No Sacrifice Is Asked—We Are Just to Get On With It

One of the most pervasive ideas shaping the way people see themselves relative to God is the notion that a person must sacrifice—do something, surrender something, or perform somehow—in order to obtain God’s favor. The idea looks like submission, and at its core is self-centeredness.

The Advance of Additive Manufacturing Needs People Inspiring One Another

In a post on LinkedIn, I note a phenomenon I think has shaped this past year. There is a human factor in the adoption of 3D printing for manufacturing. Leaders and champions advancing disruption haven't been finding one another as much. Read »

The New Dawn of Manufacturing Is Happening in the Dark

In a recent post on LinkedIn, I focused on the importance of lights-out machining. Read »

For Additive Manufacturing and Machining to Work Together, Let Them Compete

A medical device maker uses 3D printing and traditional manufacturing in ways that challenge and complement one another. Read »

2021 Will Be Dramatic, Too — How Is Your Tooling?

An argument that now is a good moment for machine shops to reconsider their tools. Read »

I Served on a Grand Jury—Here Are 10 Things I Now Understand About Our System and Our Society

I was recently selected for jury service, but not the type of service you might imagine. Rather than being placed on a trial jury, I served on a grand jury. That means “jury duty,” for me, looked different from the typical experience of it. Instead of giving attention to just one trial, the grand jury I was a part of heard 130 or more cases during the two weeks we served together. 

Witness: Random Observations Noted This Year

(i) I have a glass tumbler with a six-inch crack in it, running across the bottom of the cup and up the side. The cup is still in use. No water has yet leaked out. The crack is a gap, and that gap must have some thickness or I would not be able to see it. But the viscosity of water is such that the water in the cup is able to bridge this distance, holding itself together in spite of the gap. What does this reveal about the world and our stewardship of it? Not all our failings are fatal; physics and nature gloss over some of our inability to contain things.


The wind does not blow. I've lived on this earth and walked in its atmosphere for decades, and I have only just realized this point: We understand the wind the wrong way.


It is time now for us to regard phones as items carried. The word once referred to a vocal appliance wired to the wall, but the word has had its different meaning for nearly two decades now, referring of course to our personal digital devices. It is time for us to understand these phones as objects: not new things, but mundane things—physical items inherent to the physical world our spirits are passing through.

Additive Manufacturing for Production (Video)

Is 3D printing ready for full-scale production? Yes, but it is a production process with its own considerations, different from other methods of manufacturing. Watch »

What Modern Machine Shop Aims to Cover in 2021

Our best source of story leads about machine shops is the shops themselves reaching out. Read »

Additional Uses for Additive Manufacturing

A major manufacturer with production 3D printing in many locations enters into an agreement aimed at using the available time on these machines. Meanwhile, a medical manufacturer making implants uses its additional 3D printing capacity to make the tooling used to hold those implants during machining

3D Printing’s Promise Involves Materials, Measurement

Exploring what the advance of 3D printing for orthopedic implants signifies for the rest of manufacturing. Read »

Exclusivity Is Not a Wall; It Is an Open Wound

I’ve been spending time with Peter’s epistles—those two short letters penned by the seeming leader or the most prominent of the Twelve Apostles, about 30 years after Jesus’ death—and so I keep coming across the first epistle’s imperative to “always be ready to give ... a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

Writing Is Service

The one person who I think taught me the most about writing was as much a businessman as he was a writer. My first employer after college, he was the owner of a small public relations firm who had spent his career at this firm’s helm. He didn’t teach me about writing as expression; I already had that. I was full of that. He taught me about writing as service. In our case, that meant service to the client or customer, but it also proved to mean service to the reader.

Writing Is Thinking

There is this term people use to refer to writers: “wordsmith.” I’ve never liked it. It doesn’t ring true. Words are not really the raw material a writer is “smithing.” A real-life smith, a blacksmith, is working with metal as the raw material—heating it, hammering it, shaping it. What is the comparable raw material for the writer? Answer: It is thoughts. A writer would more fittingly be called a “thoughtsmith.”

When in Doubt, Tell the Truth

This piece is a couple years old, but I am posting it here now because it is part of a project I wish to resume. I am exploring the 10 or so simple mottos about writing that have been the most valuable to me. This piece is the second in this series, here is the first, and the third post in this series is coming soon. Read »

For 3D Printed Implant Maker, Growth Is Built into the Plan

How metal 3D printing changes the possibilities for orthopedic implants, and how a company in Maine is preparing to capitalize on that promise. This is the story that involved my first air travel since the spring lockdowns. Read »

“The Cool Parts Show” at the Cincinnati Zoo (Video)

Meerkats stole the show in a special episode about 3D printing for animal enrichment. Watch »

3 Reasons Machine Shops Are Paying Attention to ERP

Machining facilities’ attention to software has tended to focus on programming machines. Now there is greater interest in software for organizing the efforts of people. Read »