Friday, November 20, 2009

Mothering invention


With the high cost of everything and the conspicuous lack of cash in most pockets, the WSJ says people are tinkering more, some even buying formerly high-end milling machines to make parts.

Justin Lahart, Nov 12, 2009, discusses how this trend is leading to inventions such as a device to twitter how much beer is left in a keg or surgery robots.

Engineering schools say their students are tending to like the hands-on work

Spark Fun Electronics is one place that sells parts to tinkerers. Their business has almost doubled.

People like hands-on—it’s real—not like finance. Computer numerical controlled tools—that cut metal or other materials according to a computer program--are a tenth as expensive as 10 yrs ago.

One guy bought a mill to make bike sprockets for $7,000.

At the schools, it’s not enough to get an A. People ask what you are building.

Some entrepreneurs even thought up the idea of equipping a shop with equipment people can use by the hour.

Always thinking, Americans!

Keep at it—this is what makes companies that then hire people.

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