It’s hard to believe that the largest video platform on the planet (YouTube) is only 14 years old. In 2005, the platform went live, and since then trillions of videos have been watched, and many ideas have been shared. Many people as well have become famous—whether they wanted to or not–as a result of videos posted on this platform. But perhaps the greatest thing YouTube provides is the ability to share information visually with the world.
This story is about, the now YouTube-famous Jeremy Fielding, who had a fascination with mechanical items. He thought it would be a great idea to share what he learned (such as how to wire a motor) with others on YouTube. He never thought that after just a few videos, he would have a following, and even greater things would happen to him. He has a passion for teaching technology to his large YouTube channel audience as well as his own children. He has a lot of great advice for any budding engineer or inventor, which he shares in this podcast.
Listen to this latest Born to Design Podcast to hear more about Jeremy’s fascinating story…
To learn more about Jeremy and all of his many great tips for engineers or just anything mechanical from wiring a motor to building a CNC machine, subscribe to his YouTube page here…
You can also find more information on Jeremy’s website here…
Also, be sure to check out all of the Born to Design Podcasts and subscribe below so you will never miss an episode:
Machine Generated Transcript
Jeremy Fielding 0:00
Well, I get hundreds of emails. And every once in a while somebody just really fluid you really Wait, how much they’ve been inspired how it’s changed their life. And that is indescribable, to have someone call you and say, I’m going to mechanical engineering school because I watched your channel, because you inspired me or, you know, these kinds of things are just incredible. And then that was when I began to think I want to do this on a regular basis. When I discover something when I get interested in an idea, I want to share it and help others.
Cliff Medling 0:30
Hi there. This is the Solidworks born to design podcast, a collection of inspiring stories about those who create, build, invent, and engineer new ideas and the actual new products. And by the way, they all use solidworks. I’m your host Cliff Medling. And this episode is titled engineering tips and tricks from the YouTube engineer. Today I’m talking with Jeremy Fielding, who turned his interest for engineering into the creation of a very successful YouTube channel, which evolved into actual engineering jobs, yet passion for teaching technology to his large YouTube channel audience as well as his own children. He’s a lot of great advice for any budding engineer or inventor. So let’s jump right into his story.
You basically started getting a lot of recognition with your YouTube channel, and this is just your hobby on the side, right?
Jeremy Fielding 1:18
Absolutely. And it actually started with the YouTube channel. So I was I had the YouTube channel before I became a mechanical engineer.
Cliff Medling 1:26
Yeah, well, let’s let’s talk about where that started. So.
Jeremy Fielding 1:29
Well, it started with me just wanting to make things and my shop at home. And I was looking up various items on YouTube, trying to see how other people solve the problems I was having. And when I couldn’t find solutions, I came up with my own started making my own jigs and machines and various contraptions, and that grew into a YouTube channel.
Well, one day a mechanical engineer, I knew him outside of YouTube. But he saw my youtube channel away from me. And then he just called me. And he said, Jeremy, I think you have a gift. And I’d like to offer you an internship with my company. I said, I’m not promising anything, I just want you to have an opportunity to be exposed to because I think you’d be interested. And I said, of course, I joined up. And six months later, they offered me a full time position.
Cliff Medling 2:18
That’s awesome. That is really incredible. So I have a shop in my basement, but I certainly don’t have YouTube channel.
Jeremy Fielding 2:25
Cliff Medling 2:26
So what was the first project that you decided to do on YouTube?
Jeremy Fielding 2:29
Well, the very first project was, I have, especially at the time, I had a really tiny workshop. And it was like eight foot by 12 foot on the outside. So I’m always looking for ways to make space saving devices, to save space. Well, I started getting this idea of how could I mount multiple tools in the same workbench, looking for ideas on YouTube, I found another channel who made this flip workbench, I modified it a little bit. And then I said, you know, people would be interested in seeing what I did.
So I posted a video about it. And I gave the guy credit, I say, Hey, here’s the video that I watched that inspired this. And here’s what it ended up making. That was the very first video. And I enjoyed making it. So that grew into well hey, maybe I’ll share some more projects and started sharing more ideas that I was coming up with on my own and just kept growing.
Cliff Medling 3:19
And when did you decide that you had a real following when people started, I mean the one YouTube video, but when did you start realizing Hey, I’m onto something here?
