Kudos to Mark Atkins for putting together such a valuable chart. I understand the value of picking up a manual chart when sitting at a desk cluttered with multiple monitors, keyboard, mouse, stylus, sketches and coffee. But I'm also wondering if creating an App for a smart phone or tablet would be a good move. Not for the reason that laminated paper is old school, but because the smart phone is always at hand and even if it is lost or destroyed, purchased apps can be re-downloaded from the cloud. Additionally, updated and expanded versions can be delivered electronically.
Convenient organization and presentation of the information is the value added. An App version would simply enhance it's utility.
The Slide-Chart may be called archaic or “old-school” but I’d consider it valid and a basic everyday reference to just keep handy in my work area.No different than the Machinery’s Handbook also referenced in the article and a quicker reference to use, considering MH’s 1500+ pages. (Side note on the value of the Machinery Handbook:I’ve had 3 disappear during my career - - - does repetitive theft indicate value-?)
But here’s a much deeper thought about the point that all this information is "included" in CAD systems today.I have often struggled with specialized routines offered in CAD applications, finding them lacking.I account for this fact as the app intended for advanced mechanical design work is designed by SW engineers.
Accordingly, I submit this point: often, advanced ME solutions found in design software (i.e., sheet metal bending radii, or calculating thread torques) are provided as a SW algorithm quite probably created by a SW engineer, who is a professional with a different expertise trying his very best to interpret the detailed needs of a discipline for which they have no background.(Ever use ProSheetMetal, for example? Journeyman sheet-metal guys turned CAD jockey struggle with the interpretations of that SW-app).
( . . . OK:I’m bracing myself for the onslaught of counterpoints to this blasphemy . . . )
So easy slide-charts for mechanical apps designed for ME’s, and created by ME’s, just makes sense.Just as I wouldn’t expect a SW developer to happily perform their daily duties using a mechanically designed abacus to keep track of 1’s & 0’s in coding . . . .
I am not sure there is a big demand for an app like this but since most apps seem to cost considerably less than $24.94 perhaps there is a place for one.
And yes, this is exactly the kind of information that would be great to have on a tablet or smartphone, or even the workstation itself.
I do appreciate the charts too. sometimes it is really more handy to have it in that form than digital. I think it is a matter of integration. Getting information from one place to another is frequently a bigger issue than most realize.
This is a really interesting tool, thanks for sharing the story. With so many different sites offering different parts, and brand names, and most sites choosing to list parts by manufacturer (rather than by item utility) part shopping is more time consuming than it needs to be and it would be nice to have something that allows for easy comparison.
Another tool that is more helpful when it comes to actually starting your shopping list is the Arena PartSaver bookmarklet. It's free, and it basically lets you grab parts from a lot of different websites, and save everything from manufacturer, manufacturing part number, cost, quantity and data sheet URLs to a Google doc.
Physical charts can be important tools. I have a Conversion booklet that I was given in college that I have kept and still find more convenient than convert.exe. Also, years ago at a trade show I picked up a Week Finder spin chart from a mold builder that has since gone out of business, but I sill use their chart once or twice per week. It is funny how you can get attached to useful tools.
Funny how some of the basic tools that were so helpful are just not around or need to be re-created. Thanks for the info on this one. I might just have to order one...Or maybe I'll wait for that app...or course, then I'll have to figure out how to buy an app.
My boss had one of these and with 20 engineers around it was constantly being borrowed. So he got one for everyone. I use mine at least weekly, if not more. It is certainly the most handy resource and the way it slides it makes it much smaller than a chart that would list all the information that is contained in a 8-1/2 x 11 tool! If you don't have one and you ever need to use fasteners in your design it is money well spent!
Two huge benefits of a physical slide chart are: First the thing does not need IP manager approval to be added to ones computer, and Second, it will not be rendered unusable by those pesky OS revisions that pop up whenever micro------ needs to boost income again. Besides that, they probably hold data that would consume several hours of web searching, and are much more convenient to use.
One simply cannot have too much reference material within arms reach. I still regularly use my H.O.T. Book that Zonk & Associates (Richardson, TX) used to publish. Combining the inch and metric is a great idea and one of these will have to be added to my collection post haste! :-)
I have a TAD screw chart and use it all the time it replace an old Unbreako I had that wore out years ago. That said virtually any of the information on it is in Inventor in the Content Center and the Bolted Connection generator is great! The sheet metal styles are a bit weak out of the box but you can complete it for your applications very easily and on the fly as you go. You should learn these tools if you are using Inventor. IMHO, Inventor is better tool than SWX but often sorely underated; I own and use both but do prefer Inv.
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