Several hours later, six sheets are cut . All of the parts are laid out and then a decision of where to start with the assembly of the kit. We try to start with the largest part of the structure and build from there. Important aspects of the kit are observed, such as strengthening walls, gluing what part to what part and most important is how to explain in detail to the end user so it is as clear as possible. We build as this will be on our own layout but keeping in mind that others will be building as well.  Every step is photographed and a log is kept for additional parts used such as strip wood. All dimensions are noted to be added to the final instructions. Checking window and door sizing is not needed as every opening used in our kits were pre-measured and set as standard templates.  Placement for supports and order of assembly are noted and photographed. 


Here is an example of a wall with the strip wood installed. The final instructions will show dimensions and other information needed for assembly.  


The start of the assembly process, you can clearly see support locations. They will all be clearly shown in the instruction. 

As we continue to assemble the prototype we check for any parts that do not fit correctly and make any necessary changes in the original CAD drawings.  New parts are immediately cut and checked for fitment.  Future steps are thought about in order to make assemble as smooth as possible for the end user.  Example: Knowing that styrene would be used on the roof, the instruction would direct builder to trace the roof panels onto the styrene prior to installing the panels onto the structure. Any step that that cant be explained clearly with photographs a detailed drawing is included.  After the prototype is completed we will start to compile all the information and pertinent  photos into a step by step assemble instruction. Take a look at the attached PDF of the our Tanner Tool kit.  Once satisfied that it is 100% ready for end user we will start cutting multiples of each sheet.  Every kit will be packaged individually with a checklist of all parts. These parts are placed in plastic bins waiting for final packaging. When final packaging is done the checklist is used and the second column on the checklist will be checked off as each component is sealed in the package.  Most kits have a 3 week design time from the second we start the first drawing until it is ready for sale.  We average roughly 100 hours of work on every new design prior to it being installed on your layout.  We design the kits to be able to be built by a person with no kit building experience.  


Next installment:  Simple painting techniques used for our prototypes. 


Original Post

I had used CAD for 18 years for mechanical engineering, I use this like a sketch pad for my ideas. I very rarely pick up a pencil anymore.  I think there are many easy to use software out there that can be self taught if you have the patience.  I would even recommend a free program called Inkscape that will allow you to draw to scale. Not sure of the save format though. I had tried it and it seemed to have the essentials of a CAD and paint type program but cant remember if it need add on programs or not. 


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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
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