User:Nickolai

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I'm a 24 year old currently living and working in New York City. I graduated from Purdue University in 2011, and now work for Bloomberg as a software developer.

At Purdue I studied aerospace engineering, and worked on several aerospace projects, including a rocket engine powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen, and a couple high altitude balloon launches. While at Purdue I also started dabbling in foreign exchange trading, and started investigating automating forex trading. I'm still investigating the field while I write software at work relating to Municipal Bonds.

Here at the hackerspace I have fun doing CAD classes, doing my own CAD work, 3D printing, and learning about all things hackery. Lately Vitaliy and I have been taking a Coursera class in electrical engineering.

Please have a look at my personal website, www.nickolai.me

CADathon Proposal

I propose that Hack Manhattan host a CADathon. The event will be similar in spirit and in function to a hackathon, with the exception that it will focus on the ability to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools as opposed to coding skills (although coding based CAD tools like OpenSCAD are welcomed!).

Objectives
The participants will be asked to design something creative along certain guidelines. Example goals could be "design a futuristic lamp" or "design a wild wild west action figure." The desired end result is something that is artistic and aesthetically pleasing as opposed to something functional. Winners will be decided upon by a vote of the participants and organizers.

Competition setup and format

Tier 1: Experienced
These are users who have used CAD programs before, and do not require training. Since they will have a leg up on those in Tier 2, the inexperienced people, their designs will be judged separately.
Tier 2: Inexperienced
A set of training exercises will be provided to the participants in this tier which they should be able to complete within 2-4 hours of starting the competition. Teaching Assistants (TAs) will be standing by to help participants through the exercises should they encounter difficulty. At a future date we will determine which CAD programs will be providing exercises for. At this point in time, I would like to have, and I think it is realistic to have, exercises for Autodesk Fusion 360 and OpenSCAD. Participants will be able to choose which one they'd like to use, and they may choose both, although it will be recommended that they pick one. Each package will cost $10 on top of the entrance fee.

Participants may work individually or in teams. The experience level of a majority of team members will determine the submission tier (i.e. a group of 3 experienced participants and 2 inexperienced ones will submit under Tier 1. In cases of no clear majority, organizers will decide which Tier seems most appropriate).

Prizes
TBD. Options include several months discounted or free membership at HM, cash, 3D printing the winning design,... suggestions?

Rationale
I think we should do this because it sounds like a lot of fun, and a great way to engage the community in learning a valuable skill. I've been teaching classes on CAD at the space for a few months now, but I have yet to see many of the students doing something with the knowledge. I think an event like this can really get people's imaginations flowing.

Scratchwork

Nickolai