Here Comes

Turns out (surprising even me) that the final chapter of our “100-Year Toaster” book is not only a radical manufacturing idea, but a full-on website and business model, as well.  Who would have suspected?

Our “big project” for 2020 is to release a new kind of business model into the wild. Today, we take the covers off a new idea that has world-changing potential.

As background, remember our concept “The Public Design Library?”

The idea we had and laid out fort subscribers 12-years ago has effectively arrived.  See Peoplenomics report 04/27/2008  This week’s report “Micropreneuring and the Future of Mass Customization” gets me to inventing the “Public Design Library”

We’re fairly pleased to have gotten some discussion going and to see that outfits like and Thingiverse are now filling the void that we proposed back in ’08.

Now, it’s time to “kick the future in the ass” again…so we will lay out the Ultra-Make project.  I’ll hit a few points in today’s podcast, too.

After the headlines, ChartPack, and noodles-on-the-fly…which is what we do around here.

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21 thoughts on “Here Comes”

  1. Fusion 360 design to make software. It’s free and powerful and runs on Mac or win. It is the future of making. For a few bucks you can buy it’s generative design power and it’ll design things for you.

  2. Thank you to our very own Dr. Emmett Brown and bane of seeders of the global state. I don’t think the world has seen such promise from a Palestine of a formula to multiply the loaves and fishes for going on two millennia.

    Perhaps a haven of refuge for potentially dispaced climate change adherents will be a wrinkle in the cryptocurrency creation and its power consumption curve. Haven’t you read recent MSM reports that power hungry 5G devices will bring the global power grid to its knees by 2040!? Don’t you dare go 3D without considering your responsibility to the commonweal!

    Some will take solace that “MOST”, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, was graced by the presence of vice minister Wang Xi in Beijing on November 3rd at the inaugural meeting of the 6G research and development expert group. The vice minister in his speech invited the assembled academics to begin the foundations for 6G to aid the “construction of an innovative country”. Western academics may not be assembled at the starting line? Skunked? Pass the soma vapours, please!

    Don’t miss the last steamer to Stanley.

      • Groucho?

        I’ve discovered the missing link!

        The MOST chinese language press release that I am quoting from does not appear in the ministry’s corresponding page of english language press releases.

        Wi Harpo?

  3. Big corporations like to make things. They don’t like to maintain or repair the things they make. There’s no money in it. The nature of after-market repairs is random and erratic — chaotic.

    Little guys can eke out a minimalist existence custom-fixing busted things one-at-a-time; but the Big Guys need mass volume production for their economies of manufacturing methods to be profitable.

    This leads to “Value Engineering” where every part is engineered to last just long enough, and all for about the same time span. This allows for the cheapest total production cost, as every part is “cheaped out” as much as possible, consistent with whatever is the predetermined quality level planned — price point.

    The result is, a new medium-big flat screen TeeVee is cheaper to replace than to repair. (For example.)

    Old-fashioned minds find this wasteful, but New Thinkers see it as efficient and profitable. “Make it in big numbers, ship it out, and forget about it.”

    It’s not wrong or right — it’s a choice.

      • Thanks Old Man — I’ll follow that link.

        I’m an old Ham (1962), and an even older Maker — from back when there wasn’t such a title.

        I can fix damn near anything. I have a pretty good garage-shop with plenty of non-computerized instruments from The Old School. And plenty hand tools, and plenty of technique in my brayne.

        In fact, when the Great Disruption happens, I plan to eke out my minimalist existence by fixing (where possible) all the Busted Stuff my neighbors have that they can’t fix; and there are no repair services still operating, and the pipeline of New Stuff from China or wherever is cramped off. Lamps, aquarium filters, electronics, appliances, or just about anything else. (“Neighbors,” in the broad sense.)

        I can make a decent First Echelon Field Fix — or at least a pretty good attempt, and quickly solve maybe 75% of all the things that come in the door. The rest will probably need parts composed of unobtanium. My Motto: No Fix, No charge — to build good will and a clientele.

        No criticism, but my neighbors (and yours, too, probably) are mostly pretty helpless and inept and ignorant of How Things Work. That’s a Market.

        Not without a few downside operational factors, but there are so very many technically helpless people, and it IS a matter of survival through self-reliance.

        If one has essential tools and applicable knowledge, one has a marketable skill in any environment.

  4. About Peak Oil…is it peak oil or peak usage? Just in California alone, there are a million electric cars on the road. That’s 728 million gallons of gas NOT being used each year. (At an average of 14 gallons used per car a week) At $2.65 a gallon, that’s nearly $2 billion of lost revenue in California alone. Now that China is ramping up Electrics, as is India, Europe and more, that’s billions of gallons and trillions of dollars lost. So…why are we fighting for oil again?

    Electrics are so much more convenient and easy to maintain than a gas powered car. I never have to worry about gassing up. I never have to worry about feeling compelled to walk into that gas station convenience store and buy something I don’t need to eat which caused a whole other set of bodily “gassing up”.

    I don’t need oils changes…The regenerative braking system triples the life of my brakes, so I don’t need to worry about brake replacement. About the only thing I will need are tires…although I haven’t needed to replace them yet…and the false myth about range anxiety…I have never had to worry about it. I charge in my garage at home or at one of 12 charging stations in my office parking lot, which by the way are free.

