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One for all you engineers


gengiscant
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I was watching How its Made on TV and got to thinking who designs and builds the machines that actually make an item. Sometimes when watching this program I am more interested in how the complicated machinery came about rather than the item itself. Anyone who has seen this program will know that some of these machines are massive and do a variety of jobs.

So how does it work, I invent something that is successful but required several manufacturing processes to get it to the finished article, do I then have to wait for someone else to come along to make a machine that will simplify the process or are there companies out there who's job it is to design and build machines etc to make my invention?

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gengiscant

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Most illuminating, thanks all.

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morddwyd

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To get right down to basics, the person who invented the crankshaft did not invent the machine for grinding it - it was done by hand until somebody invented a way to make it cheaper.

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Noldi

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How to make a traction engine (one of the big showmans engines) would have been of great interest to me, they didnt have CNC machines etc all crafted by hand.

Noldi

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Picklefactory

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Noldi

They obviously didn't have CNC machines, but they certainly had machine tools to make traction engines etc since the mid 19th century. They could not have produced accurate components for all the moving parts on an engine, in those materials, without them. CNC's only really speed things up, essentially, and give access to more complex machining, but they still cut metal in much the same way as the old machines.

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Picklefactory

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PS Unless you're talking about assembly only, in which case they still had presses and the like for assembling certain features. As with CNC's, the modern auto assembly cells really only speed the process up and reduce the manual labour element, but the components still have to be assembled together in much the same way as a man would do it.

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spuds

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I have watched quite a few programs of How its Made on Freeview television (mostly now repeats), and it still remains a bit of a mystery on how some products are made at the speed thats shown, even in slow motion!.

And for some of the work that goes into everyday items, you wouldn't even think about the processes being used. At least watching How its Made, brings the knowledge that everything is not always simple?.

Noldi, Fred Dibnah often stated that his two doctorates were for 'Backyard Mechanicing", and if you saw his last television program and appearances before he died, he took the public to some of the last remaining 'old skills' premises, where he use to obtain most of the 'obsolete' parts for his Aveling steam engine, and other vintage items that he restored.

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Aitchbee

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I think ZIPS are a great invention - you see them everywhere, clothes, bags,suitcases,tents,shoes,small greenhouses...and off course...Zippy.

You can even tell someone (nicely), to Zip It! and it usually works :o]

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spuds

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AitchBEE

The making of zips was shown on How its Made, and in reality its a very simple process to make zips.

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morddwyd

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Yes, they even had them in Ancient Rome if you looks carefully ar some Hollywood epics!

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