Planning & Strategy.
- I'm officially offering paid subscriptions to The Prepared, which come with thank-yous on theprepared.org. I love doing this, but it costs me money to get The Prepared out every week; help make it a sustainable practice!
- Re: Women's day: I've noticed, recently, that my readership is overwhelmingly male, and I feel like I should do something about that. Got ideas? Please, share!
- Spurred by better rail transit to coastal China - and to Europe - inland Chinese cities are vying to become free trade zones.
Making & Manufacturing.
- On my blog: An ode to VHB tape, the most magical fastener I've ever used; Finishing Formlabs Tough Resin and carbon fiber tubing; A quick update on my work in nTopology Element Pro & Dassault Systemes Abaqus.
- Some *very* cool videos of steel being cut, in slow motion, as seen through an electron beam microscope.
- In the process of making aluminum cans, slabs of aluminum are rolled into spools 10 km long. The spools have very consistent dimensional properties, but their grain structures are distorted and highly anisotropic. That results in variations in how the material deforms as it's drawn into cans, leading to "earing" in the top edge of the can - which leads to more scrap, and a less efficient overall process. On the anisotropy models used to predict variations in aluminum can manufacturing.
- A nice looking laser cutter that can handle tubing. Looks good for a small bike or motorcycle shop!
- Concept Laser has grown by about 20% (headcount) since being acquired by GE last fall. I still say that GE's best path forward is through software.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- A video tour of FastCap, a company that makes tools & organization systems for woodworking shops that are into lean manufacturing. As you'd imagine, FastCap is also *really* into lean manufacturing.
- A video profile of a cool looking electronics repair shop near Rochester, NY. Note: this kind of work is ubiquitous in Shenzhen, and I'm sure in many other (non-US) places as well.
Distribution & Logistics.
- SpaceX will take private citizens to the lunar orbit in 2018; Blue Origin signed up a few commercial launch customers.
- CitiBike has a program, Bike Angels, that pays users to rebalance the system.
- Sidewalk Labs predicts the effect of the L train shutdown.
Inspection & Testing.
- Some nice looking electroformed surface finish comparators.
- CoolTools is a blog for cool tools.
- On the economics of skyscrapers, and the balance between more floors and more elevators.
- Otto Lilienthal was a pioneer in the early days of aviation - perhaps the most important innovator in human flight prior to the Wrights.
- A history of the Cessna 172, one of the most popular aircraft ever.
- The ciabatta was invented in the 1980s and designed to compete with the baguette.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Credit also to Dan, Star, Derek, Dan, Basheer, Brad, Jonathan, Lucas, and Reilly for sending links.
A tour of Fordlandia, Henry Ford's tragic Amazonian manufacturing utopia.