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AMT Tech Trends: Do You Even Print?

Episode 101: Ben and Steve discuss the precision and accuracy of “just eyeballin’ it” and torque wrench etiquette. Benjamin gets in-depth on cold spray additive manufacturing.
Aug 29, 2023

Episode 101: Ben and Steve discuss the precision and accuracy of “just eyeballin’ it” and torque wrench etiquette. Benjamin gets in-depth on cold spray additive manufacturing. Stephen gets excited over Thermwood’s new additive technique that uses old subtractive technology. Ben shares his favorite three R&D award winners of 2023. Steve gets excited over a desk.

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Produced by Ramia Lloyd

Transcript

Ramia Lloyd:

Welcome to the Tech Trends podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology, research, and news. Today's episode is sponsored by MTForecast. I'm Ramia Lloyd, the producer, and I'm here with...

Benjamin Moses:

That's you, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's me? Steven LaMarca, technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses:

And I am Benjamin Moses. Father Time. We got a clock in the room, so that's why I said that.

Stephen LaMarca:

Nice.

Ramia Lloyd:

I love that.

Benjamin Moses:

Steve, I feel like we underrate the human influence on measurement.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, we do. Yes, we do. Okay. So what Ben is alluding to, yesterday I got in a motorcycle accident. And I'm fine. The bike's fine. More importantly, the bike is fine. So this lady that hit me, she had a few scratches on her front bumper, and when we pulled around to a safe place to get out of the road, I had to do a loop because I was going in a different direction. So I had to go down the street opposite way of where we were agreed to go, do a U-turn, and then come back. And in that process I found out that my handlebars, my front fork, the head stalk, is out of alignment. Felt really weird. I've never felt a bicycle or motorcycle out of alignment before.

Benjamin Moses:

Really? That is weird. I've done that a lot.

Stephen LaMarca:

Actually. I have ridden a bicycle that had a bad alignment before, but that was when I was working at ToysRUs and it was like a trashed bike in a stockroom.

Benjamin Moses:

My experience was I was in high school.

Stephen LaMarca:

And anyway, the dust settles from the accident. I get into work and during some downtime, why don't I call the local shop, dealership, and schedule an appointment to have this fixed because I do not want to prematurely wear out my tires. And plus I'd also just like to be able to go in a straight direction, straight line perfectly.

Benjamin Moses:

Important for a motorcycle.

Stephen LaMarca:

So I call up the service center at the dealership. It's a Kawasaki, they've got a Kawasaki tech there, certified. And I'm like, "Do you guys do front wheel alignments and will you be able to put it on a rack and get everything laser aligned?" Because I came from the car world, and when you get an alignment on your car, they put it on a rack. There's a bunch of lasers shooting in every direction, and they make sure everything is perfectly aligned. I love that.

Benjamin Moses:

There's a lot of printouts and numbers on a car alignment.

Stephen LaMarca:

The guy's like, "Yeah, that doesn't exist in the motorcycle world." Basically the tech, "We're probably going to charge you for about an hour's worth of labor." Because the tech's got to loosen every single bolt connected to the steering. Everything from the head stock to the tip of the front wheel, to the tire, has to be loosened. And they just go in there with their eyeball, a straight edge ruler, and slowly, very slowly tighten everything little by little.

They billed me for an hour. I was at the dealership for four hours. But anyway, before I even got there I was like, wait a minute, so you just eyeball it? There's no technology to do this. There's no advanced tools?

Benjamin Moses:

To be fair, he used a straight edge.

Stephen LaMarca:

And they did use a straight edge. But again, I'm used to a laser rack. I want to see this thing. I want to see a print. When you take your car to a good shop and you get an alignment done, they give you a sheet at the end that says, "This is what you came in like, and this is where you are now. And it's perfect because we're so good." That's what I wanted. That's what I wanted, taking it to a certified Kawasaki tech.

Benjamin Moses:

Sheet of paper reassurance.

Stephen LaMarca:

This guy, who was not the Kawasaki tech, he was just the call person for the service center. He was just like, what is that? The service advisor? He was like, "Yeah, that doesn't exist in the motorcycle world. We're just going to eyeball it." I was like, "Listen, let's start over. But before we start over, just tell me you're going to put it on a rack with lasers. Because I ride this thing at ungodly speeds. I don't want to know that it was just bolted together by somebody eyeballing it. Please don't tell me that."

But it's fine. I rode it at an ungodly speed home. And it felt great. It felt better than it did new. But anyway, yes, we don't put enough stock in how precise and accurate the human eye is. And to take this to another example to help me settle my nerves on the fact that my motorcycle was eyeballed, there's a great video of the manufacturing workflow at Beretta, the shotgun company.

