This may be an out of place question for this forum, please redirect me if so. Regardless, I have been thinking quite a bit recently about user-innovation, crowdsourcing, and the dispersion of design/engineering.
GrabCAD seems to be experiencing great success, which is fantastic. Communities like this will only continue to become more prevalent, and as design tools and manufacturing methods become more accessible to your average user we will certainly see an increase in the meaningful use of crowdsourcing and user-innovation.
I want to work to enable this trend and push the model of user-innovation in my local community (Portland, OR) and beyond. My question for this community is as follows: what resources do you need? Do you have legal access to adequate CAD software? If not, would you hesitate to use software illegally? Would you want a physical space to collaborate with other like-minded designers and engineers? Access to basic prototyping tools (3d printer, laser cutter, etc) and assembly space (like a fab lab)?
Throw ideas out, or, shoot some down!
Yup, I totally agree! We had a tech shop before I was paying any attention. They went out of business in a bad way almost two years ago. Some in Portland say it was bad management, but it looks like the situation is much more complicated than that.
Personally, I'm having software access troubles! Work doesn't want me to use their software for challenges for mostly logical reasons. I can almost justify the money for a license of something. What are others doing? Maybe I'll just only use tinkercad!