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Gifts for the intelligent designer -- what do you want for the holidays? Answered

PT over at Make asked a few people around Squid and Instructables what they would like to receive for the holidays. Check out Leah's, Saul's, and my gift lists, and tell us what you'd like.


Machine tools. Lathe, milling machine, shaper. Bonus if they are CNC ready. Water cooled TIG with a petal throttle and a big old tank of argon. Plasma cutter. Bonus: CNC controlled plasma cutter sheet metal table. plastic welding rig (uses hot air to weld plastic sheets together)

Things I have already that would make good gifts and don't break the bank

A name brand Multi-tool. I happen to love my Leatherman PST 2. It's got the best #2 phillips, a screwdriver blade for glasses and a Diamond-Coated File.

Pelican Case. Watertight, it keeps the camara and phone dry in boats. tie it to the boat.

LED flashlights are great, LED headlights are even better

I too would love a Rohloff 14speed gear hub -- I have a printout of the gear train on my wall :P Funny, I happen to have an antique mechanical drill with a chest brace (so you can really lean into it) :P I don't think I could give it up though (family heirloom).

Unibody Jack Pad attachment for my hydraulic jack -- because its so hard to find a good lift point (without damaging the frame rails) with a standard cup
A roll of sticky back Velcro -- whenever I have it, I can find a use
Several Big Sheets of Coroplast -- my car is getting an under body fairing :)
Another Meat Probe -- ever since the turkey analysis, I'm finding many non food related uses. So I think its a good idea to have a dedicated food probe :P
Styrofoam Glider -- these are too much fun (and very cheap)
Gas Shielded X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer - pistol type -- well, if I had a use for it (not to mention how expensive they are). But I thought it was fun to use and see all of the alloying metals/components <-- I really enjoyed my materials science classes and thermo class the most thus far :P

You missed your chance on the coroplast. Didn't we just have an election last month?

An under body fairing -- now that is cool. I read somewhere that the drag on the bottom of the car was huge in comparison to other forms, but once you streamlined the bottom it was even hard to dissipate heat. What's your thinking?

So Far, I've been looking at current designs - like Lotus'.Some undercarriage pictures from a pretty terrible accident (for the car)

Well, that design has a rear engine - note the 3 NACA's for the engine bay. All of the heat gets dumped out the rear through mesh just above the diffuser. I don't exactly have that design but it's a starting place.... The aero improvements are worth the added weight of all that aluminum - otherwise they would not have done it ;)

Here's my tentative plan for the design and prototype:
When I get a chance, I'm going to remove and then study my car's splash shield. It was designed with airflow in mind (maybe not a primary reason though). Then I'm going to take some temp measurements with my good 'ole meat probe in the engine bay area AND at other points (exhaust routing and such) to get a baseline. Then I'll apply that to my design.

Once I have an idea of the temps in open air and determined my plastic can handle it - I'm going to start attaching panels in the front and work my way to the back.

If heat is an issue in certain areas -- I'm thinking of following the lotus design and acquiring some NACA ducts. I'll just have to figure out how to vent off for good airflow. If certain areas are REALLY hot - I can pop rivet aluminum panels onto the coroplast. I prefer to avoid this as AL can get expensive - fast...

As for actual fabrication... I'm told that a good heat gun helps make the material slightly flexible - but it is a little difficult on compound curves. My biggest hurdle will be to find an appropriate fastener that can be removed easily - mounts easily and can handle the weather. To be honest, I'm thinking of using a special type of Velcro that many yachts use to hold up headliner panels.

If the coroplast prototype works out. I think fiberglass is the next step. Sorry for yet another long post :P

Of course, any input is appreciated/welcome as this idea is all on paper and a few napkins :P