Jeremy Fielding 3:28
I was 10 videos in, and I made a video called How to wire a motor. Because it was so frustrating to me that all these motors that I would salvage out of various machines, I didn’t want to buy a motor side, like drag a washing machine off the side of the road and take the motor out of it. But then I didn’t know how to wire it. So after doing all this research on my own and figuring it out, I thought man, if there’s like one other guy in his garage, trying to figure this out, this will help him and I did not expect that video to do well. I said it’s going to be like 10 random guys, who’s going to get help by this, but I’m gonna do it.
And it was immediately a success. It got over 100,000 views and just a couple of weeks and lots of Thank you emails and comments. And it just, it blew me away. I didn’t expect that. But that was when I began to think I want to do this on a regular basis. When I discover something when I get interested in an idea. I want to share it and help others.
Cliff Medling 4:19
And that’s that’s awesome. I mean, it’s it’s a sometimes a simple concept wiring a motor, right? Yeah, but I don’t know how to wire a motor. I think I had a little 151 electronic Project Kit, maybe I knew that when I was 12 years old. Back in the day, I used to, you know, make a large microphone so I could spy on my sister listened to her conversation. So. So it’s got to start somewhere. But But YouTube wasn’t around. And when I was that age, I know you’ve got a incredible following like I looked on YouTube page and 10s of thousands of views for every video. So you have quite the following now.
Jeremy Fielding 4:53
Its 118,000 the last time I looked at yesterday, and I’m growing at about 10,000 subscribers a month. So it’s.
Cliff Medling 5:00
10,000 a month. That’s impressive.
Jeremy Fielding 5:01
It’s gone pretty fast.
Cliff Medling 5:02
That’s great. That’s great. So how long have you been doing the YouTube videos before you got that job opportunity or that internship?
Jeremy Fielding 5:09
Haha But that’s the other incredible part. It was pretty much around the third video really when I talked to him? Yes, yeah, is it was pretty early on. I didn’t have very many videos at a time. My YouTube channel is only about three and a half years old. So that gives you about four years old now. So that gives you some sense of scale.
Cliff Medling 5:27
Right, right. And of course the one great video was the children had to power their video games with the rowing machine. I mean, that’s
Jeremy Fielding 5:34
Cliff Medling 5:35
every parent’s dream.
Jeremy Fielding 5:37
Oh, did I love that project it was so much fun. I mean, it just, it just dumps like a big rush of joy in my heart. Every time I think about it. It’s pretty awesome.
Cliff Medling 5:45
But your kids were your children were into it. They loved it.
Jeremy Fielding 5:48
They still love it. And people always comment like they kind of poke fun and say oh, like you’re torturing those kids or they’re gonna find a way to bypass it but they love using it it’s it’s really fun.
Cliff Medling 5:58
But thats not torturing that’s teaching them real life, you had to work hard for what you want right?
Jeremy Fielding 6:02
Cliff Medling 6:03
Thats the basics of parenting right there, I think
Jeremy Fielding 6:05
I think they’re, they’re really fascinated with the idea that their physical movement is, is creating a power and they can see that immediate response. If they slow down or they stop it shuts off. And so we also have this little light bar that we plug into it. And they actually enjoy that more than using the video games. So they’ll unplug the game, plug in the light bar and pull and see who can make it the brightest. Just see who’s generating the most power.
Cliff Medling 6:29
Right. So I talk with a lot of educators and I have a recent podcast with Dean Kamen, it’s going to be coming out soon. And he talks about, you know, the education system. It’s not a you know, education province inspiration problem. So, you know, these are the kinds of things that students aren’t learning in school.
Jeremy Fielding 6:46
Cliff Medling 6:47
You know, learning what you’re teaching your children now, even though I know this is your project, but they’re seeing their dad doing some great things, learning on his own learning how to take on things. What what is what is the impact there for your children? I mean, the see you creating these contraptions yourself from scratch, right?
Jeremy Fielding 7:04
Well, I can tell you that, especially at their ages, where we got 14, 11, 9, and 7, just give you some perspective. And my seven year old, especially It doesn’t matter what it is, she said, well Dad you can make, it doesn’t matter what it is, she is convinced now that her dad can make anything. It doesn’t matter what it is. But all of them, I think, have grabbed on to this idea that if you want to take the time to learn and figure it out, you can. And my oldest son, the 11 year old really has it like I have it. I mean, I see him tinkering on his own. And he’s been he’s certainly been inspired by watching me do what I do and
Cliff Medling 7:45
Has he torn up a couple things at home, though?