And they have this amazing video that's been out for like five, 10 years, something like that, now. It's been out for a long time. It's a beautiful video. It's an epic video and it shows every step of the process from the woodsman cutting down the Turkish walnut tree-

Benjamin Moses:

That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:

... to them taking the wood and putting it in a CT scanner to ensure that there's no cavities, that this wood is perfect and pure, and then to the cold hammer forging machine to make the barrels, and the CNC, everything that makes these Beretta barrels perfect. And then you have to keep in mind, Beretta does make some semi-auto shotguns and they make other semi-auto firearms, but their bread and butter, it's almost like a gold Rolex. You know you've made it when you have a Beretta shotgun and that shotgun is not a semi auto, it's an over and under, with a walnut stock. And those shotguns start at $2,000. In the $2,000. They go up to like $200,000 plus, but they start at $2,000, and that's for a fully autonomously made over and under shotgun.

Benjamin Moses:

They're high production stuff.

Stephen LaMarca:

But it's not fully autonomously made. They have the best machine tools in the industry. But you'll notice watching this video, you see all these tools. They have their own CT scanner and they have their own alloy. They probably employed Quest Tech to make them specialty steel alloy for their barrels. They take a lot of pride that they have their own trademark steel alloy for their barrels. It's really cool.

But an over and under shotgun is two, in Beretta's case, perfectly manufactured barrels that have to be sandwiched together. They have to be fused together with welding or whatever. I don't know exactly how they do that part. But they marry these two barrels that you would like to shoot in the same direction at the same thing. Do you know how they make sure that they're aligned?

Benjamin Moses:

Lasers?

Stephen LaMarca:

Some guy eyeballs it.

Benjamin Moses:

They just hold it up to the light.

Stephen LaMarca:

Hold it up to the light eyeballs it.

Benjamin Moses:

I love it. That's the best.

Stephen LaMarca:

And we have all of this technology today. It is quite literally the state-of-the-art right now. And Beretta's facility is state-of-the-art.

Benjamin Moses:

Absolutely.

Stephen LaMarca:

They're still eyeballing barrels.

Benjamin Moses:

And it's interesting back to as a manufacturing facility, one of my old manufacturing mentor Carl Tabb, I would say, Carl, take a look at this. This clearly is a gap. What happened here? He helped me get through the corrective action issues that we would have on the manufacturing floor. And he's like, yeah, eyeball [inaudible]. "Oh, that's 32 thousandths off." "Carl, that can't be right." And then of course I would measure it. It'd be 31 thousandths. Just eyeballing stuff.

The years of experience and training and repetitive nature build up that knowledge base of being able to pair a gap of two parts and what the actual measurement was. And I do think that we've gotten to a place where we should rely on machines at some point, but we should not underestimate the value of the human influence or human capability.

Stephen LaMarca:

Honestly, I think that's what the robot arm industry is. That's what their target is. We want to match the human eye.

Benjamin Moses:

And we're talking about human optical comparison, but even to measure force, often we talk about hand tightening stuff.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh yeah, how many Ugga Duggas? Like 62-inch pounds?

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

Inch pounds? You nerd. Give it three Ugga Duggas and then back it out half a turn.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly. The underestimation of importance of torque. I underestimate that myself. And hand tightening stuff to a certain value to just another quarter turn that gets you pretty far. And I like that a lot. So we're talking about the positive of the human influence, but also the negative is, I screwed it up myself. I was changing the spark plugs on the deepest truck and I over-torqued the spark plug. To be fair, I was trying to use a torque wrench and I think I was using a broken torque wrench. And I think I broke the spark plug.

Stephen LaMarca:

Broken torque wrenches. There's like-

Benjamin Moses:

That set me up.

Stephen LaMarca:

We could do another episode on torque wrenches.

Benjamin Moses:

Broken tools?

Stephen LaMarca:

No. Just broken torque wrench. We could do an episode on broken tools, but just torque wrenches. I feel like there is a religion behind torque wrenches, because you have to take care of one.

Benjamin Moses:

There's a maintenance for it.

Stephen LaMarca:

If you have an electronic torque wrench, everybody that I know that has an electronic torque wrench is like, before you put that away, set it back to zero. Well, this is any torque wrench. Before you put it back in its box, and it has to go back in its box. And everybody that I know that has one, not only puts the torque wrench back in the box, but puts the protective plastic case that it came with back in the cardboard box after that. But before you even get to putting it back in the box, whatever setting you had, of 35 foot pounds, set it back to zero.

Benjamin Moses:

I think that was a mistake. I think the-

Stephen LaMarca:

Remove the tension from the spring, then you can put it back in the box, then you can put it back in its box and then you can put it away. And you better put that tool away. Nobody's ever complained about losing a torque wrench the way people talk about losing 10 millimeter sockets. But electric torque wrenches, set it to zero, then take the batteries out. I didn't realize that was-

Benjamin Moses:

That's extreme.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh man, I screwed that up with somebody's electric. "So you didn't take the batteries out?" I was like, "Yeah, why would I?" Listen, if you put an electric torque wrench... A torque wrench is an expensive tool.

Benjamin Moses:

Correct.

