Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Coming Industrial Revolution

If you're interested in being that guy, the Morlock who knows how fix or make just about anything, you should be reading Come And Make It, over in my blog list on the right.

In particular, you should go read yesterday's post about the coming third industrial revolution.  I've written on this topic many times, usually calling it convergence.  (This is a good example...this is a little more indirectly related, but if you haven't seen the kitchen cutting board AR, you should).  As I usually do, here's a money quote to whet your interest so you go RTWT;
The other day I was speaking with the owner of what could be called a 'job shop' in Asia.  His company does short production runs of things.  Metal fabrication, machining, firearms, and other things are made in his 100 man shop.

The owner of the company has a hobby of 3D printing and building desktop milling machines. 

The conversation turned to how soon his shop would become obsolete with the rise of small bespoke manufacturing shops. 

He speculated that he had about 10 years maximum before his type of manufacturing shop will be replaced. 
Folks, this thing I call convergence is coming and it's coming at breakneck pace. 
This is convergence, the new industrial revolution.  With the advance of personal fabrication - the intersection of home CNC, 3D printing, continually more powerful digital electronics, what's called the Maker movement, it is literally getting to the point where you will be able to buy anything you need to make any gun you want. Dimensioned drawings for the AR family lowers are online; it doesn't take much to turn those into tool paths.  The open source movement will provide that.  To use the cliche' again, "you can't stop the signal".
(Ares Armor polymer lower, with color coded area to remove.  The new ones are even cooler.)


  1. Well, this may very well happen, provide the "Crunch" never happens, and the world stays stable enough to keep the electricity flowing.

    If TSHTF, and the lights go off, we're back to water-wheel powered lathes, drills, and mills!

    Still, they accomplished an awful lot of neat things back in the 1800's, so it's not like we'd be back in the Stone Age.....

  2. Yeah, good points.

    I live in an area where river flow is pretty much zero so power will be hard to get around here. In the event of EMP or something that takes out the grid, it's going to be batteries and solar cells. Solar energy is surprisingly impractical here, too, at least during the worst of monsoon season (now). We probably had 3 hours of usable sun today, from 8-11AM. The dry season is in the winter.

    I often think if we can get through the next four or five years without a really bad SHTF event, it could be a turning point into a really cool world.

  3. Yeah, it seems like we're teetering on the brink of something, but who knows what.

    It could be a World War, a Religious War (be the same thing these days), a complete collapse of the banking "system", or massive civil unrest.

    I hate to say it, but we're really overdue for some kind of massive "reset".

  4. A perfect storm of automation, robots, CNC, 3D printing, drones... With enough money and resources a country could build a multi-million robot army and destroy the worlds human armies.

  5. Where I am in SW MT, solar is viable (I have a 3.2KW system with 485 AH of industrial 2V batteries that is also grid-tied (but is designed to run disconnected - worked fine the last couple of times the pole power went out). I also have a great deal of wind in these mountains, so I will be adding one or more wind generators to the mix. When the sun don't shine, the wind _do_ blow (and often both). Occasionally running a lathe of milling machine is do-able. Our 1000 gal propane tank will run a generator for a while, too, if/when necessary.

    I am watching the 3D printer market and will probably add one at some point. There are a lot of things it would be nice to be able to make, even more so if I am still around when TSHTF.