FREDWESTON.NET - Are people becoming dependent upon tools?
Are people becoming dependent upon tools?
Posted under Miscellaneous on Monday, May 5, 2014 @ 2:45:58 PM
Show Previous Article Show Next Article
while scrolling through my newsfeed today, i happened to see this article about making a simple toddler bed out of two sheets of plywood.

i clicked through and started reading it and stopped when i saw the first tool that you "need" is a cnc router with a 4'x8' bed.  something i've never even seen, let alone would have access to.  the author says he used that because he had access to it, but he then goes on to give (bad) advice about how you could still build this if you didn't.  he suggests using a band saw and a hand-held rotary saw.  it's stuff like this that makes me question how much good tech shops are actually doing people when all they do is design something on a computer, plug it into a computer and let the machine do all the work.

is computerized manufacturing a good skill to have?  definitely.  is it the future?  sure.  is it the best skill for someone not in a manufacturing field to learn if their goal is to build stuff for themselves?  maybe not.

cnc is a great technology, but the fact that the only way you can get access to it is through a tech co-op says, at least to me, that you might be better served by learning how to do things the old fashioned way.  i can build that bed every bit as good with a jigsaw and a handheld router and i can probably do it faster too because i don't have to schedule time with a cnc machine or drive to a tech shop to use it.

cnc definitely has its place, if you're going to build 100 of something then cnc makes a lot more sense.  or if you're building wooden gears or something else where tolerances have to be exact, then it makes sense.  for the average home project like this, it doesn't make any sense to me and does the user the disservice of preventing them from learning how to do anything for themself.