Save the Planet with 3D Printing!

Stop Global Collapse!

The Answer is Distributed Manufacturing.  

Done on low-cost 3D printers.

CHINA IS GOING OFF-LINE, too!  Turn off your long supply lines.  Lower the cost of goods to consumers.  Get people designing and innovating again.

“How?”

With Ultra-Make.

We’re a new business model:  We champion “emailable” products.  Things the new Maker Class of Designers and next-gen Manupreneurs can sell to customers online for local printing at the end use location.

No factory in Asia.  No environmental waste or overhead.  

Just a new class of products based on standard 3D printing and PCB routing standards, coupled with a few forward-thinking parts houses.

“Wait -email ACTUAL products?”

You bet!

New to “Making” are you?  We’re here to help.

This website is dedicated to “disrupting the Old World Order” by promoting local manufacturing.  Yes:  Desktop Manufacturing is real.

Thing is, most people don’t know about sources like Yeggi and Thingiverse.  Great sites!  But, where’s the integration?  That’s where we fit in.

The main problem?  People are not clear on the technologies of desktop manufacturing.  Maybe they have one machine.  But is “that all there is to the circus?

We’re here to up everyone’s game.

One-print, one-machine…yeah, sure, interesting.  But can we get to the grown-up builds?  The ones with print files, g-code, instructions, and a back to components coming next day in the mail?

Empowering Designers and next-generation Online Manufacturers to offer absolute top-notch products to markets with zero lead-time.

And fewer strings to Asia.

We won’t pretend to give you rhyme and verse of G-Code which runs a lot of desktop machines.  We focus on the “High level View.”  In grad school, this would be the Management course or Business Model discussion.

Ultra-Make  is a simple series of processes to online DIY Designers and Makers can take products to market in the least expensive, most direct means possible.

Somewhere, in following these little “process maps” around, a light will go on in your head.

Hey!  You mean I can invent or design something, and then sell it online in direct competition with some mega-giant corporation somewhere?”

Exactly so!

Because above all else, legends of management science, like Frederick Winslow Taylor, made mountains of money for people by doing “time and motion studies” or working people.

This site will help you think more like a Manager and get you looking at In-Home Manufacturing (for that’s what this subversive little website is all about!) as a manager would.

Everything in manufacturing is measurable and repeatable.

How this Site Began

The author of this site is a quirky fellow who is mainly a writer and hobbyist whose hand tool collection is pretty good.

In his shop, there’s an area for metal-working.  9X20″ geared head lathe, small desktop manual milling machine, Fair-sized box and pan sheet metal bending brake, plus gas, wire, and stick weldets with a 1/2″ clean-cutting plasma machine and a metal-cutting chop saw.  A small Taig lathe for fine work.

Sounds like a lot of fun, already, doesn’t it?

Over in the corner somewhere, there’s also a Backyard Metalcasting  melting furnace waiting to be built.

Sure, there’s a woodworking side of this “dream shop” as well.  A couple of belt sanders, drill press, planer, band saw, table saw, 12″ compound chop saw and even a central vac system.

BUT the problem I ran into was there have recently been a handful of “I want to build that’s…” I can’t do simply even with the big investment in equipment.

You need CNC…or something that would get “close enough.”

While the web is great on the “drill-down” stuff, the high-level is missing.  At age 71, here comes a new research project – which is what this site is.

You’ll find some of the videos that helped me sort out wheat from chaff.  And you’ll find some vendors I’ve bought from plus the various Youtuber’s who’ve done the videos that make it possible to come up-to-speed quickly.

The Big Geekly Vision

Ready?

You get up tomorrow morning, hit Amazon and want to build a new audio amplifier.

Sure, you can buy one premade and from China.  But, is that going to help anyone in America?

What if you could buy a pretty good audio amp and just download it?

Here’s what the “Making” process looks like for this new Amp of yours:

    • You order and pay.
    • Three files are pushed out to you.
      • Two files for the Amp housing (Top.stl and Bottom.stl)
      • One file to mill the printed circuit board.
    • A day later, a small package arrives from an electronics supplier.  Inside are all the electrical components, connectors, and devices to complete your build…

While your 3D printer works on the second half of the case, you notice the PCB milling is completed over on the CNC router.

