2017-04-30 3 min read


Me, on what it would mean for some 3D printing method to really change the world around us.

Planning & Strategy.

  • A NYTimes piece from a few years ago detailing how Goldman Sachs (among others) owns huge amounts of commodity metals, and use shady warehousing practices to artificially jack up prices. "By controlling warehouses, pipelines and ports, banks gain valuable market intelligence, investment analysts say. That, in turn, can give them an edge when trading commodities. In the stock market, such an arrangement might be seen as a conflict of interest — or even insider trading. But in the commodities market, it is perfectly legal."

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • A very thorough blog post on the Chinese bike sharing scene, including pricing, logistics, and teardowns of the lock hardware from the biggest competitors. Related, the CEO of Ofo says that Chinese bike sharing is a bubble, but that the $650MM they've raised will keep them safe.
  • Tesla says they'll double their supercharger network in the next year, to a total of 10k stations. By comparison, there are something like 168k gas stations in the US.
  • Elon Musk's Boring Company has a website, with a video of what he's thinking about. See also this twitter thread (which I think draws false equivalences, but is worth considering) unfavorably comparing Musk to Robert Moses.
  • A short piece on "wireandcabletips.com" about manufacturing & performance tradeoffs of different types of EMI shielding on data cables.
  • Shanghai's Yangshan port, the busiest container terminal in the world, is experiencing high congestion due to (!) fog and recent shakeups in the shipping industry.
  • A cool looking (but unfortunately not free) supply chain management game/training tool.

Inspection & Testing.

  • Probably the most submitted article I've received, ever: Bolt's excellent teardown of Juicero. The engineering here is totally crazy - way out of proportion. I also recommend Star's point here: This is *not*, in any meaningful way, Apple-grade.
  • The city of Chicago is in the process of switching out their high pressure sodium street lamps (cobraheads!) for LEDs - a change that'll have a big impact on the quality of its street life. A good piece on the effect of light pollution, with a particularly interesting anecdote: "Low-pressure sodium lights are monochromatic and don’t render colors, so their use is uncommon. Hilo, Hawaii, and Flagstaff, Arizona, both near major observatories, make heavy use of low-pressure sodium lights because the fact that they’re monochromatic allows astronomers to filter the light, and because it creates less sky glow."
  • An analysis of three bioplastics that Lego might use to replace ABS - which they're trying to do by 2030.
  • Boeing received FAA approval for the first structural components that Norsk Titanium printed for the 787.


Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Credit also to Aneet, Conor, Reilly, Gabe, Amanda, Dan, Noah, Brendan, and Johanna for sending links.
How bike helmets are made.

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