Sure, if you’re talking about machining metals, there’s always been some cool gear out there, but over the last couple years entry level CNC machines have come way down in price.
For those of you who don’t know what a CNC machine is, it’s a way to automate a metal mill and let you reproduce the same part(s) over and over. A mill is basically a table that can move front, back, and side to side. There’s a tool spindle that goes up and down. It’s used with varying cutters that can carve out metal however you like.
For example, plans are readily available for CNC machines that let you take a block of aluminum and turn it into a fully functional AR-15 lower.
I’d love to have a nice little CNC mill of my own … it’s on the list, but not for a while.
That’s not the thing that interests me the most right now though. The neat technology that has been talked about for years but is now coming to fruition is known as ‘3d Printing’
Picture your regular computer printer. Now picture one that’s capable of printing parts straight off your computer. You could make anything from a basic toy to fully functional remote control aircraft with one of these boxes. They can use polymers and even some metals as well.
This is neat stuff. And highly useful in many collapse style situations.
Unless we go Mad Max, you’re going to have computers, and probably electricity. That cat is out of the bag. Internet is also highly likely to be around. Sure, if an EMP hits that might change that, or if we’re in a real life version of The Road, but the likelyhood of that happening is minimal. So the basic requirements for one of these to function … a computer and electricity, are highly likely to be available to you.
But what if there are supply disruptions and delays in getting parts from factories in Asia? What if you could simply print out your own parts for performing repairs instead of paying prices that are through the roof for those parts, if they’re even available?
Having a 3D printer would rock.
You can get a good one for anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 right now. That sounds like alot, but remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that computers were that expensive, and you can get a pretty darn good one for a couple hundred bucks. As is, a basic, entry level 3d printer can be had for around $500.
I fully expect that to happen here as well. Maybe not this year or next, but soon. Te folks that are doing this work for home use are making rapid strides, and they’re releasing most of their work to the public domain.
Keep an eye on this stuff, folks, I think it will be a game changer.