The other day I shot out a post highlighting a few thoughts about the future of CNC machine manufacturing and the growing 3d printing movement. I’d like to add to that a bit here today as I came across a couple of articles that build and expand on those thoughts (thanks to the forum users over at Practical Machinist for sharing these links).
For the CNC Machine Operators:
While the main thrust of my post the other day centered on 3D printing as playing a greater, if not massive part, in the future of manufacturing, there is still plenty of good news for those of us still wedded to our “ancient” technologies.
Silicon Valley Mercury News: This article highlights the results from the report “The Hidden STEM Economy”. It states that degrees are not required for 27-36% of all jobs in science, engineering, technology, and math within the greater San Jose, San Francisco and bay area. While I think living in some of these locations may financially eat away at the incentives, this is still an interesting read and hopefully signals a growing trend here in the states.
From the article: “The report urges policymakers to boost funding for training in such careers as tool making, technical writing and technician work — the critical pick-and-shovel brigades in tech’s gold rush.”.
Glad to see that tool making was first on that list!
Digital Manufacturing and 3D Printing
Time to take that DIY CNC hobby to the next level and begin applying your chops to 3D printing folks. Mixed feelings about this article. While I’m in awe of the technological advancement, and see a place for CNC machine operators and the like in this mix, it does fill me with some trepidation.
No technological, and especially manufacturing, advancement comes without costs. No easy road here.
Now if I were a young CNC hobbiest or 3D printing guru, I’d be pointing my sights toward building on those skills. The landscape is always changing, and sometimes it’s a swift transition; the manufacturing world looks ready for a huge shift. Don’t be caught unawares.
So, what are your thoughts? Is CNC machining poised for a rebirth of sorts and an elevated place in our future, or is 3d printing graduating from diy hobby and sporadic manufacturing implementation to full-fledged wide-scale production and machining replacement? Or is the future something more balanced like these articles seem to suggest, a place where 3D printing and CNC machining both have their places in a stable manufacturing economy? Let me know in the comments!