Iteration as Evolution

In Sheffield I once saw a selection of table forks in a museum. They were arranged over time, maybe 200 or 300 years of forks. From the left to the right they evolved from long two-pronged meat stabbing devices in to the short four-printed fork we know today.

To deal with a sump pump issue I had need to make a 1 1/4 inch pipe connect to a US garden hose. Such a thing didn’t exist on Thingiverse as far as I could find, so I hacked one together.

Here’s versions 1 though 6 of that connector. What’s interesting to me is that this is how I, and I think most people, actually build things. In a Taleb-esque random search rather than any real top-down design that JustWorks(TM) the first time you try it. It’s the messy real-world process of learning-by-doing.

  1. Version 1 on the far left was from Thingiverse. It assumed the hose had no screw connector and instead would be jammed inside, which was wrong. The pipe on the bottom was too narrow to actually fit in the 1 1/4 inch pipe.
  2. V2 was made with the OpenSCAD thread library. The thread part was too narrow because I measure the wrong thing. The pipe was too fat because it conformed to the outer, not inner dimensions of the pipe.
  3. V3 fixed the screw top, nearly. It was still a little too narrow, maybe due to plastic oozing effects or something. The bottom was too narrow because I mixed up radius and diameter.
  4. V4’s screw was perfect, but the bottom was too thick due to plastic expansion from the printing process
  5. V5, same problem
  6. V6 I shortened it a little and use some plumbers tape and it worked great

Each iteration took about an hour to print and test over a few days. You can download it at Thingiverse.

It’s better to just START and iterate than to sit around thinking about problems.

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