The 7 Pillars of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 represents the next generation of manufacturing for an inter-connected world. To empower it, several discrete technologies and processes are being brought together to form a new ecosystem that will respond independently and automatically to external conditions. This saves time, money, energy and natural resources while producing goods of superior quality exactly when and […]

6 Early Inventions in the History of CNC Machining

All CNC machines, regardless of their size or complexity, make use of the same few technical innovations – some more than one-hundred years old. By tracing the history of these innovations we can follow the trends that led to the development of the first numerically controlled machines in the late 1940s and ultimately to the […]

How 3D Printing Can Preserve And Restore The Past

3D scanning in combination with 3D printing now makes it possible to create all sorts of physical objects. This technology has become so advanced that it helps to preserve or restore historic artifacts that no longer exist. Let’s take a closer look at how 3D printing is currently being used to help protect and even recreate the vanishing […]

Celebrating 6 Great Female Inventors And Entrepreneurs

In this article we want to spend some time appreciating the often-unheralded contributions made by women in the world of science, engineering, product development and all-around invention.  Tabitha Babbit – The Circular Saw It’s hard to imagine a woodworking tool as burly as a circular saw being invented by a woman, who aren’t traditionally associated with carpentry […]

The Engineer’s Bookshelf: Machinery’s Handbook

Although it’s now digitized on CD-ROM, Machinery’s Handbook still remains The Book to turn to for a vast amount of information relevant not only to machinists but also product designers, tool makers, engineers, inventors and hobbyists who want definitive information about how things are made with machine tools. Let’s take a closer look at its […]

Why Must We Make Things So Complicated?

A brief look at watches, clocks and other timepieces, and our timeless fascination with spinning gears. What Is A Complication? A watch complication is essentially any movement that displays more than the mere hour, minute or second. This is the face of the world’s most complicated watch, by Vacheron Constantin. Dubbed rather unimaginatively as Ref. […]

Designing The Perfect Music System

There’s no more sure-fire way to kick up a cloud of dust among music lovers than to bring up the old digital-vs-analog argument. It’s almost as bad as asking who’s the greatest rock guitarist, or which Beatles album is the best (answer: all of them). No matter what you say, someone is going to disagree, […]

Five Early Prototypes In History

Simple machines in the hands of creative thinkers show what can be done with a little imagination and hard work. Actually, a lot of imagination and hard work. Long before the advent of the industrial revolution and modern machine tools, inventors and tinkerers have been using simple mechanical devices to demonstrate and explore the fundamental […]

Designs That Need A Redesign

Last time we talked about what goes into a perfect design. This time we look at some common everyday objects that could use a bit of redesign. All of the following have served their purposes admirably over the years, answering a felt need and in the process becoming ubiquitous in the modern world. But with […]

Can You Build a Better Mousetrap?

Deng Xiaoping famously said that it doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice. And when it comes to catching mice, nothing except the cat has done the job better than the humble mousetrap. We present it here not because we’re enemies of Mus musculus but simply to […]