Jeremy Fielding 7:46
Well, there’s a fun story with that. So I’m walking upstairs and I’d smell this burning plastic smell. And I’m like, What is this I walk into my son’s room. And he has made taken apart his remote control cars using the wheels. As rollers for band saw now I built my own band saw and there’s a video on that on my YouTube channel. So my son has seen it. Well emulating his dad, he made a band saw with a wire running around the wheels. And he’s cutting a piece of plastic on his band saw. I looked at that and it just went son, keep on at it and have fun. I just turned around walk back out of the room. I’ll let him keep going.
Cliff Medling 8:22
Maybe start outside though maybe. haha
Jeremy Fielding 8:24
Yeah, well, actually, the motor came out of a blender is a broken Blender that we had. And he asked me if he could take it apart another indication said absolutely have at it. I didn’t know he was gonna plug it into the wall. I turned on a band saw in his room. But I didn’t even stop him at that point. So you know what? I’m inspired to see him so into it and trying to figure it out.
Cliff Medling 8:42
Absolutely. So you think they at least some of your children would go into more mechanical or design or you see entrepreneurs and then one day?
Jeremy Fielding 8:51
I definitely see it in a 11 year old. Yeah. And my younger son who’s nine, He seems to be interested. But I think at this point, mostly because his older brother is it’s hard to tell if he’s really into by yourself.
Cliff Medling 9:03
Yeah, it is. It is tough. I mean, I my oldest is freshman in college, and he kind of knew what he wanted to do, but not until his senior year. So it’s
Jeremy Fielding 9:10
Cliff Medling 9:10
It’s tough to find out. But but but to introduce them to so many different things. You know, maybe there’s another aspect of this maybe like you mentioned one of them likes to record the video, right?
Jeremy Fielding 9:20
Cliff Medling 9:20
For your videos.
Jeremy Fielding 9:21
My 14 year old, she loves it.
Cliff Medling 9:22
And so maybe that’s she has that opportunity. Now you’re exposing her to these kinds of things that she can take that off, and the each video, I’m sure she’s doing a better job and learning and getting better, right?
Jeremy Fielding 9:32
I try to pay attention to the things that they were interested in. And when she started showing interest in editing pictures and editing video, I gave her access to the programs that I use. And you know, I’ll come down and see her creating her own images and editing video clips. And she’s enjoying that. So it’s a another side project I’m working on to try to develop any skill that they show interest in.
Cliff Medling 9:53
That’s great. That’s awesome. great job. I’m sure you probably had some conversations online on YouTube channel, how you’ve helped other people? Is there any that you’ve developed a relationship with and help some people? Is there any? Or is it just more comments? Or?
Jeremy Fielding 10:07
Well, I get hundreds of emails. And every once in a while I would say about once every two or three months, somebody just really floors as you really wait how much they’ve been inspired how it’s changed their life. And that is, that’s indescribable, to have someone call you and say I’m going to mechanical engineering school because I watched your channel,
Cliff Medling 10:28
Jeremy Fielding 10:29
Because you inspired me or, you know, these kinds of things are just incredible. And then sometimes the story is so dramatic. You can’t believe it. I’ve had people tell me that. One guy told me that he was thinking about committing suicide,
Cliff Medling 10:40
Oh my gosh.
Jeremy Fielding 10:40
And he didn’t know what to do. And then he started watching my channel and he decided he was going to build a workshop just suddenly and started, he developed a hobby. And when you hear things like that is unbelievable.
Cliff Medling 10:52
That is crazy. But some people just don’t know. They don’t have an outlet.
Jeremy Fielding 10:55
Cliff Medling 10:55
They feel sort of lost. And they see somebody else doing something and realize they Hey, maybe I can do that.
Jeremy Fielding 11:00
Well actually that was the key, right? He said, those are his words. He said you made it accessible to me. I realized I could do that. And he started doing it.
Cliff Medling 11:08
That’s That’s awesome.
Jeremy Fielding 11:09
Cliff Medling 11:09
Wow, what a powerful story. And an emotional paycheck as they say,
Jeremy Fielding 11:13
Cliff Medling 11:14
So I’m sure you’re not going to stop anytime soon. This is gonna be fun.
