Episode 93: Ben and Steve don’t make it far through this episode’s agenda. Benjamin gives a debrief of the recent Joint Technology Summit. Stephen shares what he recently learned about table vices, primarily that they are costly, then talks about his visit to the west coast to visit FormAlloy and then the SVR Robot Block Party. Ben discusses the Gartner Hype Cycle for Robotics. Steve gets cut off after blabbing about g-codes.
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Produced by Ramia Lloyd
Benjamin Moses: Hello everyone. Welcome to the AMT Tech Trends podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology, research and news. Today's episode is sponsored by Imts+. I am the Senior Director of Technology, Benjamin Moses, and I'm here with ...
Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, AMT's technology analyst and we're produced by ... Ramia Lloyd.
Stephen LaMarca: Hi, Ramia.
Ramia Lloyd: [inaudible 00:00:26].
Benjamin Moses: Awesome. Steve, I was traveling a little bit. I was in Atlanta.
Stephen LaMarca: Nice.
Benjamin Moses: I visited the Mazak Tech center down there, which is not in Atlanta, it's in Suwanee.
Stephen LaMarca: How many places do they have?
Benjamin Moses: They have eight I think.
Stephen LaMarca: Makes sense.
Benjamin Moses: And the reason why I was down there is I was hosting a joint technology summit. So we're bringing in other associations, other groups, that are technology focused. So AMT has their technology issues committee. We met with AGMA's emerging technology team and NTMA's tech team. You guys can look up the acronyms yourself. And the key thing is we want to bring together these groups and talk about relevant technologies and barriers to technologies. So we had a really great group of speakers that came in. So they talked about cybersecurity more related to the business operation. I'm looking for more cybersecurity talk on the operational side. So if you guys see anything out there about that, just let me know. We can always go back to [inaudible 00:01:22] Nights and Lockheed. They're doing a lot.
Stephen LaMarca: And Mike Muckin.
Benjamin Moses: And Mike Muckin. I think we need to follow up with them at some point. But this is-
Stephen LaMarca: Because Yen's OT.
Benjamin Moses: OT. Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: Mike's IT.
Benjamin Moses: That's right.
Stephen LaMarca: And you need both.
Benjamin Moses: And this was relevant for the group because of where the group sits in the organization. A lot of them are C-suites or executives and there's a lot of attacks and that group is being mimicked a lot and as an access point. So in terms of protecting the business, that's what one aspect for cyber security we talked about. We also talked about accessible CT scanning.
Stephen LaMarca: Heck yeah.
Benjamin Moses: So it was a-
Stephen LaMarca: Lumafield?
Benjamin Moses: Lumafield came in.
Stephen LaMarca: Andrew Parrot, my boy?
Benjamin Moses: And-
Stephen LaMarca: That's what's up.
Benjamin Moses: ... It was really interesting to look at two things. One, the cost of getting to a traditional CT scanner is massive, right? It's very high because of the size and the accuracy that those things produce. They're very, very accurate machines. What they're pro providing is they're sacrificing some of the size and a little bit of the accuracy to get to something that you can use as a service basically. So you can pay a certain amount and you can go to the website and look at the prices right there, which is great. I'm always interested to see that manufacturing.
Stephen LaMarca: That's a really nice thing.
Benjamin Moses: ... but they changed their business model instead of just buying equipment. So you can buy a yearly cost and it's less than a hundred thousand dollars and it gets you a base software and the hardware that they maintain their software is cloud based. So we did run into actually quite a few discussions with the defense guys about cloud accessibility. They're not using any of the defense gov cloud stuff yet.
Stephen LaMarca: This must have been such a good conversation.
Benjamin Moses: It was great. And that is something that they're looking into trying to get into the defense market of course. But-
Stephen LaMarca: But the defense market also has those dollars for-
Benjamin Moses: And to be fair, the other way around, it's a barrier across the entire defense manufacturing industry. So it's not Andrew's thing to be solved, it's a process to be solved later in the are steps to get there because there's a lot of defense cloud solutions.
