GrabCAD engineer Neil Louw took a little time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his work, his life and what motivates him.
Neil lives in a Nelspruit, South Africa, very close to the world-renown Kruger National Park. It may seem far away to most of us around the world, but on GrabCAD, distance from a fellow engineer is meaningless. Neil Louw is a consulting Civil/Structural Engineer, freelancing as a project manager on the side. As he puts it, “This gives me time to pursue my love for all things mechanical - primarily the use of CNC equipment to create projects that were out of reach a few years ago.”
Neil's CNC machines were designed and manufactured by himself and a few close friends because of the sheer cost of importing equipment. His CNC delivers finished products for 1/3 the price – a feat impossible only a few years earlier. Neil feels that his work as an Engineer and designer suits a higher purpose. “In a country like South Africa where unemployment is very, very high, we need to empower as many entrepreneurs as possible to ensure a better future for more people.”
GrabCAD is an essential part of Neil’s design process, utilizing the library to best illustrate and render his work. He says, “I will use the models of either by "grabbing" it off Grabcad or from manufacturer sites. Examples are stepper motors, bearings, pneumatic fittings, electrical / electronic hardware and whatever else is needed to make a realistic rendering.”
Neil works non-stop, balancing his family with his thirst to make excellent engineering. Good things always return to those who give it. Neil states, “What makes up for this is an enormous sense of achievement and of making a difference on so many levels. Another great satisfaction for us is to observe what other people create with the tools we made for them - it is stunning!”