You, dear reader, are about to be an ultra-maker.

Or, if you like the process, maybe you’re a designer?

With online parts-picking a reality, you think back to the recently revitalized Heathkit and how they revolutionized America with high quality kits in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Could it happen today?

Let us email you a product, one of these days, or better yet, you email us one.

The Old Paradigm:  Polluting factories in China, massive shipping overhead, cutting down rainforests for packaging materials…all going…going…

Dispersed neighborhood manufacturing (DNM) is at hand.  And you’re getting there first.

Making – BIG: Spring and Fall Project Sizing

Haven’t really been doing much in the 3D, CNC, and FDM side of the shop, lately.  Although here last week, SainSmart had an email offer that looked pretty good.

What they offered was a 5.5 watt blue laser to fit the 3018 series CNC machine. We have one, though still in the box, along with a new expanded controller for it. Seemed like a good deal (regularlly $149) so I fell for it.  We’ll see.

Project Sizing

The real point of this post today is to remark on how there are some times of the year when BIG outdoor projects of Making Stuff is a lot more pleasant than other.

Readers of the UrbanSurvival.com website will appreciate that we live on a tree farm in rural East Texas.  So, our idea on “big” can become pretty grandiose, given that we have 30-acres to play with.  As a bonus, enough tall pines to sell off a lot of wood.  Beyond what is used in projects.  In fact, so much, that we hauled 30-tons of biomass out last week.  Think of this as out helping with the toilet paper shortage.

Sunday’s “Make” around here will be changing around the greenhouse and garden fence lines to simplify ingress and egress.  Not a super-big project, just enough to keep 71-year old muscles in shape.

Thing is, spring, especially when it’s a cool one in East Texas as this year is, and fall, are when you want to schedule your “big Makings” outdoors.

Summer’s for Printing Items!

Heat of summer?  Yeah, love to play with the plasma cutter and all, but I’ve about set my tennis shoes on fire now – a couple of times.  Stomping ou the small grass fires that pop up from the steel and iron spray falling on dry grass…

After about 10 AM, when the “heat’s on” (East Texas is hell on Earth from May 25 to September 20, most years) there’s no point even dragging a rig outside to attempt real projects.

What I’m getting to is that spring and fall are ideal “honey do” periods.  Clean up the projects the wife wants done and tune up that never-ending Making Project – doing the yard.  Landscaping, like fence line work, is a bitch in the summer.

Winter, it can get too cold in the shop, so you’ll want machine for making inside.

So look for a what to site your machines for both winter and summer use.

Around here, a big attic fan and a window-replacing swamp cooler keep things habitable (high shop temp around 82 degrees F.  Which, while on the warm side, is still workable in cut-offs and a golf shirt, has the bonus of turning out pretty nice FDM prints because they don’t cool off quite as fast. Warmer air, smoother fusing.

Near as I can figure it, 75 to 80 F is ideal printing temp, so we can with this combo of fan and swamp cooler, crank out prints from mid-May all the way until September and not have to worry about temperature shock.

Well, back to the BIG Making projects outside.  We will get back into the CNC’ness of it all when the outdoor heat drives us out of the garden.

Making food’s a good thing, too, though.  We’ll be trying a big drip rig this year Only planning a small hydroponics set-up for a hot-weather Romaine that was developed in Israel.  For just such conditions as found here in East Texas.

Have fun – and do right in…

george@ure.net

On “Making While We’re Breaking…”

“Oh shit…” you’re thinking.  400 people on a cruise ship have it, at least 80,000 thousand people worldwide have it…what will become of the world, right?

Well, it’s going to change.  Bigly and fastly.

The world has become dependent on long supply lines – and to our own detriment.

But, before you get too depressed about it, remember that we were headed down the crapper  anyway.

That’s because the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse include (presently) locusts in Africa and the Middle East, Compounding of the National Debt, the longer-term realities of Resource Depletion, and now, yeah, China going offline.

How can we change?

HI.  My name is George Ure and this is another one of my hare-brained websites.  You’ve maybe heard of the other sites?  UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics?  The UrbanSurv site is free and Peoplenomics is good enough in its specialty (alt. finance) that it funds projects like this one.

