It’s easy to get lost debates about the best software languages and who’s-getting-money drama and lose track of what makes technology so interesting: the creativity of its makers. Studiomates developer Jonnie Hallman (who you’ve met before) just wrote an interesting post on his blog (based on a talk he gave at Creative Mornings in December) about how growing up around a creative dad turned him into a committed problem solver and creator.
His father was a freelance book cover designer and an avid maker of rubberband powered model airplanes:
Along with constructing the actual airplanes, my dad also builds tools to help him make specific parts of each plane. One of these tools, he calls a “canopy vacuformer”, is a contraption that forms the canopy of an airplane from a single sheet of plastic.
My dad places the top-half of the tool in his oven with the plastic securely held in place. The plastic is heated at a temperature between 300-350 degrees, until malleable. Then, he removes the plastic from the oven and places it on top of the balsa mold of the canopy. With the family vacuum, he suctions the plastic down to perfectly fit over the mold, forming the canopy of the airplane.
As a kid, growing up watching this process, I didn’t think twice about it—this was just how you build the canopy for a rubber band-powered model airplane. How else would you do it?