Four belated cheers for Gov. LePage for urging young adults to study manufacturing.
One must learn this new field at the hands-on level, as the governor emphasized, and that is the mode for our excellent vocational/tech schools.
Manufacturing is no longer the assembly line; it comprises all the arts of changing material into various useful objects. It uses machines that can deposit material exactly where and when one wants. Printing in three dimensions is now the leading technique.
Full-scale three-dimensional printing tools can be bought now by individuals who can go into business as fabricators. The field entails computation — actual programming — along with knowledge of material science and chemistry and mathematics: real and interesting intellectual challenges.
And 3D printing is just the latest “new beginning.” It has replaced the laser-curing of resins of the 1990s (think dental bonding). Future methods of material deposition will exceed even the advantages of 3D print.
The MIT Club of Maine recently heard a presentation by Sarah Boiservert who is leading an effort to bring a 3D print manufacturing lab to Maine, in collaboration with the manufacturing laboratory group at MIT (the first place I saw 3D print manufacturing in the late 1980s).
Let's hope that lab will materialize and that others will spring up to help the young adults of Maine learn, practice, continue to improve, and to prosper by this very important new field.
Charles A. Berg, Buckfield