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14 June 2019


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W Patrick Lang

Great piece!


Thank you, Pat!

Bill Wade

3D printing stocks are now at .05 to .10 cents on the dollar now since the Voice of Wall Street, President Obama, was touting them at their highs. Can only go up from here methinks. The future is bright.


Interesting piece. Can you get connecting rod for a '65 289? What's the cost and how do they perform compared to forged and machined parts? How about bi-metal parts like thermostats? I asked those questions when I was still in automotive and got blank looks from the MIT PHDs who just wanted to run the math calculations to determine what to build. C'est la vie. Lots of money but not too much strategic thought from my part of the world, though it is good to see ongoing real world applications. I find it interesting you mention small electric motors as a possibility of something that can be 3D printed. If you can make that work then your spare parts inventory on that spaceship to Mars is going to include a couple of 3D printers and a lot of raw material.


Fred, I repaired small appliances (blenders, shavers, etc) in college. Really familiar with the little gremlins.

Yah, there is a lot of inertia in our current system. A lot of vested interests will fight this change. Right on about a printer on a trip to Mars and when they get there. There is one on the ISS. The various depots in aviation are also beginning to use them. I'm thinking you would have associated processes like heat treat or shot peening to go with the part build.

One day I will have to write up the story of BabelFish, the color blind appliance repair dude, trying to wire up an 18 speed Oster blender. Got it done but didn't realize I had the brush leads backwards.



I recall my brother working on dirt back back in the day. Somehow he managed to get gearing 180 degrees off. The only motorcycle I've ever seen with reverse!

Lloyd D. Herod, Jr.

I spent one summer while in college working on a rock crusher and asphalt plant. Part of the summer was following around a color blind electrician to check for the proper color connections. We were working with 440 volts which made it necessary to pay a bit more attention. The reason I was hired was the year before the electrician had wired the asphalt plant where ground was hot... Damn near killed the operator the first time he started up the ladder. Really burnt his hands and feet. I wondered about asking for hazardous duty pay.

The Twisted Genius

3D printing sounds like a natural progression from older machining technologies. I see a basic similarity between the Swiss Precision and Brown & Sharpe screw machines I operated before college. The skilled machinists with his micrometer adjusting the cutting tools and cams produced by the toolmaker is largely replaced by CAD/CAM, but the tool maker is still there as far as I know. Somebody builds those printing machines.


TTG, the ultimate end would be machines building machines. A lot of literature around that.

I was the HR Director for a very large plant with over many screw machines, CNC Swiss and a state of the art plating facility. We had a complete grinding/tooling department as well.



Wow! Interesting ideas. Perhaps you could continue posting about this


Linda, thank you! I certainly do want to continue.


The CEO of Relativity (Tim Ellis) was an intern at my last startup, Masten Space Systems back in 2010. He's done an impressive job at raising money and building a team. I'm not fully convinced that 3d printing a whole rocket is really the right strategy, but he should have some pretty useful tech come out of that.


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