Stephen LaMarca:

Hard to replace. Nobody wants to replace a torque wrench. That's a couple of hundred dollars. If you have a good one, a worthwhile one. And if it's an electronic, add another $100 to that. And you don't want to replace that. But other problem with torque wrenches is how often do you really need to use one?

Benjamin Moses:

That's the thing.

Stephen LaMarca:

If you're an auto technician for a German car manufacturer's dealership, you probably use it on a daily basis. Japanese American car. You probably say you use it on a daily basis, but you definitely go by Ugga Duggas. But you rarely use a torque wrench. It's an expensive tool. If you put it away for a year, and you don't use it for a year, and you got an electronic one, and you come back to it, and you open, you take it out of the cardboard sleeve, you open up the box and then you see battery paste, like battery acid that is spewed out-

Benjamin Moses:

The corrosion.

Stephen LaMarca:

... and solidified. It's like-

Benjamin Moses:

That's done.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's a new $500 wrench you got to buy.

Benjamin Moses:

Just a based on a battery. Yeah, yeah. I feel your pain.

Stephen LaMarca:

Just from one stupid $5 AA Duracell or whatever.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a mistake I made. I didn't check. I didn't do a test on the torque wrench. That idea passed my mind before I started cranking down on it, but I didn't listen to my mind. Mistake. Steve, can you tell us more about our sponsor today?

Stephen LaMarca:

Today's sponsor is MTForecast. MTForecast brings the latest economic news and industry trends straight to attendees. Industry leaders, executives, and key decision makers will explore an agenda that provides a roadmap to better business strategies through customer industry insights, economic forecasting, and deep dives into market data. For years, MTForecast speakers have been sharing crucial looks into the near future. Go to AMT online.org/events to save the date and register.

Benjamin Moses:

Thanks, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:

Like, share, and subscribe.

Benjamin Moses:

I was going to remind you there, but you got it.

Stephen LaMarca:

You do need to remind me of something else. What did we want to talk about MTForecast? Oh, I want to go.

Benjamin Moses:

It's in Detroit.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's going to be in Detroit. And I've mentioned for the three past episodes now, so it's actually a miracle that I forgot, that when we're in Detroit, you can catch me at the Guardian Building in the financial district of Detroit, because I want to see that Monel Gate.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah. I do two side things related to the conference. There's two tours, actually three tours that are set up. I'm not sure where the third one is, but I know-

Stephen LaMarca:

Mine's unofficial. The third one.

Benjamin Moses:

One is at FANUC.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh, nice.

Benjamin Moses:

The other tour is at Fives.

Stephen LaMarca:

Is John Tuy taking us around FANUC?

Benjamin Moses:

Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

He is so fun. He does the best tour.

Benjamin Moses:

He does a good tour. But as part of the event, the [inaudible], those tours are awesome. I haven't been to FANUC, but the Fives tour is really, really good.

Ramia Lloyd:

The other tour is Lyft.

Benjamin Moses:

Lyft.

Stephen LaMarca:

Lyft. Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

That's some solid tours.

Ramia Lloyd:

It's pretty great.

Benjamin Moses:

This is good.

Stephen LaMarca:

You can relive road tripping with Steve by going to MTForecast.

Ramia Lloyd:

Solid plug.

Benjamin Moses:

Solid.

Stephen LaMarca:

What's the other thing about MTForecast? Yeah, so it's a lot of the marketing stuff, which typically in the past has always been the stuff that I avoid. But at the same time, the cherry on top that really drive people there, the solid tours. But I will be there and I'm really excited to go this year because 2023 has been an exciting and somewhat spicy year in terms of end use. I want to go really to find out who a certain manufacturer builder has been selling to in Russia that shouldn't have been.

And I want to find out, oh, this year I've been going on a lot of trips to trade shows for end use industries of manufacturing. And I want to find out of these end use industries, who are they buying from? And who are our members, the people who enable these end use industries, who are they selling to? So where I can go next.

Benjamin Moses:

And I think Chris is looking to some other markets. So I think he was talking about where defense is headed also based on your experience with that show. So I do like the other economic sectors that we're branching into to understand their market trends.

Stephen LaMarca:

And defense, I realize that we're a little biased because we both...

Benjamin Moses:

We're into firearms.

Stephen LaMarca:

We like our firearms. But regardless of what your opinion is and what your political stance is, you have to acknowledge and recognize what the DOD is investing in. Because any new technology, its viability is determined by the DOD.

Benjamin Moses:

Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

Sort of like when a new video format comes out, it's validated by a certain other industry that I won't get into. But if the new manufacturing technology comes out, like the next additive, whatever that may be. If the US military doesn't want it, it's probably junk.

Benjamin Moses:

Speaking of which, Steve, I've got a really interesting one here. So it's from, I'll get to who it's from later because it ties into the interest of it. "Titomic Secures Cold Spray System Order From French Ministry of Armed Forces." And the article talks about the applications of cold spray for preventing corrosion, which is obviously there in really hard conditions when you talk about defense equipment. But I like the two scenarios of restoring worn surfaces. Restore part geometry in situ.

