Hello, my name is Krisjanis Rijnieks. This website documents my adventures at the Fab Academy 2018. Use the main navigation to find more information about course related details.
Make sure you get the license terms of this website. All content is licensed under the Creative Commongs Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license which means you can share and adapt things as long as you do not do so for commercial purposes.
On this website you will find information about the Fab Academy course from the perspective of one of its students. You will find a lot of opinionated solutions as well as objective truth. Feel free to contact me directly to express your concerns if you think something is not right and should not be a part of the internet. Visit my website to do so.
Storytelling for Fab Academy
I managed to get to a good flow with documentation during the course. In fact, I got as far as writing a manual with a title Basic Drama for Fab Academy or the title that I chose for the section above. There are a few things that can help to make the documentation process work for you instead of the opposite.
Automate, choose a static website generator such as Hugo or Jerkyl to generate HTML for you. It will pay back later.
Learn Markdown. It will let you focus on the flow of your story instead of HTML tags and configuration. It will be a bit painful to work with images, but that is a minor thing.
Structure of the Content
As for the content generation itself, I learned that most of the weeks one can split in conceptual parts such as notes during the global lecture, research, design and machining. As for basic drama, I would recommend to stick to a few paragraphs of introduction, an initial plan for the week, description of the process and conclusions.
The introduction and conclusions can be considered as something that will be similar in most cases. The process is what matters most and contains most of challenges.
It is easy to tell that you have to document as you go. How do you do that if you are milling, there is a lot of dust, the gloves you have on have transformed your fingers into alien-like tentalcles. Can you take pictures? Can you type to improve your drama on your documentation website?
Nevertheless it is doable. If you can not type, take photos and videos. The hardest part is to decide what has to be documented and what not. It takes time to master the sense for it.
The general concept what I learned is to separate the content into sections for each process you do. Even if it fails while you are already documenting the next process, you can come back to the failed one later and improve it.
There is much more to it and I could write a twenty-page manual about it, but I believe that the first three things I mentioned matters most for the course. If your website works and lets you focus on the content rather itself, you can consider yourself safe.
Tone of the Content
If we thing about the Fab Academy documentation as something that could be useful for the future students and makers, I thought that it would be great to try to make every week as a tutorial. I still have to master my Fab Academy Storytelling skills to get to a level I would appreciate myself, but I believe I am not far from being useful.
The primary thing though was to make the documenation useful for me and for my friends. I was helping others a lot and since I wanted to spend time on my own projects, the fact that I had things documented helped me to avoid repeating myself.
All in all I hope that parts of this documentation will be useful for others as it is for me. I have gone through some of the weeks multiple times to remember all the details and decisions I took at certain points.
Especially with topics like CNC milling and handling other complex machines and software. It is hard to remember all the details and this is what keeping a thorough documention should work for. Your human brain is not good enough. Period.
Thank you! I had lots of fun!