I'm looking to add a small (desktop sized or a little larger) CNC mill to The Prepared's workshop. If you've got recommendations/a pitch for your product, send me a note.
If you missed last week's Quarterly Report, click around over here and I'll be more than happy to catch you up on what's in store for The Prepared this upcoming quarter + get you on the swag distribution list :)
The most clicked link in last week's issue (~12% of opens) was NASA's fastener design manual, *again.*
Planning & Strategy.
- Ernst sent me a very well argued email after last week's issue, with the net result that I will no longer be using the designation "MM" to denote "million." I agree with Ernst that "M" (for Mega) is a better choice, and apologize for my past inconsistency (for the most part I'm good about using SI units and ISO dates/times).
- Patagonia will now prioritize B-corps (and deprioritize "companies that they view to be ecologically damaging") on their co-branded apparel. I'm all for being customer-centric, but there's something about this - being focused enough to tell a certain class of people that no, they're really *not* your customers - that is really compelling to me.
- Aerojet Rocketdyne acquired 3DMT, a (mostly) metal printing job shop.
- Managed by Q, which offers office management as a service, was acquired by WeWork.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A remarkably technical explanation of trochoidal milling, in which an end mill creates a slot larger than its diameter by following a looping tool path. This results in lower radial engagement/radial force, meaning that higher axial depth of cut can be used.
- Nord-Lock wedge-locking washers are apparently effective as lock washers, thought they do have the effect of marring the bearing surface (something the NASA design manual focuses on eliminating, due to the risk of corrosion). On the other hand, they aren't subject to the temperature limitations of nylon pellet/collar locking methods.
- Formlabs (which has been a sponsor of The Prepared) introduced a new, long-awaited printer and a new prototyping resin.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- A good video on compliant mechanisms - parts that actuate via bending rather than articulated joints, hence reducing the assembly complexity and eliminating the need for lubricants. Related: Apple patented a simplified keyboard design which relies on a compliant/springy composite "key web" rather than the notoriously finicky "butterfly hinge."
Distribution & Logistics.
- A very good (but not mobile friendly) interactive explainer of why buses bunch up.
- Huaqiangbei, the heart of Shenzhen's electronics distribution system, is losing the Gaokede building. "From Li’s point of view, however, Huaqiangbei hit a high point between 2000 and 2012. 'It’s [one of] those kind of huge gold rush, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to make money, and it [didn’t] last.'"
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- Boston Dynamics acquired Kinema Systems, which makes 3D vision systems.
- Using machine utilization rates (the amount of time that a CNC milling machine's spindle is active) to predict the Federal Reserve's "capacity utilization" metric (the proportion of potential economic output that’s actually realized).
- A remarkably poignant interview about what it's like to be extravagantly wealthy: "Actually, having a jet is a really big deal. If I were queen of the world, I would pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality. You don’t have to go through an airport terminal, you don’t have to interact, you don’t have to be patient, you don’t have to be uncomfortable. These are the things that remind us we’re human."
- Bill Simmons, noted sports podcaster, interviews his former ESPN boss about (among other things) Simmons's 2015 firing and the deterioration of their working relationship.
- A very fun collection of Thomas Kinkade style modernist architecture mashups.
- I'll be at Tulip's user conference/Agile Manufacturing Summit on 05-06 in Somerville, MA; use code "theprepared" for free tickets for yourself :)
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Thanks also to the following readers for sending links: Gabe, Mark, Chris, Callil, Jacob, JonPaul, James, Simon, Andrew.
p.s. - We should be better friends. Send me a note - coffee's on me :)
p.p.s. - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.