Jeremy Fielding 11:18
Cliff Medling 11:19
I don’t think your 14 year old daughter would let you now.
Jeremy Fielding 11:23
Cliff Medling 11:23
So what would be your advice for somebody who thinks they may want to get into design or engineering? How to get started? You know, obviously they they can go to college and work for an education. But how else? What other advice would you give them to try it out just to see if it’s something that they’d be interested in?
Jeremy Fielding 11:38
Well, first, thank you for adding that little caveat at the beginning, because I think that’s a key one like, there’s, of course, there’s the standard option that we’re all familiar with. And that’s important to point out. But I think start where you’re interested, if there’s a project or something you want to make or something you want to do, learn everything you can about that. And let that drive what you learned next.
To me, that was the key in in the beginning, I wanted to build this flip table. But I knew nothing about linkages. And I began to explore that. And it really expanded my mind on the things that I could make with linkages. And and it continued to grow from there. But that spread out into so many areas that I started thinking about engineering as a whole. And it’s to me, that will be the case, they start with you interested, that’s what’s going to keep the fire going, that’s what’s going to drive you to continue to do it. And as you find the need for the next thing, then you begin to explore the next thing that allows you to meet that first goal. And your goals will get bigger after that.
Cliff Medling 12:36
That’s That’s great advice. You find what find the piece that you’re passionate about, exactly.
Jeremy Fielding 12:41
I think schools make the mistake of trying to give you everything, you know, they want to teach you all of these different fields. And you could spend a lot of time looking at depression not interested in and and then you sort of get deflated. But if you invest that time, and the part that you’re really interested in, it’ll sometimes it’ll drive you to those other areas, and then you’ll learn how to use those to get job done.
Cliff Medling 13:00
That’s a great point. I had a podcast earlier with a guy who was into music. And he realizes, you know, I would have never made it as a musician. But there’s so many different parts of the music industry and technology in the music industry. Now he works for Yamaha designing, you know, guitars and amps and, and production, you know, for this sort of thing. So yeah, that’s that’s good finding your passion in the design area. Because there’s there’s design in every aspect of every industry, right?
Jeremy Fielding 13:26
Cliff Medling 13:27
So that’s excellent. So what do you decide which video to do next? Is it just something that happens in your in your life?
Jeremy Fielding 13:34
Well, there are two things, two ways that kind of decide one, I’m always paying attention to the comments that I get. And if I see this common thread over and over again, hey, Jeremy, show me how to do this show, you know, talk about that. Once I reach a certain threshold there, I’m like, okay, there’s a there’s a large audience who wants to hear about this particular topic. And so I will cover it, or I will make it.
In this case, I am thinking about getting into CMC, not only because it’s a interesting to me, and it’s something that I can use, but I get lots of comments and emails about various aspects of CNC, like how to wire a stepper motor. And then also, could you design CNC with salvage components, because that’s, that’s another thing that I’m interested in where we throw a lot of things away. But sometimes there are many useful components.
I like to describe them as like a box of goodies sitting on the side of the road, you grab a treadmill and their bearings in there, and there’s a motor in there. And there’s all kinds of things that are functional,
Cliff Medling 14:30
Oh we throw away so much in America.
Jeremy Fielding 14:31
Absolutely. Right. So I say, hey, there’s an opportunity to grab some free parts and use them in your project. If you’re designing it, you can make the Baron fit. You designed it?
Cliff Medling 14:40
Yeah. So what’s next is a big CNC machine. You will be designing?
Jeremy Fielding 14:44
Cliff Medling 14:49
I got it out of you. Yeah,
Jeremy Fielding 14:50
That’s one of those things that I am very excited about it. I can’t say how soon it’s going to happen. But no, it’s certainly going to happen.
Cliff Medling 14:56
Yeah Its a big project. Yes, yes, so.
Jeremy Fielding 14:58
So it’s a big undertaking at the scale that I want to do it.
Cliff Medling 15:01
Yeah. Well, I love to see how that turns out. and maybe if you can tie in SOLIDWORKS to, you know, design apart and deliver it right out of the CNC machine. So
Jeremy Fielding 15:11
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I use SOLIDWORKS to design all my parts.
Cliff Medling 15:15
Yeah. Excellent. Excellent. Well, that’s great. Well, now we got what’s next CNC from Jeremy. So what’s next concept? Do you think else you’re going to expand with your channel is your next step for the YouTube page or for?
