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Death of a Prototype
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I don't recall the last time I broke a fully functioning prototype. It's not a metric I track because it is a prototype. Failure is expected during development; whether it goes into the waste basket or is kept as reference is anyone's guess.

This particular tool will be a megajig for making forged endcaps of any size. The prototypes were just for two sizes in one module though it will have 6-12 sizes in each of the 2-4 modules. It is similar to the rivet making tool because it makes one item in many configurations using modular-ish components.

The prototype worked. There are varying degrees of "it works" so in this case, it functioned enough to prove the concept. It was good enough to be used on a production piece.

It's standard practice to duplicate the process a few more times for confirmation. The tool, obviously, will be upgraded but it can serve as a backup. Or not. Ix-nay on the ackup-bay.

I wasn't expecting failure here but the stamp deformed and wouldn't fit into the die properly. It can't be fixed because the whole thing is tweaked. I wanted it to work a few more times but it had other plans.

 
Ix-nay on the ackup-bay.
 
Whatever is hanging around gets recruited when making prototypes. DIY 5/16" steel mandrel is a far cry from precision-ground hardened tool steel but good enough to test the concept...once, in this case.

It gave its life for the cause. Now it's useless. Surely it deserves to put into the tool hall of fame. Although a short life, it accomplished everything before a glorious death.

Sending a prototype to pasture becomes complicated when the item facing destruction works fine. It may have hundreds of dollars in parts and countless hours and should be a crime to disassemble or discard it. Such fate awaits my first wire drawing machine because its replacement is coming.


Posted by M: March 18, 2022


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