Chapter 15

Ten Terrific Tools, Tips, and Technologies

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Printing parts

check Downloading (big) data

check Automating everything

check Combining machining functions

check Getting lighter and going smaller

When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting, I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.

—THOMAS A. EDISON

Like most aspects of modern life, manufacturing has become quite high-tech. Machine tools that were dumber than hand-push lawn mowers (remember them?) during the last century are now smart enough to self-adjust their own operating parameters, grab a fresh tool when the old one’s getting dull, or wake you from a sound night’s sleep if they think there’s a problem.

Robots work alongside us, slowing or stopping if we get too close, while sending information about their health and working conditions to servers thousands of miles away. Even cutting tools are getting in on the game, able to sense and automatically correct for undesirable machining conditions, in ...

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