Customer Profiles - Life is a DIY Project
Innovators and free thinkers will always draw a crowd. There’s just something intriguing about watching someone reimagine what is possible and create something no one else ever has. Often, these innovations happen behind closed doors but the advent of YouTube has made observing the process much more accessible. A perfect case in point is Zack Nelson and his channel, Jerry Rig Everything.
As a self-professed tinkerer, Zack has taken his interest in how things work and turned it into a channel with over seven million subscribers. While much of his content focuses on phones and other electronics, he has focused more and more on larger projects including the transformation of a 1995 military surplus Humvee into a fully electric vehicle.
Building “Whisper”, Zack's custom-built electric Humvee, has proved a very interesting challenge. Zack has had to increase his knowledge in a variety of technologies and disciplines to solve all of the problems of converting a 30-year-old gas-guzzler into a sleek, modern vehicle. Apart from the electronics and computer controls, the project required a large amount of structural redesign and fabrication.
“Naturally, we needed battery boxes - motor mounts - and all kinds of special fabrication to make this project successful,” he said. “Sheet metal fabrication combined with a bending machine has been the most economical solution.” With no established patterns to follow, there were several prototypes and iterations to create and test. “We only need one part at a time - and industrial molding or fabrication facilities aren't interested in doing one off projects like this.” Laser cut and formed sheet metal parts have made design and construction possible.
After months and months of tinkering and testing, Zack finally got to take Whisper for a spin recently. “Seeing everything come together on our Electric Humvee for the first time and actually have it out driving on the road was a huge accomplishment. All thanks to the quick sheet metal fabrication that made it possible of course.”
Zack's project is an excellent example of the kind of innovation and development enabled by on-demand, rapid sheet metal services. Compared to other manufacturing techniques, sheet metal is more cost-effective for producing custom metal brackets, enclosures, and other metal parts. "I think the thing that sets us apart is that nobody else is doing what we are doing - which makes sheet metal fabrication all the more useful," Zack said.
The project has inspired Zack with other ideas of his next projects. He is coy about providing too many details but he assures us that it will be a blast to watch. Be sure to check out his channel, Jerry Rig Everything on YouTube.