My favourite method of designing and building fun projects is to start with the barest of ideas - only a general direction really and then start building. Design continues as I proceed, things are added as they come to mind and of necessity. It will be done when it is done and not a minute before.
These kinds of projects can't be accomplished in a hurry for that wouldn't allow for the happy accident kind of construction this is. They can't be done by working on them continuously. They are best done in fits and starts between other tasks. A piece like this requires lots of thinking and research time. The key is to know your destination without worrying about how you will get there. The journey is the fun part of the prize.
With only ten and a half months to go before the public debut at the 2018 Sign Invitational in Orlando I began serious work on my entry today. The sketch of my first inklings was done in a few moments while at this year's event. With those initial ideas in mind I went out back to our metal boneyard to see what was lying about. I found some lengths of various sized pipe, a few steel elbows and plenty of nuts and bolts. These were measured up and I began to design the first cutting files. While the CNC plasma cutter did it's magic I began to weld the beginnings of my 'MARVELOUS MACHINE'. What is it and what does it do? It will be obvious when I am done. :)