Hello from Alabama - can I get your opinions?
Though I am newly registered on this forum, I have been looking around at the wealth of information here for quite some time. In fact, there is such a wealth of data in communities like these, that I am doing my masters thesis to get the word out about DIY forums.
I am a graduate student at Auburn University in Industrial design, having stepped out of the 9-5 work force after 7 years as an mechanical engineer. I have been a DIY enthusiast for years, and have frequently received design help from members in forums like this. Your enthusiasm and dedication to share information and help each other is amazing, and I want to get more people involved. Having other designers "catch the bug" and get building themselves is what I am going to be spending the next couple of semesters on.
Along with writing a thesis about online communities like this one, I am going to be completing a project on an electric pusher trailer design. I believe that the huge amount of experience, experimentation, and practical knowledge on this forum will be a great benefit to the design of that project. (and I know that most of you are ICE users, but that is another discussion)
So, I have two questions for you: What do you believe is the best way for me to post about this project, gain interest from members and produce a better design than I could hack together on my own.
The other question is the flip side. What do you believe a professional designer could bring to contribute to a DIY forum like this?
Thanks guys, I am looking forward to the adventure