There are to be only a few ads on this site.  One, which should show up this week, will be for Jim Lewis’s businesses:  eMachineShop.com and Pad2Pad.com.  His eMachineShop site allows people to download very easy-to-use product design software and then upload the work for production.  A credit card and a few weeks go by and then your parts show up.

His other site, Pad2Pad.com is the same idea, but focuses on building up printed circuit boards.  Jim has orchestrated some of the best minds on the planet to make this all happen and it’s a very impressive effort.

Along about here, you might wonder “ OK, why is George gushing about Jim’s businesses?

Simple answer:  There’s a ton of work to be done, and in a very short amount of time, to transition the world in a hard turn from  corporate globalism to the new  dispersed model of society.

I’ve writen an entire book recently, on just this point:  The new to roll society away from being so damned money-centric and instead beingh centereds on the things life is really supposed to be about:

  • Fun!
  • Spriritual growth
  • Research
  • Exploration
  • Scholarship
  • Making
  • Living in Harmony with the Earth
  • Oh!  Did I mention having  Fun??:?

That’s why I don’t spend much of my time playing the market – age is beginning to “friction me” a bit (age 71).  So, the right thing to do is share knowledge, talk concept, and live as an example – with all my faultys and flaws.

So here’s where Ultra-Make fits in:

Jim had a concept – years ago – called “mass custom manufacturing” and it is right here, right now.

Except, that the pieces are not quite “all lined up” yet.

I’ll be writing more on one of these on the Peoplenomics site shortly – it has to do with how the media is acting more like a fun-house mirror and not giving us a “useful reflection” of what and who we really are.

The other paper – and we can begin the work here I suppose – is to come up with a file structure so that someone like Amazon can begin to sell what we will call “MakeZips.”

The idea is that instead of having Amazon acty as the robotic warehouse for everything in the world, we can repurpose Amazon (to some extent) as a “small parts warehouse.”

Things get really interestiong when you go back and read up the history of the Heathkit Company.  Wikipedia  rolls it out this way:

“The Heath Company was founded as an aircraft company in 1911[3] by Edward Bayard Heath with the purchase of Bates Aeroplane Co, soon renamed to the E.B. Heath Aerial Vehicle Co. Starting in 1926 it sold a light aircraft, the Heath Parasol, in kit form.[4] Heath died during a 1931 test flight.[5] The company reorganized and moved from Chicago to Niles, Michigan.[6] In 1935, Howard Anthony purchased the then-bankrupt Heath Company, and focused on selling accessories for small aircraft. After World War II, Anthony decided that entering the electronics industry was a good idea, and bought a large stock of surplus wartime electronic parts with the intention of building kits with them. In 1947, Heath introduced its first electronic kit, the O1 oscilloscope that sold for US$50—the price was unbeatable at the time, and the oscilloscope went on to be a huge seller.

The company then moved into Amateur Radio equipment and was hugely successful.  As a ham radio geek myself (AC7X) I still use a 50-year old Heathkit SB-220 linear amplifier, with original  Eimac 3-500Z tubes (made in America) several times a week to bash out Morse code.

What was the appeal?

There was electricity, soldering, mechanical assembly, some of the best manuals and “how to do it” technical writing EVER.  Even better, the Heathkit company is coming back to life with new products slowly coming online.

When you look at what’s going on at Jim’s businesses, you see Heathkit entering a surgence, and then appreciate that STEM emphasis in education might just provide for a globally dispersed locally manufactured option, one can almost get the feeling that China’sa virus outbreak could be one of the best “warning from the future” ever bestowed on humans.

Because single points of failure are bad.  Very bad – and may even be fatal.

Resilience, though?  Ah – very good indeed.

Ultra-Make is about the “whole McGillah.”

Making can be fixingd a lawnmower, changing a tire, baking home-made bread without preservatives and crap in it.  Or, it can be printing out plastics parts for some product you need.  Maybe assembling those home-printed parts with some Big Pieces from Jim’s businesses.  Or, maybe Amazon sends you just the electronics and a disk and you print your next computer monitor.

Pretty interesting and exciting world in which to live, isn’t it?

Come soon to a planet near you.

Make time.

george@ure.net