What goes into the engineering of Do It Yourself Plans? How do we make them? When you purchase and download project plans from Mechanical Elements, you get a TON of work and information, much more than first meets the eye. Let’s look at a few interesting points. While this article does cover the basics about how we make DIY plans for you, there’s so much more. (Too much for a simple article.)
How Is It Done?
The process starts with an idea. That idea might come from you, from one of our customers, or from a friend or some other source. While the idea might be great, it has to incubate a bit to to figure out the details. We must know why it will make a good set of plans, then guess about how many people will want it. Does it make sense? What sort of options should the plans include? Where will folks likely want to customize it?
Once we make the decision is to go, the process to design, prove and publish the plans begins. It’s a process, for sure, and it’s a little different for each product. However, there are some common things. And, there’s a lot that must happen. Starting with the idea, we then . . .
- Develop the concepts, then synchronize all the various aspects (including options).
- Design the products using 3D CAD design software.
- Prove the Design . . . using FEA (computational Finite Element Analysis), and other analysis tools.
- Sometimes, we must revise the design based on results from analysis, then circle back again.
- Create the detail drawings (often many pages).
- Build Prototypes and test as needed with each product.
- Modify the design if needed, then revisit any of the above steps for verification.
- Write all the instructions (step by step with hints to make building easier).
- Then, capture images of the design, options, and the process steps.
- Bundle the package of drawings and instructions in a PDF for you to download.
- Create the product web page with information and proper descriptions, then links to buy.
When We Finish
While it does take some time to design, you can get the plans in a matter of minutes. As our customer, you get to purchase what took us many, many hours, often over months, to produce. We create them, then you can simply purchase and download. When we finish, we put it all on the website for you buy. You get the benefit of a ton of work for a tiny price.
If you think about it, with all the effort that goes into them, the plans really are an amazing deal.
Can You Show Me Some Examples?
Here are several pages from the plans as an example of what you get. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg, because most of our plans include many pages of both drawings and instruction. That’s right, we provide a lot more information that other DIY plans sites.
What Does It Cost To Make DIY Plans?
It’s kind of like building a spec home, but different. Let’s use one of our Tiny House trailer plans for example. A customer that contracts us to design a custom Tiny House trailer will likely pay something between $1500 and $2500 — if, we can modify and add functionality from plans that we already have. Pricing depends on complication, of course, but also size and special requirements for loads or analysis.
If we start from scratch for a custom trailer, then a complete new design is more like $2000 to $4500. While these are guesses based on past projects, sometimes, depending on the nature of the project, it’s even more.
The great deal in DIY plans comes when your design does not require a lot of super unique features. For that, we’ve already done the work for you, and you can purchase one of our already proven designs for around $30 or less. Basically 1/100 of the actual engineering project cost. That should explain a lot in comparison with competitors.
That’s the Tiny House Trailer example, but we have many types of plans in the Plans Store. While all of these have a similar story about cost of engineering compared to the actual cost of the plans. So, that’s how we make the DIY plans such a great deal for you.
99% Off. Now That’s A Good Deal!
Now you have a glimpse of the effort to make DIY plans. While there is a ton of work in each set of plans, we sell them at a tiny fraction of the design cost. 99% Off is a really good deal by any standard! So browse in The Plans Store to find just the project you want.
Here at Mechanical Elements we love a good project, and we love to see others also successful in building and learning. The rest of the reason for “Why do we do it?” is covered on the About Us page. At Mechanical Elements, we are here to assist and empower our customers.
While the Plans do have lots of helpful tips and information, there’s always more to learn. We hope you will also enjoy and learn from the Tips and Help articles here on Mechanical Elements. They are published from The Mechanic.
We Make DIY Plans, You Build The Dream
Our plans list continues to grow — like in this post about introducing more Torsion Axle Trailer Plans. It’s part of our commitment to you.
Great plans are an awesome place to start your project, but that is just the start. We encourage you to customize the plans, to make them fit your needs. Use these plans as a start for your project knowing that the bases are covered, then add the options and customizing features that make the end project totally you! Use these guidelines if you’re thinking of making significant changes.
If you have questions about doing it right, then we have lots of helpful articles in The Mechanic’s Post. It’s all there for you.
Lastly, for inspiration, it’s always great to see some customer projects others have done. Looking at customization from others is great for creativity. Use some of their ideas, or dream up your own better versions. This is a DIY community, so when you’re complete, then, Submit your own story for others to see. We make DIY plans for you to build the dream.
Thank you for being our customer. Enjoy The DIY Plans, and Good Luck With Your Projects!