As far as sketching out your ideas and prototypes in the engineering notebook, would it be better to do full-page sketches or multiple smaller sketches with descriptions? As of right now, I’m thinking of just doing smaller sketches with descriptions for all of our ideas and for our prototypes, do full page sketches with more detail in the drawings. What is everyone’s opinion? Thanks in advance
Honestly, it depends on how much space you need to put your ideas down on paper. Just make sure that you don’t do tiny sketches and just leave the rest of the paper empty. I’ve been told to always try to fill in most of the paper with our ideas.
For me when brainstorming ideas, small sketches with lots of description and arrows pointing things out worked best for the team to get the gist of the idea. However, after prototyping the idea and deciding that it could be useful for the game on the competition robot, I liked larger drawings that allowed for every part to be to scale so that one could build off of it immediately or keep it for future use.
It is most important that you communicate your ideas clearly. Simple sketches that show more operation that construction at first and then more detailed designs with the mechanics worked out are what I like to see. It shows the design process well and should help you to develop your ideas. When I judge it is important to me that the content in the notebook helps the team and is not just fluff. The best notebooks that I have scene started with some general idea type sketches, followed by some prototypes or logic behind which ones were tested and how they performed or why you didn’t chose to pursue an idea. After that, it is good to see some designs with more of the specifics worked out and designed with vex parts and possibly some cad.
I find that 2D CAD like AutoCAD or 2D sketching in Inventor or Solidwork a very nice connection between your raw ideas and the actual 3D design. Do sketch by hands, but also do 2D CAD so that things get more precise and professional looking.