“It’s important for students to know that struggle does not mean failure.”
– Tom Clancy
1. For Once, History Is Useful
Everyone is panicking about AI taking jobs now. This sounds just like the conversation we had about automation. Looking back in history, the assumption of new technologies driving unemployment is a recurring theme. However, once the industry understands the technology’s boundaries, the workforce adjusts rapidly. Come on, society, act like you have been here before.
2. Hope We Are Not Still Paying for That
I used to wonder why the material costs for machined flanges were so high. Yes, I used superalloys, but the cross section was only 0.75 inches thick. Well, I slowly learned I was paying for the solid bar. What can I say? I was an innocent little engineer at that time. As additive increases in utilization, the need for predictive material reuse will become more important in powder bed fusion technologies.
3. Is Faster Better?
Deciding between two different technologies is often answered with a single question: Which one is faster? Comparing a CMM to optical inspection technologies is not so simple. The driving factors are accuracy, speed, precision, surface conditions, and portability. Well, I guess it can be answered in five questions.
4. Printing the Big Stuff
Space is big. Getting to space requires big equipment. Creating this big equipment requires… not-so-big equipment? Relativity Space uses a turntable and a robot to print rocket bodies and domes. This opens the door to many opportunities for more efficient, reusable rockets. Someday, my vacation planning may include outer space.
5. Barriers to Tech Adoption
Let’s take in-process metrology as a use case. The pros for in-process inspection – including real-time measurement and analysis – should sell itself. Despite these advantages, various other factors, such as cost, lack of awareness, resistance to change, and the need for specialized knowledge and equipment, may hinder the widespread adoption of in-process metrology in the industry. Tech adoption should be like how I start my hobbies: Read everything about it on the internet, then jump in headfirst. Commit 100%.
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