Basically in the end, get back to faster maintenance. The scenarios I've seen a lot in those harsh environments is that equipment gets beat up hard. Both on launching missiles or just being in rough environments like sea or in the Arctic, it's cold environment. So the surface of a lot of this equipment gets damaged quickly. A lot of times they'll just replace that whole piece of equipment when there's just a crack down the last 10% of it.

So they're talking about using cold spray to basically apply a material on these worn areas, build up a new layer, and then machine back down the surface. So instead of replacing the whole equipment, the whole piece of whatever repair was broken. I thought that was fascinating using cold spray.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. It is fascinating.

Benjamin Moses:

And I do want to talk about two things. One, this comes from Australiamanufacturing.com. So again, Australia's still taking over the world on-

Stephen LaMarca:

Now they're taking over news.

Benjamin Moses:

Now they're taking over news.

Stephen LaMarca:

Nice.

Benjamin Moses:

I thought that was pretty cool.

Stephen LaMarca:

Manufacturing news. And they're commenting on French.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:

The French industry. Which that is hilarious. I would make a joke about white flags and surrendering, but France is going through a tough time right now.

Benjamin Moses:

They've got it rough.

Stephen LaMarca:

I think, yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

The one thing I want to transition to Steve is-

Stephen LaMarca:

Get better soon.

Benjamin Moses:

Cold spray. What do you know about cold spray, Steve?

Stephen LaMarca:

I don't really know much. Is it cold spray additive are we talking about? Because we were talking about coatings earlier, weren't we?

Benjamin Moses:

It is. So cold spray is-

Stephen LaMarca:

Hold on. Before you tell me. Is cold spray when you are atomizing your material, it's going through an atomizer nozzle and it's printing apart. It's not direct energy deposition, but you're laying down material in the shape that you want. But once it's done, once the machine is done cold spraying, it's a green part, right? The energy hasn't been applied to the part to make it a final part. Does it need to be baked?

Benjamin Moses:

No. So the energy source is very unique in this case. So I think that's one of the differentiators in additive is the energy source in most manufacture processes. So the energy source in a lot of applications is laser. So the laser shooting through a nozzle, it's either being printed on a powder bed, so the laser's directly on a powder bed.

Or in case of directed energy, it's through nozzle and the particles are going through that energy source. But that's heating the particles up. It's going through a solid liquid solid transformation similar to welding. So the powder is being melted and then it's solidifying on a parent or itself. Cold spray is fairly unique where the energy source is velocity. There's a little bit of heat involved, there's a little bit of the-

Stephen LaMarca:

Friction of the impact.

Benjamin Moses:

Correct. So the way it works is they do heat it up just a hair, but it goes through a nozzle where it gets to supersonic velocities very, very fast, could be supersonic, and its plastic deformation of itself on the parent material. So it's going so fast that these little powders is hitting itself and adhering to itself on a material.

Stephen LaMarca:

Are these machines allowed? Because if the little particles, even if they're little, and frankly I don't know if a small part like a particle, if it's going supersonic, doesn't it make a supersonic crack?

Benjamin Moses:

It's all contained. You're spraying a little bit. Experiment number five, let's go find a cold spray.

Stephen LaMarca:

We got to go to a cold spray additive place.

Benjamin Moses:

But the benefit, there's two benefits of this, of cold spray. One is considered low temperature application. You do get some heat buildup as you're plastic deforming the part, right? But because you're forming the particle or the powder into that flat pattern, you get a different strength on that surface. So you get a different grain structure. So the application is, it's colder so you're not heating the part up so you don't get the heat affected zone as you're applying it, but you get a different strength because of your plastic deformation.

So it's a very interesting application of, and it gets back to where the previous article talks about of improving the maintenance cycle of this. So when you're trying to fix a part, say you have a low-strength steel. When you weld to it, or if you're using high temperature stuff, you since have a heat affected zone on the parent material where you weaken that section of the material.

There's no way to increase that strength on a lot of materials because some of them you can't heat-treat to get back to strength. But cold spray, you just beat it up and you don't have a heat effected zone.

Stephen LaMarca:

You just pummel it.

Benjamin Moses:

You just pummel it.

Stephen LaMarca:

Pummel it with material.

Benjamin Moses:

And then of course you're going to machine it back down. So that's where, to build up layers and layers, tons and tons of layers, it may not be the best application for it, but building up a couple of layers to repair a part, cold spray has got it pretty good.

Stephen LaMarca:

Thanks for the refresher on cold spray. That is cool. The energy applied is friction through velocity and thus heat. Because I think the coolest thing about additive that defines the processes, there's a formula to find the process of additive processes. And that formula is material type, feedstock type. What I mean by that is it powder? Is it wire? Is it resin? Aqueous? Aqueous or liquid? Liquid. I'm trying to feed you smart.

