Book of the Week: The Maker's Field Guide
This week’s selection is “The Maker's Field Guide: The Definitive Reference for the Professional Designer” by Christopher Armstrong.
Disclaimer: This book is only partially about 3D printing, and mostly about other making technologies. But the reason we have selected the book is precisely that: other making technologies.
Armstrong describes a lengthy series of making technologies in some detail. There are chapters, for example, on the Panel Saw, Scroll Saw, Band Saw, Metal Lathe, etc. In all more than 20 different common making machines are detailed, including safety aspects and usage tips.
The book also covers 18+ material types commonly used in workshops, 52 making tips and a long list of sources of supply for many of the equipment types and materials.
Making guides are included for:
RTV Silicone Molding & Casting
Fiberglass & Carbon Fiber Composites
CNC Machining / CAD + CAM Prototyping
3D Printing & Laser Cutting
Industrial Clay & Foam Modeling Techniques
Bondo™ / Automotive Body Filler Modeling
Spray Painting & Sanding
Lifecasting & Prosthetics
As you can see, this is a complete “all around the workshop” book.
In the world of 3D printing it is often thought by participants that you “3D print the object”, but in truth 3D printing is only one of many different making processes.
The most complex and interesting results are usually obtained by combining several different making techniques together. For example, a Raspberry Pi project would require electronics, software and a 3D printed case.
That’s why I’m interested in this book: because it will expose you to all the other notable and commonly found making process that can supercharge projects. Not every part needs to be 3D printed: cut some with a laser instead.
Readers having only a 3D printer at their disposal need not despair, however. Most cities now have public makerspaces available where citizens can easily access at least some making equipment beyond 3D printing. In particular, public libraries have recently had a penchant for installing making equipment in unused corners of their buildings recently.
3D printing is not the only making technology.