Engineer’s Spotlight – Luis Cordoba

GrabCADr Luis Cordoba has become quite noticeable in the community as well as outside of GrabCAD, getting quite a lot of attention for his award-winning design for the Firanse R3. We’ve been talking lots about his work and how to make GrabCAD better, which warranted a little spotlight.


 Luis lives in Querétaro, Mexico with his wife Piedad. At just 27 years, he’s been teaching Rhino at his alma mater Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. On the side, he’s been working as a freelance designer, creating “electronic devices and buses for México to electric cars to Africa and UK and recently jewelry to Israel.”

As a freelancer, GrabCAD is an incredible platform to promote his portfolio or prove his worth in design challenge. “my last concept Firanse R3 got into literally hundreds of publications on Internet and have caught the eye for more than one company.” A GrabCADr since December 2010 (basically, since the start!), Luis has been using GrabCAD with clients more and more and encourages his students to enter design challenges, "encouraging them to participate in the (IDSA Colour-Aided-Design) Keyshot contest." Now he’s considering his next move, looking to getting a masters in transport design or establishing his own industrial design firm.


“When I was young I wanted to become something "regular" like a Doctor, an Architect and even pursue a career in the military. But my father got me into Industrial Design because when he was in high school he wanted to be an Industrial Designer but he got married and didn't have the same opportunities as me. 
Now I'm pretty proud of get my bachelor's degree from one of the best schools in the country.”

As a teacher, he has to evaluated student’s work every day and weigh the merits of their work carefully. We talked at length about how GrabCAD challenges are judged and suggested ideas. Usually the client chooses the winners, or works with GrabCAD and a jury to make a decision. He suggested ideas like giving 40% of the vote to the community via a secret ballot, with 30% going to GrabCAD and 30% to the promoters.



“By my part I think the best way is making for each contest a very balanced team of judges considering three main sources, the promoters (the company behind the contest), the organizers (GrabCAD team) and the community (likes, views, downloads and the opinion of experts), I know that sounds a lot of work, but well planned will be much easier and fair that the current process.” It’s tough to make the right decision – the first thing we want is for everyone to be happy and the last thing we need are popularity contests!


We talked lots about including the Spanish-speaking world. With 420 million hispanohablantes (including our very own Luis Barragán and myself, albeit as a novice), Luis argued that there was a ‘pretty big hole’ considering the amount of activity. Two of the three winners in the Makerbot Replicator 2 Challenge were from Mexico and three of the winners of the 2nd edition 3D Printing Challenge were from his own town of Querétaro, including one of his own students.


If anything, we don’t want to discriminate on the basis of language – it’s on our big list of things to do. Luis and I talked about trying to crowdsource all of the translation work, instead of hiring expensive translators or worse still, using Google Translate. We’ll work out the kinks, and it’s because we’re working together. Thanks Luis for sitting down and sharing everything – we wish him the best of luck on his next big move!