    When I do need to pay on a long trip to Southern California or up past wine country, it costs me $5.43 to fully charge. My expenditures for those paying charges added up to just over $40 in 2019. Quite the difference from over $3,000 I used to spend in gas in one year.

    There will be a time in the next 20 years when we will never need oil again…So, do we need to even talk about peak oil? If oil usage starts to decline, doesn’t that move the timeline back quite a bit?

  5. A bit of confusion on a Warhammer comment and I do appreciate his insights.

    “Using historic comparisons, Obama is Winston Churchill, who forcefully opposed Hitler, and Obama would be Neville Chamberlain, under who’s Prime Ministry Hitler invaded the Czech Sudetenland unopposed.”

    Should this be, Trump is Winston Churchill not Obama is Winston Churchill?

    If you ever get a chance to visit the Churchill War Rooms in London I would recommend that you do. Excellent place to visit and incredibly small.

  6. Another great Podcast. Time flew by. I look forward to the interviews. If readers knew the subject of the interview, we could send in questions for you to ask your guest.

    When people buy a toaster, they are many times replacing one that no longer works & want a new one immediately. One time, I went to Walmart at 5:00 am to buy a new coffee maker when I woke up & Mr. Coffee had no perk.

    Peace out.

    • There’s a certain grace to being slow to respond, and slow to toss things. I’d never drive 160 miles round trip to Walmart just to buy a coffee maker or a toaster. I keep several of each in reserve. When my washing machine failed recently, it was 1/2 hour of effort to drag another one into the washroom and hook it up after manually draining the failed one. Yes, I could fix the original, but I’m busy with other projects and the transmission was shredded. Sadly, I’ll probably strip anything useful from it when I do Spring Cleaning and haul a full load of leftovers to the scrapyard. Eventually someone will either give me another machine or I’ll find one on Craigslist for free. It’ll replace the one I removed from reserve. In an ideal life, things happen as a matter of course and not as emergencies. I currently keep two cars and one truck in decent condition as reserves. It’s almost too much, but they mostly came for free. Fixing can be fun.

      I have a 50 year old four slice toaster and I only use one side. Since the other side is independently operated, I’d consider it a 100 year toaster. To date, no repairs have ever been needed.

      Despite value engineering, complex devices tend to still fail in predictable ways(monitor caps, valve bodies, LED drivers, etc). Knowing particular devices well, you can devise improvements that will potentially double the expected design life. This is a legitimate business model. I seek those problems that are amenable to inexpensive single point of failure solutions since they can save enormous amounts of both time and money. There are many examples on the net, but they’ve already been discovered and monetized.. The real biz op is the one yet to be found. I really like the idea of transmitting the product by email, in the same way that so many ebooks and other virtual products are delivered. The persistent problem not yet addressed in this arena is the protection of intellectual property. The .stl file may actually be more valuable than the printed product!

    • ” I went to Walmart at 5:00 am to buy a new coffee maker when I woke up & Mr. Coffee had no perk.”

      OMG…that is what I would call a catastrophic lol lol I can totally relate to that..or OP er being the can azz nd discovered that its empty lol..I usually keep a couple extra pots around and a French press just in case that happens..
      I totally love a good cup of jo

  7. Wow! Naomi Wu! Who’d have expected to see her linked in Peoplenomics! My kind of girl! If only.

    Maybe I’ll meet her in The Realms!

  8. Funny you should mention milling out circuit boards! Just recently I picked up a small CNC router with that same idea in mind:

    The quality is good and the kit was easy to build. Note: this unit is not sturdy enough to cut steel.

    On the software side I’m using DipTrace to design the circuit board. It exports “gerber” files that define the pcb trace routes and other details. I use FlatCAM to convert the gerber files to CNC Gcode file(s). The Gcode goes into the router’s software to run the machine.

    I’ve tested the software path from board design to tool head movement and all appears to work well. Just a few more mechanical tweaks and I’ll be grinding out circuit boards.

  9. “The Iranian mullah’s do not appreciate American defense of Iraqi democracy. ”

    Notice how most ideas in this realm are perception and illusion – Yin and yang, if you will.

    As far as I can see Iraq doesn’t American on their land no more. It’s very clear to me.

    Iraq parliament votes to expel US military

    “Lawmakers voted Sunday in favour of a resolution that calls for ending foreign military presence in the country. The resolution’s main aim is to get the US to withdraw some 5,000 US troops present in different parts of Iraq.”

    Who is respecting who?

  10. George, I just listened to POD2 after reading PN and the new web site. IMHO, it definitely adds value to the subscription! It’s probably best to listen first and read after. It was a very clean presentation. I just did things out of order. This weekend is super busy since the weather was nasty last week and I can finally get things done outside without freezing. I’d like to add that many of us have always been making(or making do), and the 3D printing and CNC milling/routing are just extra tools with enough intelligence and reliability to operate largely by themselves. They definitely democratize making since we don’t all have to be experts at machining, fabricating, finishing, coding, prototyping, etc., though that certainly helps. The key element is that the .stl files talk directly to the machines rather than requiring great expertise to develop CAD models. That level of operation becomes optional. 3D printing at present is very slow compared to other processes, such as injection molding, so there are tradeoffs. Ultimately I think we’ll be having a mix of classical and new processes and delivery systems. These new devices are incapable of printing such things as integrated circuit chips or hard drives, yet can easily make housings and boards for them.

    The new website has been changing dramatically since Wednesday. You certainly put it together fast. It’ll take some time to really follow up on.

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