Manufacturing guy-at-large.

What I'm working on

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Ada and I got back from our honeymoon on Wednesday evening. It was really great to unplug a bit over the past month (aside from the first few days of October, I really haven't worked much this month), and between yesterday and today I'm spending a little time reprioritizing the backlog I was chewing through in September. Here are the things I'm focusing on in the next few weeks:

  • An explainer post (with video!) on the practical differences between EBM and DMLS. This is something I've been meaning to do for a little while; I think it'll be a good exercise for me and useful for a *lot* of other people.
  • A functional design for a titanium bike stem that implements lightweight lattice structures. I ran through some initial designs in late September, but they're not printable yet and will require at least a few days worth of design work on my end - plus help from a few others, including my friends at nTopology - before I have something that is manufacturable. Once I get there, I'll run a few prototypes and put them into service.
  • A short study on surface treatment options for EBM parts. I'm looking primarily at micro machining, isotropic superfinishing, and wet blasting, and will be comparing methods on cost, aesthetics, and the resulting mechanical properties of the part. I'm doing this on the seatpost parts that I got from Addaero recently, but hope that what I learn can be applied to other parts in the future.
  • An integrated seatpost + saddle frame design consisting largely of a lightweight lattice. I hinted at this recently, and have been working with Direct Dimensions to get a saddle shell modeled in a way that I can base my design off of. I'm also looking a little more into building a fully custom carbon fiber saddle shell, but that's a little further off.

I'm also thinking about a few longer term things:

  • More thoughts on "optimization." As a product manager, I want tools that will help me balance quality, cost, and speed to market. I find that most design software misses the mark on this, and I'm working on a blog post that points to a better paradigm.
  • Building a real product development shop in NYC - a place where people like myself can use both additive and subtractive manufacturing to build engineered products. This is something that's close to my heart, but it's also a longer term undertaking; it may be a little while.

More on all of this soon.