14 thoughts on “The Makers”

  1. “Chris Anderson, who is the editor in chief of Wired”

    Ahh, Wired. I can proudly say I was banned from commenting there due to expressing a conservative view point. Literally and I have screenshots from the mod to prove it. Never received an apology but they did scrub the web site of any posts by that mod.

  2. I believe that “a new industrial revolution” is hyping a more complicated issue.

    The industrial revolution occurred as we transitioned from hand power to machine power. This new revolution is about going from hand guided to machine guided. Which is precisely where the analogy fails.

    There’s really no such thing as machine guided. Machines have programmers. We have past the peak (1960s to 1980s) in terms of programmers. Fewer and fewer people are interested in thinking about computation.

    The truth is there are new tools and people are learning how they might use them. But they are not understanding them in fundamental ways. I’ve given the example of the lady selling cookie cutters that bought four 3D printers to keep up with production instead of learning about injection molding which would allow her to expand her company without having to buy a dozen more 3D printers assuming her company grows.

    People think it’s a good thing that there are a multitude of different technologies to do things as if we should all speak in twelve different languages in our day to day interactions. That’s wrong.

    Yes, I found it helpful in the old days to think of how I would do something in machine language and apply that knowledge to solve a dbase programming issue… but these are not the old days.

    I keep seeing people make the same mistakes, mistakes I make myself because it’s not easy to get it right, but in their case without any assumption that they are mistakes. That mistake is that more is better without consolidation and simplification.

    The only way the next revolution will come is when people realize the tools for making tools need to be more elegant than the kludgy crap we have now.

    I’m just not ready for windows 8!

    1. “I’m just not ready for windows 8!”

      I refuse to have Windoze in my house. All my computers are Linux (Ubuntu for mine; presently OpenSUSE for “Whipple” – a Technology Development Project).

      This new manufacturing world all pre-supposes government doesn’t get involved and muck it up.

      The first 30 round clip created by 3D printing and Leviathan will swing it’s gaze towards limiting 3D printing.

      1. I’m going to preemptively state that I think drones are arms. And that the amount of flailing and regulations will be completely impenetrable once someone does any of a long list of naughty things with one.

    2. The cost of a 3D printer is on par with the injector in the video you linked. For most products the injection molds turns out a higher quality product than printing, for now. I am not sure how the prices for the feedstock compare. On the low end of things, one advantage to the printer is the level of automation and for the injection molding an advantage is a higher rate of production. They are both cool and it doesn’t have to be an either or situation.

      1. It’s just that you should use the right tools. 3D printing is excellent at prototyping but not so good for production. Injection molding is all about production once a mold is made.

        1. Sure but it also depends on the scale of your business. A couple of 3D printers can chug out cookie cutters without much supervision while injection molding requires you to operate the machine. When you get to the point where the injection molding machines is automated, it is significantly more expensive than the printers.

          Very situational for a small business ran out of a garage.

          1. Wodun,

            Yes, its the economies of scale just as with paper printers.

            Sometimes its easiest to just print out the copies you need of a report, sometimes its easier to just print one master copy and take it to a copy shop. And as with paper printers, the cross over point is constantly moving with the technology.

          2. Injection vs. extrusion.

            The handling is about the same, the difference is production time with injection having a one time mold production cost per production runs for the life of the mold.

            You still have to handle product after production in either case. The time it takes to manually inject is about the same as getting the printers started. One injector would do the work of dozens of printers.

            The moment you start thinking about getting more than one printer is the moment to consider injection.

  3. The only way the next revolution will come is when people realize the tools for making tools need to be more elegant than the kludgy crap we have now.

    There are some pretty elegant tools out there right now. It is possible to do in one’s garage what used to take an entire factory to produce. Of course, those tools are only making money while they are operating, so for anyone who owns such equipment it makes sense to keep it running as much as possible.

    If [guy in garage A] has idle machines, and [guy in garage B] has too much production to handle by himself, [B] can outsource production to [A], both guys keep working, and production increases without [B] having to buy more equipment. [A] and [B] don’t even have to be on the same continent.

    We’re going to see a revolution in distributed production.

    1. Ed,

      I am waiting for the technology to reach the point where aviation hobbyists will be able to break apart a WW II aircraft, scan the parts and then print out duplicates. Imagine being able see an squadron of B-17’s shake the ground flying over an airshow?

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