Tuesday, May 7, 2019

About Me

Thank you for putting up with another bout of inactivity. I haven't been building with K'nex lately thanks to other activities. I plan on getting instructions for the last launcher I displayed soon.

So I went over my beginning already but I realized that I didn't otherwise properly introduce myself as I would for others on a "meet a builder" post.

My name is Duncan, and I don't know how exactly, but I earned the nickname "Dunkis" in middle school. Lacking creativity, I used it for my username "TheDunkis" on Instructables, though now I would prefer to just go by Dunc or Duncan. I'm 25 and have been building launchers for over 10 years now, though I had K'nex even earlier in my childhood. I'm a software engineer, specifically in web design. My other main hobby is video gaming, in which I play PC games (primarily FPS and action games, especially ones with emergent gameplay) and some Switch too. To that end, I've built my own gaming computer. I also have an interest in firearms, mostly their history and engineering, not firing them. That's partly why projectile launchers are my favorite things to build in K'nex.

At my core I'm a bit of a problem solver and a pragmatist, and it affects how I build. At the same time, I made a lot of proof of concepts not expecting them to work well but just to show it was possible in hopes that someone else could take the concept further. Whereas others might be content to settle for what concepts already exist (e.g. many people would accept a TR-style launcher as their battle weapon of choice), I've always wanted to figure out how things could be different and/or better.

For better and for worse, I had very few pieces while building earlier on. As such, I tended to prefer pistols and small builds. To make matters worse, I was generally just an impatient person. I didn't have the patience to make large launchers full of repetitive patterns. For that matter, I rarely built other people's designs because I then wouldn't have the pieces to work on my own build. I'd often have to post instructions and then immediately destroy my builds to start working on the next one, never able to keep anything around. I'd tend to figure out a certain way of doing something and then tend to reuse that over and over, remixing parts with new concepts. While it doesn't always show (and of course will always be subjective), I'm a bit anal about aesthetics. I don't like to sacrifice the looks of my launchers if it can be helped. The result is that I tend to (or at least aim to) build sleek looking launchers, compact and without much excess. This is especially apparent in my Oodassault 3 series and Barackuda.

Unfortunately, especially in my later years, I became somewhat of a perfectionist in addition to being lazy, so I have pretty much no instructions of anything I made after my first version of the UMP up until I started the blog. At the same time, the time I spend building has gone down, and the time between building has increased a lot. Unlike some of my peers, I never stopped building despite aging, but I still have found other things to occupy my time, so sadly I'll go months at a time without building, often leaving a half-finished project. I spent years working on my Barackuda and kept saying that I was ready to post instructions though I never did because there was always something I wanted to improve. This is further hindered by my desire to wow. I want launchers I make to contribute something to projectile launcher building. So even when I do get in a building mood, sometimes I'll keep flip-flopping between ideas, never satisfied with any of them and accomplishing nothing. Or I'll be a good ways into a concept only to figure out it won't work as well as I was hoping and I get too bummed to work past it.I'm working on being better about this, though as I've finally posted the Barackuda and plan on posting a "failed" project as well.

That said, if nothing else, I love discussing ideas and friendly competition + collaboration. As a normally less-than-handy technology geek, I appreciate K'nex for making engineering accessible to me. I really want the community to thrive, and so I'm trying to do what I can to contribute.

So there you go. Feel free to ask any questions you have, and look forward to more "meet a builder" posts in the future as I interview veteran builders.

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