Max, great find ! As a LabVIEW developer and TechShop member, I was wondering when they would finally find each other. Now all that is needed to complete the democratized fab is a reflow oven and their laser etcher upgraded to fiber (from CO2) for a bitless PCB mill.
Not everything wants to be plastic. Metal and works better for some things, so how about the basics of a machine shop: an engine lathe, a Bridgeport mill, a surface grinder, a band saw, an upright drill and a few sheet metal bending machines. And from the days when America used to manufacture stuff, I bet there a hundred old machinists around who would take the gig of manning this machinery for peanuts.
@C VanDorne: And from the days when America used to manufacture stuff, I bet there a hundred old machinists around who would take the gig of manning this machinery for peanuts.
I think some of the TechShops and MakerSpaces might have this sort of stuff -- I saw one with a huge water table cutter. I agree that it would be GREAT to get old machinists in there teaching.
I just got back from a quick trip to an antique furniture restoration and reproduction place down town -- just three guys -- two older ones and a 26-year old who is learning the trade -- I told the 26 year old that he's learning a trade that will keep him going the rest of his life.
Good for you. And on a different subject did you happen to inquire the owners how they're making money at these places? Is it an hourly rental fee for each station, time in the door, or maybe flat rate by the project?
@C VanDrne: Good for you. And on a different subject did you happen to inquire the owners how they're making money at these places? Is it an hourly rental fee for each station, time in the door, or maybe flat rate by the project?
Are you talking about the TechShop/MakerSpace places? If so, my understanding is that all the members pay a fixed monthly fee -- for that you get access to everything in the building, plus free training by their on-staff experts. Some devices that are expensive to run - -like the water cutter table -- might incur an aditional fee.
@C VanDorne: Btw, I know all too well how a machine shop works, being that there was one in the garage during my youth.
I did metal work (shop) at high-school. Later, my degree was a type of co-op thing -- 12 months in, 6 months out type thing -- one of my two periods out was at Rolls Royce during which I (and a bunch of other students) went through a 3-year apprenticship program in 6 months -- lathes, drills, mills, grinders, welding (argon arc, electric arc, oxy acetylene), hydraulics ... it was wonderful stuff
Oh, so you probably actually learned something? Nice. I slugged parts for my old man when the real help was busy doing the important things that you learned to do. So all my knowledge came via osmisis. Literally, I think it got into me through the cutting oil.