 2/10000″ of it’s diameter
    2 Boring Holes A Boring Head is used for making very accurate holes; also used on a quill producing more accurate holes
    3 Milling a Slot End Mills used to mill slots in a piece
    4 Milling a Shoulder Conventional & Climb Milling
    A Shoulder or step milled into a piece Conventional Milling-part is fed against the motion of the tool; best for rough cuts Climb Milling-Part is being fed along with direction or rotation of the tool; better surface finish cuts
    5 Cleaning the Machine
    Very important in the use of milling machine; chips, dust, etc.. Needs to be cleaned Only a brush or vacuum should be used. Air should never be used; this risks blowing chips into machine and possibly damaging it Most accidents in a machine shop happen when bringing parts to a machine or when the machien is being cleaned

    Machine Shop 8
    Lathe 1
    Duration 45:02
    1 The Lathe Components @ Set-Up Axes and Feeds
    2 Turning Tools
    3 Turning and Facing
    4 Cutting Off a Part

    Machine Shop 9
    Lathe 2
    Duration 47:33
    1 Tapping
    2 Boring
    3 Knurling
    4 Cutting Tapers with the Compound
    5 Turning Shafts Use of live center
    6 Single Point Thread Turning

    Machine Shop 10
    Lathe 3
    Duration 34:32
    1 Lathe Chuck
    2 Lathe Arbors
    3 Turning Between Centers
    4 Face Plate Irregular Shapes
    5 Face Plate Thin Materials

        1. I think it’s a function the WordPress.com “re-blog” feature. While these are comments, for some reason it makes an entry in the comments when I chooose to reblog this blog entry. I guess I’ll just stop reblogging HAD. That would solve the spam.

      1. He actually talks a bit about how a cnc plasma cutter can do most of the things he uses the water jet for, at a much lower cost (but with rougher cuts, can’t cut all materials etc. A DIY nc plasma is within reach of a lot of hobbyist with a workshop.

  2. This guy used to be my boss. He is without a doubt the smartest man I’ve ever known. He is great at explaining technical things in an understandable way. He built a dream 2.5 million dollar workshop in his basement after selling some shares when the company he founded went public (Creo Products) and it was a glorious place to see. Creo was eventually sold to Kodak for 1 billion dollars and they ran it into the ground. Such a pity.

  3. This is an amazing resource, it has everything: mechanical engineering, cool tools, production, mechanical geek, epic combover… I’m adding Dan Gelbart to the list of my heros.
    Unfortunately the sound is a bit poor, gets irritating after a couple of hours.

  4. so mech e’s with shop experience and machnists are not abound on hack a day. I’m not seeing the genius here. he reiterates basic materials concepts and has hundreds of thousands of dollars of production grade manufacturing equipment. Of course everything is easy and fast.

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