And then lastly, oh, not lastly. The next step is the energy. You need to apply energy to make your part and you can't just throw material at it. Some kind of energy needs be applied. And that energy can be laser, it can be electron beam, can be friction stir, cold spray. What's the vat photo polymerization ones? It can either be a laser, in that case, UV light.

But how is the UV light project emitted by either laser or digital light processing, which is basically like an OLED screen. Really cool. And then the last variable in the equation is time. Time at which the energy is applied. So yeah, Dayton kind of told me about that a while back. It's like we can split hairs all day on whether do we go with Jason Jones hybrid manufacturing technologies?

Benjamin Moses:

That's standard.

Stephen LaMarca:

The standardized model that there are seven families. Or do we go by a mug's massive spreadsheet of, they're all different? But you can split hairs and say that there's a million different types of additives. Or you can be like, nope, a hundred thousand of these million all fall into one category.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:

The best way to do it is just that equation right there. Material composition, material format, energy type, and time at which energy is applied. Those four variables dictate whether or not you have a new type of additive technology.

Benjamin Moses:

Sure. Thanks Steve. And there's a blurred line of yeah, if I build up a couple layers, is it truly additive. But that's where I would get into hybrid manufacturing and composite or multi-layer materials. And that's where I think a lot of the future iterations is BIOBELL applications, multi-metal applications on the single part. So parent material can be one thing, your surface conditions could be another, and a transition layer. So that's the future. Steve, I want to know more about Thermwood.

Stephen LaMarca:

I just thought before we go into Thermwood, and I can't wait to talk about Thermwood. I can't wait until there is a forging type of additive. Because one of the things that I keep going back to when I talk about multi-material, multi-metal additive and I can't wait until somebody 3-D prints a katana. Because when you look at the composition.

Benjamin Moses:

I see what you mean.

Stephen LaMarca:

Metals in a Japanese folded steel blade. There's seven types of different steels throughout, when you do a cross section cut of that blade. And that comes from the Japanese man.

Benjamin Moses:

Right. Just spending time.

Stephen LaMarca:

They take a year to make the bonfire kiln/apparatus out of rocks to get the fire hot enough to forge said steel. Anyway, that's a tangent. But I'm looking, there's got to be a forging way to additively produce something.

Benjamin Moses:

That is very interesting because castings won't go away. Additives is a good way to get more advancement.

Stephen LaMarca:

Additive and CNC welding.

Benjamin Moses:

But forging is a very economical way to get high-strength material in a near net shape. Forgings are very underrated in our discussions about technology. So the path to get to, like you said, multi-metal forgings, to get to a future state of... I see a lot more multi-metal applications. Bimetal, biplastic materials, applications. And I think forging is definitely underrated. And I do see an opportunity of doing that because when you look at energy source and the conditions that the material is in, and the ability to bond those materials, forging is pretty close to being able to do a lot of that. That's a good thought, Steve. I appreciate that.

Stephen LaMarca:

And this does segue into Thermwoods, an article I have about Thermwood. Therwood's a big additive company. Big in the literal sense because they are a big company, but also they also specialize in LSAM. Large scale additive manufacturing. Always get LSAM confused with LASM, long-range air-to-surface missile.

Benjamin Moses:

That's why they're popular. They got a DOD acronym.

Stephen LaMarca:

Dude, that's how you get the DOD. We're going to talk about that later. I know we're going to talk about that later. That's how you get those DOD contracts. Come up with as many acronyms, but not just acronyms, but fun acronyms as possible. I'm spoiling it. I'm sorry. Thermwood has released something recently saying that we've got a new type of additive. And I clicked on this article right away to read about it and I'm thinking we're going to see something additive. And I forget what the acronym is, it's like CAT or CAS, something like that. And basically what they're doing is not, it's barely additive at all. If anything, it's more hybrid manufacturing.

Benjamin Moses:

I understand.

Stephen LaMarca:

Because they are saying that the best way to large scale 3-D print big metal parts, machine layers.

Benjamin Moses:

Interesting.

Stephen LaMarca:

Machine the layers. And once you have all the layers, have them welded together, have them placed and welded together. And what's cool is they even got the software part of this down. And what's cool about that is the software was made from doing almost the same process because we've already got slicing software and we've already got nesting software and it's just slicing and nesting in the same process or at least a lot sooner.

Benjamin Moses:

So the scale is very important to that conversation because everyone knows that you have thermal growth variation as you're building an additive part. So as you're printing a layer and keep growing, let's say you're railing a cylinder straight up, you're going to get growth in odd directions because of the way the thermal energy is dissipating the part or the way the layers build up. When you go to something building like a 10-foot size part, that variation is exaggerated from thousandths of an inch to feet. So if you're able to break it up and build several different parts together, I think that mid-stage machining and joining, that is definitely underrated. And that is a solid growth potential for growing large scale parts.

Stephen LaMarca:

And because a week ago I was nerding out with Doug about this, we were talking about this technology while in the snack room. What I mentioned was ever since I've been in this industry, the dream of all builders and implementers of manufacturing technology, the dream in terms of technology, the end goal that this industry wants to see out of the next generation machine tool, is seeing a machine that makes parts bigger than the machine's footprint. And this is a step closer to that.

Benjamin Moses:

That's true. That's fascinating. Thanks, Steve. Thanks, thermwood. I've got an article that's got three other articles inside of it. Talk about Dustin. So this is from R&D. It's an interesting look. Even though '23 is not done, for some reason there's 2023 R&D 100 award winners. So they found the top 100 R&D projects and said these are going to change the world. I thought it was a very interesting article.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's big.

Benjamin Moses:

I picked the top three.

Stephen LaMarca:

Then again with inflation where it is, it's not going to be hard to change the world to a [inaudible]

Benjamin Moses:

And to your point, the first one, Steve, has a really good acronym.

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay.

Benjamin Moses:

CERBERUS.

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay, break it down. Let's hear it.

Benjamin Moses:

Cybersecurity for EV Charging Infrastructure. It's from the Idaho National Labs.

Stephen LaMarca:

Wow.

Benjamin Moses:

So the reason I bring this up, it talks about the EV market.

Stephen LaMarca:

Cars are being hacked again?

Benjamin Moses:

And cybersecurity. I know our audience doesn't like to talk about it, but they're talking about if you go to EV charging station, your car is communicating to the EV station. What they're looking at is working on government policy and cybersecurity equipment to prevent charging stations from being criminalized basically. Preventing them from being hacked. Because a couple of years ago, I don't know if you remember, there was a Virginia Tech project where they're able to hack into a car while it's driving and force it to pull over on the road.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes, I do remember that well. And it just dropped off the face of the earth. Cybersecurity really just patch this that fast. Like it's not a problem at all. What happened to this?

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:

How come I'm not seeing it, frankly? Because I'd love to see that.

Benjamin Moses:

So I think this one talks about the... And plus to be honest, a couple of years ago, I feel like there was a ransomware article every single day. It's tapered down a little bit. I think the ransom-

Stephen LaMarca:

We're done hearing about Stuxnet.

Benjamin Moses:

Big ransom company, they've calmed down a little bit. I think they've kept under wraps.

Stephen LaMarca:

Big ransom.

Benjamin Moses:

Big ransom.

Stephen LaMarca:

Whole industry, super corrupt.

Benjamin Moses:

I've got an older car where the home charging station that I have does communicate a little bit. So it does know the battery levels and things like that. But I'll say I feel like the more modern cars, once you plug into a external charging station, it's sharing data, and I feel like a lot of them are sharing data that you can communicate to your phone. So you can look on your phone to see, am I done? Then you can move your car. But that whole path is, there's a lot of thought vectors along that and I think that this research project is looking to let's keep our cars cool for a while. So I thought that was pretty good.

Stephen LaMarca:

CERBERUS.

Benjamin Moses:

That's good.

Stephen LaMarca:

Now listen, we do have to talk to our listeners, our job shops that okay, if you're a successful job shop and you're driving a Tesla, this does not mean to put hot glue in the charging port of your Tesla. You still have to be able to charge it. Just get a software update, it'll be fine.

Benjamin Moses:

That's like everything else. Just keep it update.

Stephen LaMarca:

Just keep it up to date.

Benjamin Moses:

The next one I've got is I have to figure out how the cool kids pronounce this. GRX810. A 3-D printable alloy designed for extreme environments from NASA Glenn Research Center.

Stephen LaMarca:

You haven't heard of printing with GRX bro?

Benjamin Moses:

Do you even GRX?

Stephen LaMarca:

Do you even GRX, bro? So I thought this was really cool because space industry has adopted a lot of additive processes and techniques because they have seen a lot of value in terms of the applications. Increased power, increased efficiency. So this one looks at oxide dispersion-strengthened alloy, that's above my pay grade. I'm not sure where they're headed with that. Created a novel additive manufacturing technique. Withstands harsher conditions, making it suitable for high-temperature applications such as inside aircraft and rocket engines.

Then they get into some claims about oxidation resistance and how it's a thousand times stronger at temperature. But the basic application is they're looking for more harsh... A rocket is an oxidizer, right? So you have a nozzle that needs to be able to be oxidation-resistant. That's what they're looking at is being able to work in the hard condition, but also withstand the temperatures. [inaudible]

On planet earth, combusting anything is oxidizing it.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:

Because of our atmosphere. Didn't mean to [inaudible] like that.

Benjamin Moses:

I see that as a growing shift of, I'll call it designer materials. So you're not going to see GRX on your car, but where you're going to see it-

Stephen LaMarca:

Yet.

Benjamin Moses:

Okay, it's still might this year.