Jeremy Fielding 15:28
What I’m really interested in right now is getting more into bringing the things that I’ve learned about engineering, and the all the stuff that has become self taught over the last few years. And how do I take that information and apply it so that the general making community can use these concepts, instead of making things that fail, you can understand how design how engineers keep their parts from failing. And so that’s something I’m really passionate about. And I’m going to be making more videos about how to combine those two, but I’ll always make sit in with projects. So today, it keeps that flavor and interest. And along the way, sneak in some engineering.
Cliff Medling 16:08
I love that, I think I think that’s great. I think it’s on the right track. It’s interesting, because I talked to a lot of educators and, and they work with students and stuff, but you’re reaching a larger audience with the YouTube
Jeremy Fielding 16:17
Cliff Medling 16:17
You know, you can get, you can definitely do what you do in a local event. You know, maybe you could set up a group locally where you had, you know, could show people how you build stuff, but really with YouTube, you’re reaching a much larger audience and teaching people some valuable skills that way. I mean, I’m sure you probably had some, some people from other countries who were looking on your YouTube page and fun,
Jeremy Fielding 16:38
That’s another thing that blows you away, because I think about the fact that I’m broadcasting from my backyard.
Cliff Medling 16:44
Jeremy Fielding 16:44
And then I get this email from somebody in Germany, or Japan or Africa. And they’re telling me like, I watch your channel. And I learned this, or it’s just incredible to have people like that from all over the world, responding to my content,
Cliff Medling 16:57
Jeremy Fielding 16:57
it’s unbelievable. Another thing that I’m excited about is doing projects with my kids. And I feel like that would be an area where I could inspire other people to do these kinds of things with their children. So I’m looking, I don’t want to give it away. But I am looking to do something with my youngest daughter, which I think is going to be a big hit on YouTube. It’s going to inspire fathers to do things with their daughters. And I’m, I’m very passionate about it’s actually a collaboration with another YouTuber. And the scale of it is going to be
Cliff Medling 17:27
Oh, I can’t wait. I have two boys. And I have my youngest is a daughter. And it’s interesting, because she’s definitely very technical. I know that’s oftentimes construed as more male dominant, and maybe more boys are interested in that. But my daughter, it’s funny, because she may be the one who’s most interested in technology has incredible visual spatial ability. So
Jeremy Fielding 17:50
Cliff Medling 17:50
Ill be watching. So maybe you’re tipped me off inside that I could do with her? Because Because you’re right. I mean, with this in this time, where there’s so many video games, I’m always looking for things to do with my kids, get him off that that we can do together. And honestly, with my with my middle child, it’s been tough because he and I definitely had different interests. So sometimes I had to do what he likes to do. He’s really interested in music. I don’t play a single instrument. So we’re trying to find things to do together. But But yeah, that’s great. That’s awesome. I look forward watching that.
Jeremy Fielding 18:18
Well thats kind of the key right. And actually, I think that’s the secret to this project is I’m reaching across that barrier to grab something that I don’t think many people will recognize as common, but I probably should leave it, yeah.
Cliff Medling 18:30
Now. You really intreaguing me so, Ill have to watch out to watch uh Make sure. I know I’m already subscribed, but I had to make sure every video comes up. I maybe this is the one.
Jeremy Fielding 18:39
Yeah, thank you for subscribing.
Cliff Medling 18:40
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Jeremy, this is fascinating. You know that you’ve created a career out of this, but you’re really finding ways to really teach your kids technology and how things work and have a great opportunity to work with them as they learn and grow outside of that regular education school system environment. That’s awesome.
Jeremy Fielding 18:59
Cliff Medling 19:00
Good for you. So it’s great. Thank you Jeremy for stopping by thats awesome.
Jeremy Fielding 19:04
Thank you for having me.
Cliff Medling 19:05
Also, to learn more about Jeremy and all of his many great tips for engineers, or just anything mechanical from wiring a motor to building a CNC machine, subscribe to his YouTube page, just search for Jeremy Fielding on YouTube.
We will be back again soon with more great Born to Design podcast stories at SOLIDWORKS.com/podcast or wherever podcasts are readily available. Until then, keep innovating.
I really hope that what you heard today is inspired you If you enjoyed it, head on over to iTunes search for the Born to Design podcast. And please leave a five star review so that this podcast will be recommended to more people helping us expand the born to design community. Thank you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai