How the Heck Does Computerized Machining Help the Environment?

How the Heck Does Computerized Machining Help the Environment?

First things first: what does “machining” mean? In this case, it’s a subtractive manufacturing process in which a piece of raw material is cut, piece by piece, into the desired final shape. Machining is used to produce, um, products from metals, plastics, stone, glass, ceramic, and other materials. Once upon a time, machining was exclusively done by hand, and it sometimes still is, depending on the material and the requirements of the final product. More often than not, though, major…

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How the Heck Are Smart Homes Not the Standard?

How the Heck Are Smart Homes Not the Standard?

Seems like everything is smart these days. Smartphones, smartwatches, smart cars (not to be confused with Smart Cars), smart TVs—practically everything is smart but our President-Elect. Probably the biggest potential for smart technology is the smart home. With just a few little gizmos and some know-how, the average joe can turn their home into a fully-connected haven of convenience. The technology has been around for a while now, long enough that it’s hard to imagine why the smart home is…

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What the Heck is A Rivet Gun?

What the Heck is A Rivet Gun?

A rivet gun really is exactly what it sounds like: a device used to fire rivets into metal for building and construction purposes. If you’re familiar with a nail gun, a rivet gun is pretty much the same thing, except it installs rivets instead of nails. Most of them are pneumatically powered—hook ‘em up to a compressed air line, point, and shoot. Simple as that, and way easier than doing it by hand. How is That Good for the Environment?…

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What the Heck is A Cleanroom?

What the Heck is A Cleanroom?

A cleanroom, or clean room (which is a waste of space), is a carefully controlled environment used in manufacturing and scientific research, among other applications. Invented by the excellently-named American physicist Willis Whitfield, the cleanroom uses advanced filtration and specially-modified HVAC equipment to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, airborne contaminants and pollutants in the atmosphere. For reference, the average ambient outdoor air in an average urban environment contains 35 million particulates per cubic meter; particulate levels in a cleanroom…

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What the Heck is A Thermoelectric Generator Circuit?

What the Heck is A Thermoelectric Generator Circuit?

“Smart” technology—like smartphones and smart TVs—is big and getting bigger. The tech evolves so fast, it makes Speedy Gonzales look like Regular Gonzales. One of the newest “smart” whatnots to hit the big time is the smartwatch. These gizmos are brilliant because they can do a whole bunch of the same stuff that your smartphone can do, plus it tells time. Wait a minute… Anyway, the newest new innovation in smart technology, exclusive to the smartwatch market, is a special,…

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What the Heck Is Grohmann Engineering?

What the Heck Is Grohmann Engineering?

If you’re even a little bit of a fan of green technology, surely you’re familiar with Tesla. And don’t call me Shirley. If you’re unfamiliar, Tesla makes all-electric cars, and danged good ones, at that. Like electric vehicles in general, Tesla brand automocars are rapidly growing in popularity. Tesla sightings on the road used to be something of a novelty; now they’re a common occurrence, and will soon get even commoner. That’s because the Tesla Motor Company has just acquired…

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How the Heck is the iPod Good for the Environment?

How the Heck is the iPod Good for the Environment?

Fifteen years ago yesterday (fifteen years!) the first iPod was introduced by some kind of fruit company, or something. While the original, “classic” iPod was discontinued in 2014, and iPhones that include the exact same functionality (plus a few other features) have been around since 2007, you can still get a brand new iPod Touch today. There’s no doubt that iPods are convenient as heck. And they helped both kill and resurrect the record industry. But good for the environment?…

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What the Heck is 10-Nanometer Technology?

What the Heck is 10-Nanometer Technology?

Samsung recently announced that they’ve started building processor chips using a “10-nanometer process” that makes it possible to build complete transistors that are just 0.2 nanometers across. (A nanometer, BTW, is one billionth of a meter.) This is, of course, ridiculously small, and in the tech world, smaller is always better. Also, it presumably will not catch fire or explode whilst charging, unlike other recent Samsung products. What the Heck is FinFET? FinFET is Samsung’s 10-nanometer manufacturing process, used to…

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What the Heck is Wire EDM & How is It Good for the Planet?

What the Heck is Wire EDM & How is It Good for the Planet?

So, chances are pretty darn good that you’ve never heard of the manufacturing term “wire EDM” before. It’s not like metal stamping or plastic molding, something that’s at least fairly common and in the average person’s wheelhouse o’ knowledge. And the “EDM” part thankfully does not mean that crappy electronic disco music that that Corey Feldman-looking dude farts out of his computer. Instead, EDM here means “electrical discharge machining,” and it’s a process by which flat metal parts are made….

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How the Heck Does Paint Help the Environment?

How the Heck Does Paint Help the Environment?

So… paint is pretty great, right? It makes things look nicer (or worse, depending on who’s doing the painting [and his/her intention]), it’s one of the few things that works as both a noun and a verb without alteration, and it helps the environment. Wait, what’s that last one now? Look Good, Feel Good For most folks, the main benefit of putting a coat of paint on something is aesthetic. “I’ve been staring at these taupe walls for eleven years,…

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