Stephen LaMarca:

Last year I saw my first advertisement for an Inconel exhaust, but Inconel is so 1932 at this point.

Benjamin Moses:

I'm going to throw some that you see. I'm going to throw some shade on the arguments.

Stephen LaMarca:

All right.

Benjamin Moses:

My 2001 Gulf, when I was looking to go to stage three turbocharger, the manifold that the aftermark company provided to, the exhaust manifold to bolt the turbo on, they gave a new manifold. That was cast at Inconel 625.

Stephen LaMarca:

They cast it at Inconel. How do you cast? You can cast Inconel?

Benjamin Moses:

It's 625. It's not that... So to the point is, I think in the future we're going to see a lot of being able to get unique materials for specific applications. So to your point of let's stop using steel, maybe that's not the best thing for a manifold, particularly if you're going 15,000 RPMs. Let's get something a little more resilient there. What is the best material for that? What is the best composition we need for that? Let's design it, make it, and then move on to the next one. So I think this ties into the next one, Steve, talk about segue. And I pronounce this "made".

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay.

Benjamin Moses:

MAD3 is the acronym.

Stephen LaMarca:

Now you got made.

Benjamin Moses:

Materials, data-driven design by Sandia National Laboratories.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh, our boy Lonnie. Lonnie Love.

Benjamin Moses:

MAD is an innovative software that leverages the power machine learning, modernize forming and stamping processes by sheet metals, by predicting the parameters and characterize the directional mechanical behavior of [inaudible] a thousand times faster. So what they're saying is...

Stephen LaMarca:

I can't even process what you just said, and they're doing it a thousand times faster.

Benjamin Moses:

Forming and stamping. It's fairly difficult actually because you're taking a piece of sheet metal, the thickness of that, you have variation, and then you get variation of the strength of it. Say I want to make a cup. That final form, I'm taking a male and female die and I'm just shoving that into the die, and then forming a flat piece of metal into a cup. Or a bowl, whatever.

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay, gotcha. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

I've got a male die and I shove a piece of metal into a female cavity. The final form is going to be based on the thickness of the sheet metal and the material strength and your starting point. What they're saying is they're coming up with processes to get to understanding that significantly faster. So the shape of the die, the forming pressure, how long you dwell, all of those are forming processes and standing processes variables, but they vary from machine to machine and based on your material. So they're looking at removing the art side of forming to getting to scientifically figuring out what should that process be and getting a first part correct. We need to talk about more forming. That stuff is hard.

Stephen LaMarca:

Man. I used to think that metrology was the realm of manufacturing that doesn't get enough love. But really honestly, these days it's forming.

Benjamin Moses:

Forming is hard-core.

Stephen LaMarca:

Joining gets plenty of love because joining is like half additive.

Benjamin Moses:

Or the other way around.

Stephen LaMarca:

The other way around. Other way around. But forming, yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

Forming is real.

Stephen LaMarca:

Then that means we'll get to talk about shaped charges.

Benjamin Moses:

We engineer, I did a lot of forming stuff and it was heartbreaking to see. They had to release high tolerance in a lot of stuff I did. It was heartbreaking to say, spend months designing the dies, machining the dies, getting the press set up, form it, take it off that forming press, get inspected. It's like, nope, it's off. Then I started shooting for different windows within the tolerance band and plastic deformation in certain areas, and accounting for the elastic zone. It's tough, man. It's not easy.

Stephen LaMarca:

I believe it. I believe it. I have a tough enough time pouring the batter at the hotel waffle irons and then closing it and flipping it over, and then you open up the iron two minutes later only to find that there's a huge gap in one side of the waffle. I'm like, no. I can only imagine how it feels when you're using expensive material and not pancake batter.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly. Steve, I do want to end on the intersection of our hobbies and work.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes. Okay.

Benjamin Moses:

There's a new player in the game.

Stephen LaMarca:

I legitimately found this article on a 3-D printing website, talking about Corsair, the gaming PC company. I'm sure they don't want to be referred to that anymore because Corsair has come so far in the last decade, probably even five years.

Benjamin Moses:

Their roots were from gaming equipment and peripherals.

Stephen LaMarca:

Their roots came from gaming, making peripherals, making PC cases, PC building stuff. Then they were like, you know what? We're kind of big. Let's make our own PCs, our own pre-built PCs. Their pre-built PCs are some of the best gaming grade pre-built in the industry.

Benjamin Moses:

Very innovative.

Stephen LaMarca:

That are very future-proof too. Future-proof and innovative. Innovative. And they saw that success and they're like, oh man, we're really good at this. And then they got into making professional PCs. Professional PCs, meaning a gaming-grade PC. But now instead of a gamer whose mom and dad gave them $2,000 or her $2,000 to buy a high-end gaming PC, now it's the professional that use their gaming PC from back in the day. Now they're an architect or a video editor.

Benjamin Moses:

Or CAD designer.

Stephen LaMarca:

A CAD designer. Now they need a powerful workstation. Corsair's got your back.