Stephen LaMarca: I would imagine that if you are a small to medium job shop that is potentially about to win, be awarded a major government defense contract and you're trying to grow in size. And when they have that military brass come through your facility, if they see... I'm giving them way too much credit, there is a risk potentially of them looking at the inspection and seeing that. And if they know that this particular inspection equipment is cloud-based, right? They may be like, "No, we're about to give you major defense dollars. You need to change providers here and you need to do it in-house because this is top secret stuff here."
Benjamin Moses: And there's layers to that. So we don't get too much in the defense and security side of it. But sure there are layers and there are cloud services that the defense is accepting. So there is a shift towards that.
Stephen LaMarca: That's wild. That's really, that must have been such a cool conversation to be a part of.
Benjamin Moses: So both the technology and the accessibility that and the business model that they laid out was fantastic. And we had a couple of discussions on automation. One, we did look at the automotive outlook for the next couple years. We had a research group that does automotive forecasting and mainly is a shift towards EV and hybrid vehicles, that's going to drive a shift in manufacturing. And then the one conversation we had on automation is what shift in the automotive market is driving different automation solutions. So as we go from engines to batteries, now you're automating motors, you're automating battery development, that type of stuff. A lot of more gluing solutions. So that we talked about that shift in those technologies. But also we took a step back and said, what is the current state of your state of the art in automation? So you looked at what is vision capability, autonomous robots, their capability. And had very meaningful discussion on automation that way too. So that was a fun meeting in Atlanta.
Stephen LaMarca: It sounds like it.
Benjamin Moses: ... And we got to see, it was funny when I was working with Dave at Mazak about two months ago, I'm sorry, six months ago, and trying to plan through that. And he was a little concerned about the amount of machines that he had at that time because at that tech center, they bring in machines and then do turnkey solutions and then sell them back out. He was concerned that they didn't have machines at that time. A couple of months going into it, they had a bunch of machines come in. They were very comfortable. And then when I arrived there, they had two machines. So it's a healthy discussion. And it was actually pretty cool because one, they had their screw machine, their brand new screw machine they had-
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, the one with the Palmer base?
Benjamin Moses: They had prototype number three there. So it wasn't running. But it was really cool to see that reemphasizing where they're trying to get into in the market there. But also they had a turnkey solution where it was a fairly standard lathe, large size, but the complexity was in the work holding because they were machining aluminum propellers. So they had to hold this six foot long propeller and turn down the base of it and then they would do the profiling on another machine.
So it's very interesting to see from their perspective right there. And I think a lot of companies do this and it's worth an exploration of your preferred manufacturer of this technology, of getting a turnkey solution. So someone went to them and said, "Can you help us machine this part?" They organized it, the cutters, the work holding, the programming, they're doing runoffs now and then they provide that turnkey solution to the end user. So I thought that was a interesting journey.
Stephen LaMarca: That's cool. That's cool. I really like Mazak.
Benjamin Moses: They're fine.
Stephen LaMarca: Their one machine is still in my top three dream machines to have, if I ever had a shop, the INTEGREX i-100ST. Multi-spindle, multi-access, multi-tasking-
Benjamin Moses: Multi-everything.
Stephen LaMarca: ... Capable of closed loop gear manufacturing. That sounds like an advertisement. I promise it's not.
Benjamin Moses: So Steve, taking a step back, we talked some really cool technologies. I want to talk about vices.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh man.
Benjamin Moses: Not personal vices, right? We can do that later. But-
Stephen LaMarca: Drinking and overeating, we're not talking about that.
So I was lying in bed last night scrolling through Instagram, not able to sleep, even though I know I had it an early morning today. And I came across this really cool video that I've actually seen before, but I actually gave it some thought this time. And it was basically just somebody showing off their old table vice.
Benjamin Moses: Sure. I do [inaudible 00:08:07]
Stephen LaMarca: It looked brand new. You have to look closer and realize, oh, it's actually old that's been restored. You can see the brush marks on it. And then I went to the comments to find out what vice it was because it sold me. I was like, I want this vice. How do I get this vice?
Benjamin Moses: Sure.
Stephen LaMarca: Well it was made in the 40s, 50s, or 60s. I don't remember how old it was, but I found out that this particular... Well, anyway, what was cool about, before I mentioned what kind of vice it was in the brand and model, what was so attractive about this vice was, and it was so new and clean or it had been restored, was the person filming spun the handle on the vice to close the jaws and it just kept spinning-
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, it was free running.
