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Manufacturing processes: Hands on to hands off

Video transcript
[MACHINE WHIRRING] If you start with a plain piece of wood, how do you go about making this into different shapes? It depends on what kind of tools you want to use. Any time you take a raw product and you use tools and machinery to turn it into something useful, what you're doing is manufacturing. Manufacturing has changed over time and we use different tools now than we used to long ago, but all of those tools can accomplish the same functions. So what happens if you want to make a flower that looks like this? There's various ways that you can do that and various levels of automation. "Automation" is using computers and technology to help us instead of just using our own hands. Carpenters used to do everything by hand. So say we want to drill that hole in the middle of the flower, how would you drill a hole by hand? This is a tool called the "brace and bit." The drill bit is here that has sharp edges that allow it to drill into the wood. So the way you would use this is you position the drill bit where you'd like to make the hole, you apply pressure, and then, by hand, you rotate the drill bit and have it drill into the wood. It is effective, but it takes a very long time and quite a bit of elbow grease to get the hole to go through. Ha! We have a hole, ladies and gentlemen. [CHUCKLES] We can drill a hole by hand, but we can also use technology to help us do it faster and with less work. This is called a "power drill." It uses the same drill bit that the hand drill did, except now we have a motor attached with a battery that helps us do some of the work. So with this-- [DRILL WHIRRING] --we can drill right through. This is a piece of equipment called a "CNC mill," which is a computer-controlled piece of equipment that we can program to cut whatever shape we want. In this case, we're going to be using this for drilling a hole, just like we used the power drill and just like we used the hand drill. Because this equipment is automated, instead of cranking on a hand drill by hand, all we have to do is hit a button. [MACHINE WHIRRING] So now, we figured out how to drill the hole so that we have a nice center for our flower, but what happens when we want to make the petals? Now, instead of drilling, we're going to have to use a technique called "cutting." One of the earliest methods was just with a saw. These are two examples of "handsaws." There are two different kinds of handsaws. One is called a "pull saw," and one is called a "push saw." This is an example of a Japanese pull saw, and what you can see is that the teeth here face a little bit backwards. That means that, when you cut, you'll be pulling this direction in order to make the cut. This is an example of a push saw. And you can see that the teeth face slightly forward, and that means that you're cutting while you're pushing the saw through the material. [SAWING] Just like our hand saw had a blade made of metal with teeth on it to cut through our material, this is a machine called a "bandsaw" that has the same blade right down here-- also made out of metal with teeth to cut through our material. But instead of pulling the blade by hand, we have a motor up here which turns the blade for us. So using this machine, we can cut right through our material. [MACHINE WHIRRING] Just like using a bandsaw was a more automated way than using a handsaw in order to cut material, a waterjet is even more automated. A waterjet is controlled by a computer that we can program to cut any shape we want. It takes an abrasive grit, and it mixes it with a high-pressure, high-velocity stream of water that goes through a tiny nozzle to blast through almost any material. The nozzle traces out the contours of whatever shape it is that we want to cut. [MACHINE WHIRRING] So today, we've looked at using manufacturing processes to make a flower. In order of increasing automation, we've looked at drilling from a hand drill to a power drill all the way up to a computer-controlled mill. And then for cutting, we've looked at starting with the handsaw. moving to a bandsaw, all the way up to an automated waterjet. All of these tools do essentially the same things. And at the end of the day, you've turned your plain piece of wood into a beautiful flower. Thank goodness manufacturing has become automated, and it's moved from hands on to hands off or I might still be here drilling a hole with a hand drill.