Benjamin Moses:

Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:

Corsair's making... And Corsairs, their character arc is they're going to be the next Dell. And I mean that in the best way. Not like the Dell that we know today.

Benjamin Moses:

The good Dell from back in the day.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's resting on their laurels. But was there a good Dell back in the day or do they just have the business model? Right?

Benjamin Moses:

They had a good business model. It was easy to buy.

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, they're getting into like, okay, they're scaling up their production and they're targeting organizations instead of individuals. And they're targeting businesses. Anyway, Corsair just released, in this article, or announced in this article, that they have come to market, or they're coming to market, with a new desk.

Benjamin Moses:

Okay, sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

Sounds lame right away. And it's a variable desk, so it's a regular sitting desk, but it will raise up for you with a motor to become a standing desk. But they advertise it or they are claiming that it is an industrial grade work bench desk. And the best part about it is in the marketing materials, like the images and pictures that they've included in the marketing materials, shows this really cool-looking desk and the person who's working at it, the technician or whatever, is standing at this desk because it's variable.

There's a chair behind them, but they're standing and the desk is elevated. There's one of their awesome Corsair gaming piece, or excuse me, workstations PC on the desk, and behind the desk, and attached to the desk, is a tool rack with an organizable organization tool rack where you can put your various stuff wherever you need it and keep it off of the flat surface. And on the other side of the desk is a 3-D printer or a laser cutter. And they're really going hard at this.

Benjamin Moses:

That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:

But they advertise it as a work bench that can hold a ton or something. You can actually put manufacturing equipment on it.

Benjamin Moses:

That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:

So I can't wait. I hope I get to see, I know we're not getting one anytime soon probably. We already have an awesome desk though. Well, excuse me, work bench.It's eight gauge steel. I can't wait. I haven't gone into the details of what they're making their desks out of. But to have a motor actuated. We have desks that do that now, but they're not rated to have manufacturing equipment on them and they're not in a shop.

Benjamin Moses:

I do like the application of... There's a lot of, I wouldn't call it office luxuries, but there's a lot of benefits of working in an office. Having some of those nice features go into the manufacturing floor. So like a sit-stand desk, a variable desk. You're not going to see that a lot on a floor for various reasons. But having Corsair experiment with, we'll call it industrial grade, or something robust enough where you're comfortable putting this next to a CNC mill and allowing the operator to work on this desk, that's fantastic. There's a lot of value and there's benefits of a sit-stand desk. Why not allow more people to do it? That's really cool. And I like the fact that Corsair is branching out. It's going to be good.

Stephen LaMarca:

But Corsair is such a niche company that makes niche products, and here they are with the most niche product they probably make, that applies to so many different industries and so many different people. And it's like, okay, they're not niche anymore.

Benjamin Moses:

So I think their next step is if you keep track of the technologies that they've done. Peripherals. They do all the-

Stephen LaMarca:

Water cooling.

Benjamin Moses:

... water cooling loop-

Stephen LaMarca:

Closed loop water cooling.

Benjamin Moses:

Now they build PCs, they're building the desk, they're going to build a factory. Corsair factory for you.

Stephen LaMarca:

All right, we should be worried about Corsair developing an AI because next thing you know, they're going to be making themselves-

Benjamin Moses:

Replicants.

Stephen LaMarca:

Whoa. All right, keep your eye on them.

Benjamin Moses:

And with that Ramia-

Stephen LaMarca:

And Lord have mercy, we can't let Corsair, or Australia get their hands on Corsair. Then we know it's game over. Well, maybe not game over, but they're taking over.

Benjamin Moses:

A Corsair-Australia mixed tape. It's over. Ramia, where can they find more info about us?

Ramia Lloyd:

You can find more information at amtonline.org/resources. Like-

Stephen LaMarca:

Like, share, subscribe. Bing bong.

Benjamin Moses:

Bye everyone.

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Author
Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
Recent technology News
Episode 115: The gang talks about dogs and other furry friends. Elissa reports that Japan’s about to land on the moon. Ben discusses stainless steel corrosion. Stephen closes with an “ICYMI” on everything we may have missed with the Boeing situation.
Episode 114: Steve talks about jarred tomato sauce and hardware store struggles. Elissa reports on Boeing’s purchase of Spirit AeroSystems (not to be confused with the airlines). Stephen found out what the next milsurp machine tool is.
Episode 113: The team discusses what works and what doesn’t with the sales of Girl Scout Cookies. Ramia shares her excitement as the team’s new studio is coming together! Elissa talks about how women could get burnt out in STEM.
Episode 112: The Tech Frends reintroduce themselves, the purpose of this podcast, and walk through each of their backgrounds laying out how they got where they are today.
Episode 111: Ramia shares her excitement as the team’s new studio is coming together! Steve notes that Modern Machine Shop has been on a roll releasing banger after banger articles. Ben closes with an attempt to redefine robotics programming.
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