2017-01-09 2 min read




Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • A tour of a big old sawmill in Oregon.
  • On the prospects for using wood to build tall buildings. Note: When they say "steel-hard", they're not actually referring to hardness :/
  • A good video explanation of Jacquard Looms.
  • The first battery packs rolled out of the Tesla Gigafactory.
  • Markforged announced a new metal printer. It uses an FDM-like process to print a metal-plastic matrix, which is then postprocessed in a (not included) furnace to create a solid-ish sintered metal part. The cost is right around $100K - similar to the 100 mm frame powder bed fusion machines. This is a hard one for me: Predicting shrinkage due to sintering can be really complex, and anyway who wants 90% density? I also suspect the dreams of closed-cell structures are a bit fanciful, and even if you can print them they can't be HIP'd, meaning that aerospace applications will be largely off limits. Regardless, we should be clear that this is *not* desktop manufacturing; the machine (plus the supporting equipment) is too tall to fit on a desktop anyway, and I suspect the parts it prints will be closer to functional prototypes than they are to production.
  • Ikea's new table legs reduce SKUs (but not necessarily materials, as this article incorrectly says) significantly.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • The Gimli Glider is the name of an aircraft incident that occurred during the 80s, when Canada was switching from Imperial to Metric units. Due to unit conversion error (and communication issues), the plane was underfueled and eventually landed on a race track.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection & Testing.


Credit to Jordan, Bill, Clay, Reilly, Dan, Ryan, John, Kane, Gabe, Tom, Alex and Chris for sending links this week. If you see something, send something :)


The roof on the new Atlanta Falcons stadium is up.

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