In the Supply Chain, Flexibility Equals Strength

Machining job shops offer lessons in supply chain resiliency. Read »

Additive Manufacturing Is Now Realizing the Promise of Materials

Possibilities that were speculative a few years ago are coming true today. Read »

5 Reasons Why Machine Shop Ownership Is Changing

Mergers, acquisitions and other ownership changes are an effect of Boomer-age shop owners retiring, but only in part. Also important: The way we think about machining has changed. Read »

Cadillac Blackwing Models Are First GM Cars Using 3D Printing for Full-Scale Production

Three functional components are made this way, thanks to both the cost savings and design freedom 3D printing brings to these parts. Layers lines on the shift knob, an aesthetic component that is also 3D printed, signify this advance. Read »

10 Examples of 3D Printed Tooling

What is still perhaps the most powerful and widespread application of 3D printing for manufacturing is this: It is a fast and versatile way to make special tools for other manufacturing processes. Here are cases from many industries. Read »

How 3D Printing Will Change Composites Manufacturing

Very strong polymer composites replacing metal was the manufacturing technology disruption of a generation or so ago. A conversation about how the new disruptive technology, 3D printing, takes composites even farther. Read »

3D Printer Maker’s Acquisitions Focus on Additive Manufacturing for Production

3D printing once was used for tooling and prototypes in manufacturing; now it is an accepted and an advancing option for part production. Executive describes how the changing role of additive manufacturing has inspired changes to an established company. Read »

“Made in the USA” Podcast First Episode Now Available

“Made in the USA” is a podcast I co-created that will explore major themes shaping the recent past and the way forward for U.S. manufacturing. Episode 1 is now available, exploring the meaning of manufacturing employment trends in recent decades. Find it, and subscribe to the show, on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or Soundcloud.

Why the Failure? New Series About Build Failure in 3D Printing (Video)

Penn State professor of additive manufacturing joins me to discuss failed additive manufacturing builds and what went wrong. One fun element of this show: We react to guesses shared in social media. Watch » 

3D Printed Shoulder Blade Precisely Matches the Form of the Patient’s Original Bone (Video)

A breakthrough in preserving the arm of a patient with a tumor of the scapula: Scanning the original allowed a replacement scapula of precisely the same form to be 3D printed in titanium. We talk to the team involved, including surgeon, engineer, and manufacturer. Watch »

New Podcast, “Made in the USA,” Is About This Moment in U.S. Manufacturing

In previous decades, the U.S. made choices related to manufacturing that led to negative outcomes. Decline in manufacturing employment is arguably one of these. Coming soon, I co-host a new podcast that will look at major themes in U.S. manufacturing and explore the opportunities to choose differently as we go forward. Read »

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle With 3D Printed Hull (Video)

“The Cool Parts Show” films *inside* a 3D printer to talk about production of very large 3D printed parts — components of a robot submarine for mapping the ocean floor. Watch »

“The Cool Parts Show” on 3D Printing for the Mars Perseverance Rover (Video)

We have replicas of some of the 3D printed components sent to the red planet. Why manufacturing even straightforward hardware for NASA’s Perseverance rover was so challengingWatch »

Aberration or Accelerant: How Do You View the Past Year?

In different areas, we might see a dramatic resumption after the pandemic, or we might have seen the new way that was coming into its own all along. Read »

Can the U.S. Become Self-Sufficient in Aerospace Alloy Metal Powders?

For the powder metal needed to 3D print defense-related components and hardware, the DoD believes it may be possible to “upcycle” existing material by converting machining scrap and parts from aircraft boneyards. Read »

Large Metal 3D Printed Part via Additive Turning (Video)

“Turning” typically refers to cutting on a lathe: rotating a part and removing material as it spins. Here is a look at the mirror image of that technique. “Additive turning” creates a large cylindrical metal part by 3D printing as the part spins. Watch »

3D Printing Creates New Paths to Production

What stops an inventor from becoming a manufacturer? Here is why 3D printing as a manufacturing process will allow for products that otherwise would never have been made: Read »

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 »