Benjamin Moses: ... until it came to a close.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, that's such a good feeling.
Benjamin Moses: And it looked so smooth and perfect. And when it came to... It just came to an abrupt stop. And it was just like, you see something like that late at night on the internet when your brain is shutting down and you're just like that's the time of the day and when you're in a mental state and it's just like shut up and take my money. That's when you're ready to swipe a credit card.
Benjamin Moses: That's everybody's vice, by the way.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: Late night scrolling.
Stephen LaMarca: So I'm thinking about, and I go to the comments to find out what it is because I'm going to Google what kind of... I'm going to Google how much they cost. Find out in the comments that it's from the mid 20th century.
Benjamin Moses: Sure.
Stephen LaMarca: It's been restored and the brand is Wilton and it's a Wilton 9450 machinist swiveling table vice.
Benjamin Moses: Cool.
Stephen LaMarca: Or they might even call it a bullet vice because one end is shaped kind of rounded like a bullet. Sure. Something I could never get away with today. So it's definitely from the mid 20th century. This vice... So I go to Google once I found it in the comments, which kind it is. Not in production anymore. You can get old ones rusted out ones that people need to restore, but they don't want to on eBay for a couple hundred bucks. I'm like couple hundred bucks for a grody looking one. What is that? And then I see on the shopping tab of Google, it says Grainger. I'm like, okay, Grainger Industrial Supply. They have these.
Benjamin Moses: Buy now.
Stephen LaMarca: They don't have the same, it's not the same model number anymore. They don't make the same model. But the most equivalent one is like a 6,000S series or whatever.
Benjamin Moses: Cool.
Stephen LaMarca: I don't know exactly, but Wilton still is around. Maybe they're still made in the US. Wilton doesn't have a website. Of course. All proper American manufacturers and $2,200. It's like, okay, so we've got a beefy workbench for our test bed. Yeah. That sweet workbench was made in the USA. Yeah, we got it from either Grainger or MSC. It was $1,500 but that's quarter inch eight gauge steel, which I think is around quarter inch?
Benjamin Moses: Our entire factory is that table.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Beefy table. Our entire factory has to go on. We of course, there was no problem. It's three feet by six feet. Exactly big- Like as big as we could fit on the elevator, which was the purpose. It's only-
Benjamin Moses: [inaudible 00:11:34].
Stephen LaMarca: ... 75% of the cost of this vice. Less than, actually.
Benjamin Moses: We need to look up some Pittsburgh vices. That's our market.
Stephen LaMarca: We're going to see if Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight makes a robot too.
Benjamin Moses: Oh, god.
Stephen LaMarca: Like a robot arm, that'd be awesome. Because here I am complaining about a $2,200 vice and I'm like, if I'm, I'm worried about a $2,200 advice. There's no way I'm going to get another industrial robot arm made outside of China for under 10K, it's not going to happen.
Benjamin Moses: It's going to be a challenge.
Stephen LaMarca: You're right. It's going to be a challenge. It will happen. We can figure it out. As long as we can do it before inflation. Maybe.
Benjamin Moses: Well, we'll come back to that. Steve, tell us about today's sponsor.
Stephen LaMarca: Today's sponsor. We will come back to that.
Today's sponsor is Imts+ plus the people behind the technology, the stories driving the future of manufacturing. The thought leaders and people like us, Ben and I specifically, creating the products, the... or not specifically... The opportunities in solving the challenges of our industry. Yeah. We're not doing any of that. Explore a new digital destination designed for manufacturing technology community where you can watch, read, learn, join and connect. Go to imts.com.
Benjamin Moses: I like your podcast voice
Stephen LaMarca: Or my ad read voice?
Benjamin Moses: Your ad read voice. So it's getting back to our robotic arm journey, which we've gone on. It is been a fantastic journey since our impetus a couple years ago we got that arm, it's gone to Mexico. Now we're trying to find another one. What's the deal with our journey right now? And fill me in because it's connected to the robot block party that you just attended also.
Stephen LaMarca: So I went to the robot block party, which was really fun. To put that in perspective, the robot block party is now an industry industry event because SVR is a partner joined with AMT now. But the robot block party, or by itself technically is by no means industrial whatsoever. Hyden Haynes there. Okay. Hayden Hein.
