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AMT Tech Report: Issue #302

Rise of the Tool Belt Generation. Desktop Machining Revolution. Manufacturing a Comeback. Prioritize Geometric Accuracy. Desktop Lathe has Entered the Chat.
Apr 12, 2024

“In an insane world, it is the sane who is called crazy.”

Lumalee, The Super Mario Bros. Movie

1. Rise of the Tool Belt Generation

Generation Z shall be dubbed the "Tool Belt Generation," as they are favoring trade schools over traditional colleges. This, of course, is due to rising costs (inflation and tuition) and job market uncertainties (“tHeSe PeOpLe DoN’t WaNt To WoRk” for dog water pay and will continue to jump ship until they’re treated like human beings). This shift challenges the stigma against trade education, emphasizing diverse paths to success and addressing skilled labor shortages.

Read more here.

2. Desktop Machining Revolution

Manufacturing is not a “one-horse town.” There’s room for both additive and subtractive manufacturing. Star Trek 3D printers that can manifest a mug of hot chocolate? Not gonna happen in our lifetime (#spoilers)! Despite progress, there's still a need for comprehensive open-source software and a unified movement like RepRap, an open-source project aimed at developing 3D printers that can replicate themselves, fostering accessibility and innovation in the 3D printing community. I’ll let the MTConnect Institute know they need to get on it.

Read more here.

3. Manufacturing a Comeback

ICYMI: U.S. manufacturing grew in March for the first time since Sept. 2022, per ISM data. The gauge rose to 50.3, indicating expansion, with nine industries growing, including petroleum. Strong manufacturing may deter Federal rate cuts in June, analysts suggest. This was a trending topic on LinkedIn last week. If you missed out, here’s your chance to catch up and chime in. Keep the conversation going!

Read more here.

4. Prioritize Geometric Accuracy

There are four ways to determine a machine's accuracy: geometric, positioning, volumetric, and dynamic. Geometric accuracy assesses the machine's structure and components. Positioning accuracy measures precision in reaching points. Volumetric accuracy combines geometric and positioning accuracy. Dynamic accuracy evaluates how well a machine executes code. As accuracy increases, so does cost, but it improves process reliability and revenue in the long run.

Read more here.

5. Desktop Lathe has Entered the Chat

Remember when the Pocket NC 5-axis horizontal mill hit Kickstarter? Well it’s all grown up now! But what about a little lathe to compliment your little mill? The Rownd tabletop CNC lathe is a compact, affordable machine with user-friendly software, making it accessible to beginners. Its touchscreen interface and gamepad controller simplify operation while still offering manual control. Despite its smaller size, it's capable of machining reasonable-sized parts. Preorders are expected to ship soon.

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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