Happy Wednesday and greetings from Athens, GA. It's been a pretty busy week and I'm excited to announce that my podcast, The Make or Break Show is back! I had Zac Kaplan, the CEO of Inventables, on to chat all about their new CNC the X-Carve Pro.
I also have been getting deeper into the world of 3D modeling and have been trying to find some good solutions to scan objects in the real world and convert them to 3D. I just put out a video that walks through a pretty interesting process that uses a ton of pictures and a little bit of computer magic to make a model. I've been pretty impressed with what you can do with very basic equipment.
🗺️ In issue 74 of Make Magazine there is an awesome tutorial on how to create a DIY map of the stars. Specifically the moon and other planets. Eleanor Lutz does a great job recreating the style of classic maps but with an interplanetary twist. She also walks through her entire process, it seems pretty programming heavy but it's hard to argue with the results!
🤘🏼 If space and computers are a great example of high tech making, stone sculpting is as far away as you can get. I ran across this amazing video that features Anna Rubincam sculpting a bust in her backyard studio. The insane amount of work that it takes to shape something as hard as stone by hand is always astounding.
🛠️The Builders Challenge happens twice a year and gives makers across the world 3 weeks to make and document their creations. This credenza build is one of my favorites from Atelier Qube. The color plywood details are unreal, especially how the side of the drawer attaches!
🤖 It seems like it's the time of year for new CNC announcements. Carbide 3D announced their Shapeoko Pro as well as a new desktop Nomad machine. They recently put out a first look video for the Shapeoko Pro XXL and it looks to be one of the best options for the DIY/Garage shops.
Our relationship with technology and more specifically its control over us is seemingly always in the news. From our future AI overlords to the influence of social media over pretty much everything, it seems harder and harder to separate ourselves from our technology.
Enter the Amish.
I've recently been rereading Kevin Kelly's great book What Technology Wants. Kevin gets into how the Amish approach tech with the concept of holding the line. They have a system in place that evaluates new technology and decides if it should be included in their community. This doesn't mean that the line doesn't move, but there is a clear line that the community shouldn't cross.
I especially love how they evaluate tech:
1. They are selective. They know how to say no and are not afraid to refuse new things. They ignore more than they adopt.
2. They evaluate new things by experience instead of by theory. They let the early adopters get their jollies by pioneering new stuff under watchful eyes.
3. They have criteria by which to make choices: Technologies must enhance family and community and distance themselves from the outside world.
4. The choices are not individual but communal. The community shapes and enforces technological direction.
While I definitively consider myself an early adopter and am more than willing to try out the next new thing, the idea of a considered approach to what I will use is a great idea.
This also reminds me of Nassem Taleb's idea that technology ages in reverse from Antifragile.
If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not "aging" like persons, but "aging" in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!
So while a new CNC is amazing it's way more likely a standard handsaw will outlast it. The Amish build in a way to see which technology will go the distance.
What about you? How do you approach adding new tools and/or technology to your life and shop?
Till next time!