Benjamin Moses: Hiden Hine.
Stephen LaMarca: Hiden Hine. Hudden Hyne's there. So shout out to [inaudible 00:13:51]. They were there.
Benjamin Moses: So you're talking about the-
Stephen LaMarca: That was the only industrial company there.
Benjamin Moses: Okay.
Stephen LaMarca: They had a little table basically.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: It was more like a public school, middle school through high school and maybe college book fair.
Benjamin Moses: Okay.
Stephen LaMarca: It was really fun and there was a lot of people in and out the entire day. There was free food, popsicles.
Benjamin Moses: It was a fun event.
Stephen LaMarca: It was really cool. All of the companies that were there especially.... So the place where it was the setting of this place, the building is actually a west coast incubator, tech incubator. And all of the companies that were started up in that incubator and came and went, were all there for the robot block party. And the CEOs of those companies were actually in the line serving lunch to all of the attendees. It was fun. It was really cool. That's fun. I was a really fun organic event and the biggest challenge for AMT will be us keeping our hands off of it.
Benjamin Moses: Sure, sure.
Stephen LaMarca: Because the second we try to put any sort of structure, like corporate structure on it's going to ruin it.
Benjamin Moses: It's a very organic community.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. It's a baby flower right now and you just don't make sure you get just enough water, money. And don't... Let it grow. Yeah. So it was a really fun time. But anyway, I went there not fully understanding this and thought that, oh, there's going to be some robot companies there. I'll see who I can buy a robot from. The good news is the TLDR of it is there was at least one company there that I'm browsing some of their products right now. Orange Robotics-
Ramia Lloyd: Orangewood.
Stephen LaMarca: Orangewood Robotics.
Benjamin Moses: Thanks Ramia.
Stephen LaMarca: Thank you so much Ramia.
Ramia Lloyd: You're welcome.
Stephen LaMarca: And yeah, I'm going to see what they have to offer and if they can get us an industrial arm, build us an industrial arm for the right price for our organization budget-
Benjamin Moses: We're on it.
Stephen LaMarca: ... Yeah, we'll be in. It'll be cool saying that it's from the US too.
Benjamin Moses: Taking a step back, I was looking at the content and we're going to cover a lot of automation and artificial intelligence in our conversation today. Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: This is an automation heavy episode for sure.
Benjamin Moses: Cause I think our next topic that you want to bring up in this section is your ChatGPT journey.
Stephen LaMarca: So before we move on with, let's go back to the-
Benjamin Moses: Let's finish that up.
Stephen LaMarca: Let's go with the skeletal structure of the podcast, which is the next thing we talk about after banter is the test bed updates. What has been done? So I wanted to get a table vice for... And now I'm looking for a robot. We're still in the hunt for a robot. Here I was complaining that the last robot that we got took little over a year to get here. Well, the current robot's taking a little over a year for me to find one. So-
Benjamin Moses: We'll get there.
Stephen LaMarca: ... that's not even counting shipping. I can't imagine how long it's going to take for whoever takes our money to get us one.
Benjamin Moses: Got to give them our money first.
Stephen LaMarca: But in terms of the equipment that we have, one of my current projects has been using ChatGPT to develop a G code program. And I recently wrote an article about this. It'll be coming out in two months in our next MT magazine. The first part's going to be a multi-part because you don't want to spoil anything. And I'm limited to only six to 800 words. I forget what, I'm sure Kathy loves that. But yeah. So I've been using ChatGPT to develop a G code program. And in two iterations, or not iterations, in two dialogues, meaning I messaged Chat right twice I sent it, "Hey, can you make me a G code program? This is the tool I have, this is the stock and this is the machine that I'm using." And it came back to me. "What kind of part are you trying to make?"
Benjamin Moses: Wow.
Stephen LaMarca: First off, I can make... I'd love to make you a program, but you got to tell me what you want to make. And I was like, make me.... And my second dialogue to ChatGPT. I was like, I want to make a shot glass. The outer diameter one inch. So you don't have to mill anything from the outside. The inner diameter of the shot glass, I think I said 0.85 inches. A depth of 1.75 inches. So that's how deep the glass is. The whole height of the shot glass from the one-inch Delrin bar stock will be two inches. And I'd like all sharp edges chamfered. Okay. I say chamfered or fileted? I think I want chamfered. Well I didn't tell it that yet, but I want them chamfered in iterations to come.
