Documented Projects


I like to think that there are 3 stages that a project can exist in:

  1. In-Progress
  2. Completed
  3. Abandoned

In-Progress might mean you are in the planning stages, or you’ve completed it, but are revisiting it, perhaps improving it. Some projects never move out of the In-Progress stage, and that’s fine, for multiple reasons.

Completed usually means “it’s done!” (but could mean it’s a project you don’t actively work on anymore.) Maybe there’s little things here and there, maintenance issues, if you will, but for the most part, it’s considered done. You might even just call a project Completed if you get frustrated and don’t want to take it any further.

Abandoned is an interesting one. You might think that some projects get abandoned before they even get started, but since I consider the planning part of a project In-Progress, I would suggest that every project exists as long as you are thinking about.

Thinking about a project is a good idea, but if you take it further, you might talk about it, and hey, you might even write about it.

In any stage of a project, you can document it. You can write about it, and take photos of it, and even shoot some video. (You may also publish this documentation, which is a good thing to do!) Documentation allows us to look back and learn about what we did. It allows others to look at what we did and learn from it, and maybe improve upon it, take it further, solve the problems we couldn’t. Even if you had an idea, started a project, and abandoned it, there is great value in documenting it. Others can learn… learn what went right, what went wrong, and maybe decide to try solving the problems you could not.

Documenting (and publishing) information about your project has another value: inspiration. You can inspire yourself (and others) when you look at what you’ve done.

So please, document your projects… the world needs more inspiration.





Update for 2022: Use instead. — Pete

OK, so you’ve got your 3D printer, or your laser cutter, or your CNC machine (or even your Egg-Bot) up and running… but you need some files to feed these things… where do you go? Thingiverse… that’s where.

I’ve finally got around to putting some of my Egg-Bot SVG files up there. I’ve currently got the Jolly Roger and the Milwaukee Makerspace logo (stippled edition.)

You can check on the newest things being added (or follow @thingiverse on Twitter) and you can find awesome things, like this quickmount plate which matches the one we have at work! Or perhaps you need a hinge, or a coathook, or a whistle.

You can also keep an eye on the blog or the featured things, but really, the most important thing to do is to share, share, share…