"It’s time for mechanical engineering to enter the digital age.”

(to know and discuss the conclusions of our H2020 research, please participate to the DiDIY Final Conference "Digital Makers – Making a Difference?")

Technology is just one, and not the most important, face of the Digital DIY phenomenon. From a purely technological point of view, however, one of the most disruptive innovations in this field, which we will have to take into account in our research, may be 3D printing of metal. A glimpse on this future, which also shows how relevant it is to our research on DiDIY, Organization and Work, is in a recent interview of Greg Mark:

Greg Mark: "Humans have been pouring metal in molds for 5,000 years. F**k molds. The digital age transformed every other industry known to man – music, photography, writing, telecom, email, the internet. But Ford makes cars largely the same way they did in the 50’s. It’s time for mechanical engineering to enter the digital age."

(interviewer): In short he’s microwaving metal to make solid parts that you can stick onto a motorcycle.

Greg Mark: "The current Metal X is designed for SMB’s who want to find a more cost effective way to make parts than to CNC from a block of metal. They’ll print the part, and just dust off (hit with CNC) the few critical dimensions that matter. This is a game-changer in cost and productivity. You don’t waste hours in CAM designing tool paths, then making soft-jaws to hold the parts through multiple opperations. You just print it. Then there are the Fortune 100’s who want to get familiar with the ADAM process for the longer term manufacturing play. Today, it’s for tooling, fixtures, and prototypes. Tomorrow, it’s for castings without a mold. Every year, we will drive up the volume where it’s more cost effective to print the part than to CNC machine it."

Please read the full interview on TechCrunch: Greg Mark of Markforged talks about putting metal into the microwave. To know more about our research on how DiDIY is reshaping Organization and Work, please read the WP3 reports in our Results Page, or browse our examples of Work-related Case Studies.