I just wanted to see what the first cut would and I was thinking, because the first time that I messaged Chat about this it sent me a list of questions. And the whole idea with ChatGPT is you're programming AI through a conversational facade, a conversational platform. That's the most advanced thing about ChatGPT and OpenAI's AI platform. OpenAI didn't beat AI to the market. They beat the rest of the market in that they made AI programming conversational. 3D printing wasn't the first technology to make 3D parts, the parts in three dimensions. They were the first, or their disruptive technique was that they made it easier. They made the CAM part a lot easier than what CAM is with CNC milling, which is why I'm doing this.
So ChatGPT I was expecting to get some questions back. Second iteration or second dialogue, it sends me a G-code program.
Benjamin Moses: Oh wow.
Stephen LaMarca: And so that's where the article pretty much ends. Part one of-
Benjamin Moses: Part one.
Stephen LaMarca: ... my article. Anybody that knows any machinist or anybody in manufacturing can look at the G code and say that, "Oh, that's a real G code, but something's wrong here. This probably isn't going to work." Sure enough now here's the spoilers. Threw it in simulation as soon as I got it without looking at it. I didn't worry about this because it's not like I'm putting it on the machine right away, nobody in their right mind would do that.
Benjamin Moses: You'd be surprised.
Stephen LaMarca: I immediately put... I guess so. But I immediately uploaded it into a free simulator ncviewer.com. Made by our boy Zander Luciano. Yeah. That's like his magnum opus was making a free, what's the... Not, what's the other term for free open source. An open source website. Anybody can use it. They're not collecting any data from you. Strictly, his goal was to make CAM simulation accessible. Right. Uploaded the program on NC Viewer. Nothing happens. I've seen it go line by line.
Benjamin Moses: Okay.
Stephen LaMarca: It reads each line in the 3D model though, the visualization.
Benjamin Moses: Nothing happens?
Stephen LaMarca: Nothing.
Benjamin Moses: Oh man.
Stephen LaMarca: No tool, no spindle movement, no tool path.
Benjamin Moses: Womp womp.
Stephen LaMarca: Nothing. So I'm like, okay, so the next step's going to be like, "Hey chat. I hate to break it to you and it pains me to say it, but your code didn't work."
And I'll also say this, but when I say that it's noticeable. Looking at other G-code programs that we've run in the past, G code is quite literally G codes into N codes. But almost every line of your G code program usually starts with a N code. I don't know if it's actually called an N code, but there's... At the beginning of each line, there is the letter N and then a number after it, usually it starts with zero and each line of your G code program is usually on average, five different from the, so the first one will be zero, the next one will be 5, 10, 15, 20. It's not always five. But it's usually about that much difference. And so I'm in the next time I reach out to Chat, I'm just going to be like, "Hey, I think we're missing N codes. Yeah. Maybe this is why it didn't work. Look into this for me. Figure out what that means."
Benjamin Moses: That's going to be awesome.
Stephen LaMarca: It's going to be a learning experience. The AI is helping me learn.
Benjamin Moses: Yep. Steve, let's get in some articles.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Let's do it.
Benjamin Moses: So the first one I have is about, we published an article on the hype cycle for robotics. And this is based off Gartner's artificial intelligence hype cycle. So the hype cycle covers four categories of areas where technology's being developed. I want to go over those areas cause I think it is important and maybe start using these terms in the future. Because as new technologies come out, for example blockchain, that was a big one that went through a very interesting hype cycle. So the categories that we have are innovation trigger, peak of inflated expectations, trough of disillusionment, slope of enlightenment.
Stephen LaMarca: That's right.
Benjamin Moses: Plateau of productivity. And it talks about things will drop off here and there as they go through this hype cycle. So something could start off with innovation trigger, but then drop off shortly after the inflated expectations. So some of the definitions they have here for the different categories.
So innovation trigger, that's where the technology breakthrough kicks off. This is an idea. They have a concept, they have an idea, early proof of concept stories.
Then we get it to the peak of inflated expectations. So if someone sees this idea and projects what they think will happen. So their early stories about this technology may not apply to everyone.
The trough of disillusionment, that's where things start to wane a little bit as experiments and implementations start to fail. So they're starting to hit the rev limiter, let's say.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: Then if they're able to get past that, then it gets into the slope of enlightenment. So they see their failures, they're able to modify and if they're able to push through that, then they get it into the plateau of productivity. And that's where they start becoming mainstream, what we would call industrial grade. They're able to meet the needs of a broader industry. And one, and I like the entire article because it goes through quite a bit. There's one key section that I want to hit on that Andra talks about. And it mentions cobots are still in the trough of disillusionment according to that chart.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, Cobots for sure.
Benjamin Moses: Cobots. And in the conversation that were occurring on a lot of the automation groups, a lot of people are focusing on the term cobot as opposed to collaborative operation. And I think that's, taking a step back, people are pushing more towards let's get a so technology as opposed to let's get a solution. And it's a little bit hacky to say that in manufacturing, but-
Stephen LaMarca: It is.
Benjamin Moses: ... What that allows you to do is allow the integrators, allow the experts to say ,"What are you trying to do?" If a human's involved, we can have other solutions besides a cobot to help make it safe. And I think that's where-
Stephen LaMarca: If it's safety, you don't need a new type of robot for it to be a safe robot.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. And that was the big takeaway connected to the conversation that the joint technology summit, because our automation expert talked through a lot of those scenarios that people are asking for cobots or asking for specific robots where, yeah, the end user knows a fair amount and they know what problem they're trying to solve. But the `connectivity to technology, there's a little bit of a gap there. And I thought that was a very interesting point in the article that Andra brought up. So go to AMT online and you'll be able to read more about that.
Stephen LaMarca: It's a great article. And what's funny is Andra was the first person that, for lack of a better term or better way to say it, was the first person that ever spoke ill of cobots to me. She wasn't negative. She was just like, "Cobots are a little over hyped, just so you know." Everybody thinks that oh, cobots are just safe robots. And they're like, no. If they were safe robots, we would call them something else. We'd call them safe bots or whatever. The point is collaborative and while the standards are still growing, well they might still be growing, they were growing at the time. Just because it's force limited to 15 Newtons doesn't mean it's going to be safe. You can still... Because okay, if a car hits you with 15 Newtons of force, it's going to be a safe collision. Nothing's going to happen because 15 newtons is not a lot. If a cobot is holding a very, very sharp knife and hits you with 15 newtons, you're going to bleed out.
Benjamin Moses: Exactly. The scenario that our expert talked through is that you have to include the end of arm tooling, the environment, what it's picking up. So if it's picking up a feather, I'm like, oh yeah, yeah, everyone's loves joking. Yeah, that's collaborative. But to your point, as soon as it picks up that knife.
Stephen LaMarca: Hitting you with, if 15 Newtons of force with a feather, dude, that feather's moving.
Benjamin Moses: And where I think the industry's headed towards the conversation of the entire package of let's include the part, if you're picking up a thin sheet metal and just flailing it around, that's not safe.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Yeah. But I actually put a article in the tech report this week talking about the misconceptions of safety and cobots.
Benjamin Moses: Exactly. Good.
Stephen LaMarca: And I put that in industry news before it went in the tech report and Andra was like, "I love this. Yes, this is absolutely right." I was like go figure. But going back to the Gartner hype cycle, I like to think of the Gartner hype cycles as industry analogous or the analogous industry equivalent of... No industry analogous to the Shakespearean climax.
Benjamin Moses: Oh sure.
Stephen LaMarca: It's just the story of a new technology.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah, exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: How it goes.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. Steve, tell me about G code articles.
Stephen LaMarca: Dude, so speaking of, because I was talking about G Code and ChatGPT earlier, and because this is not a production facility, we're an organization, we're not making parts, we're not trying to make our money by making parts, we're making our money, doing a lot of other fun things. Sometimes when I'm lucky and things go right, it's also making parts. But we don't sell those parts for profit at least.
Xometry, one of the cool companies in tech as of the past few years came out with a great article recently called G Code, Definition, Function and Different Types.
Benjamin Moses: Nice.
Stephen LaMarca: And I said all that part in the beginning about we don't make parts that often, we don't make parts for profit to basically say that sometimes it goes a few months before I touch... Between working with the Pocket NC, I'll make it... I made a shot glass for Mo last year and I wanted to keep that going and I haven't turned the Pocket NC on since then. And it's like, is it April?
Benjamin Moses: April.
Stephen LaMarca: Might have to cut this part.
But when somebody goes that long, it's the whole concept of speaking a foreign language. If you don't use it, you lose it.
Benjamin Moses: Yep.
Stephen LaMarca: G code's the same way and G code's a language. And when I go this long without using our CNC machine, sometimes I have to dust myself off a little bit. This article was amazing. And so I've wanted to put that point of use that... not my use case, in there because I think a lot of people would look at an article like this and be like, this is so low level. You know this has been done before, right? There's like 50 versions of the machinist's handbook that tell you all of this. But it's like sometimes you don't need an entire PhD education process to just answer a few questions about G Code. Sometimes you need a little refresher and I don't think it matters on unlike generations. If it's a millennial such as myself or a student in elementary school that needs to pick up G Code or some dusty old boomer that hasn't looked at A CNC or even stood next to a CNC machine in the past 30 years. I think this can help everybody. I think I really enjoyed this article for that.
Benjamin Moses: That's good.
Stephen LaMarca: And you can pick up your stupid book if you want. It's not stupid. It's a great book.
Benjamin Moses: [inaudible 00:31:24] it's a great book. It's the physical side of the book. We were chatting about this in prep is that the shift from to digital books? It's interesting and how information is consumed nowadays. It's very interesting. So being able to go to a page quickly and, but yeah, so even myself as a manufacturing engineer, it could be a couple of months before I actually get back onto a mill and run some parts. So being able to quickly brush up on some G code and then experiment my way the next day, that's definitely beneficial.
Stephen LaMarca: This sends me back into a dark memory of when I was showing off to Doug and Tim when I was making that watch dial right out of brass, out of genuine brass. That's foreshadowing. I was having the toughest time milling brass because it kept getting gummy and gross and nasty. And I'm like, I get it, brass wants to be milled around like 30,000 RPM spindle speed and the max we got is 10.
Benjamin Moses: Yep.
Stephen LaMarca: So we're running it. We're running it at max spindle speed. Brass wants to be milled at 30,000. So we only have a third of that, meaning we need to cut back the feed rate by a third. Or maybe triple the feed rate, which is a concept that works in manufacturing, but with my common sense, totally fights it. And I'm like, that sound... I'm not about to... This means I'm going to have to machine at night while everybody's at home because this is going to make noise.
But anyway, I was showing my triumph to Tim and Doug that I finally milled a nice brass watch dial on the Pocket NC. And I was explaining all of the efforts that I went through with not getting it gummy... To gum up. And Tim and Doug were totally unappreciative of it at all and they were like, "Man, it's almost like if only somebody could have put this in a handbook or a book for you so you could have figured this out." And I wanted to just take both of their heads and crack them together because like, hey ding dongs, brass is not in the machinist's handbook. It's not. Open it up right now. Machining brass is.
Benjamin Moses: Machining. That's right.
Stephen LaMarca: Which is brass that's alloyed with lead to keep it from gumming up.
Benjamin Moses: Correct.
Stephen LaMarca: Regular brass is not in there.
Benjamin Moses: And it is difficult to machine.
Stephen LaMarca: We're going to fight. It is really tough to machine like you need... Like I said, you've got to crank... Your spindle needs to be cooking.
Benjamin Moses: Yep. You done Steve?
Stephen LaMarca: I'm done.
Benjamin Moses: Okay, good. Steve, I think we're running a little bit low on time. How about we save the last two articles for our next time? Okay.
Stephen LaMarca: We really did... I screwed up.
Benjamin Moses: No, no, no. We're doing good. We just have, unfortunately it's kind of busy now because we got MFG next week, so I got a couple calls.
Stephen LaMarca: Fair enough. Oh yeah, I actually have a call too.
Benjamin Moses: Steve, where can people find more info about us?
Stephen LaMarca: amtonline.org/resources
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Benjamin Moses: Bye everyone.
Stephen LaMarca: Bing bong.