Each week, I share some of the books and other resources I have found inspiring in my investigation into 3D design for 3D printing. The full list lives here on the pinboard “3D Design to 3D Print Inspirations” and each #3DThursday I share about those that I most highly recommend.
This week, I’d like to share a handy book that from first glance appears out of place in an “additive manufacturing” discussion. Machinery’s Handbook Pocket Companion, Revised First Edition from Industrial Press.
This is the pocket/toolbox scale version of the classic Machinery’s Handbook used by machine shops all over, and does of course emphasize traditional milling, drilling, turning etc, machining practices, “subtractive” rather than “additive.” However, as a resource for how to describe, plan, and execute anything to do with mechanical designs and hardware, from joins between different materials to mechanical tolerances to mounting positions, spending time reading through this book will spark the inner mechE + machinist within you and fill you with ideas for how to plan your projects no matter if you are printing all of these elements out in plastic rather than picking the right tool pipeline to mill away the surface of that block of aluminum in your pocket.
And the geometry/trigonometry resources here are not only well presented for brushing up on your math, the sets of rounded approximations for various measurements can be handy for committing to useful, manageable numbers at the level of precision appropriate to your production tools.
Having a reference for what each practical mechanical element of your design is called, and how it is traditionally performed, is a crucial gateway to help you learn more about how to execute things like it better! And after flipping through the book, spend some time talking with a real machinist who has mastered these techniques and tools — you will leave with a much better idea how to execute on your ideas about 3D shapes than ever before and will understand why techniques that had been neglected for the past twenty years are now having a renaissance now that scales of manufacturing can permit the return of quality production as well as design.
From the publisher’s website:
Improve Your Manufacturing Skills with Machinery’s Handbook Pocket Companion
Machinery’s Handbook Pocket Companion is designed for anyone in the machine trades for whom convenient access to just the most basic data is important. Extremely concise yet authoritative, this invaluable tool draws on Machinery’s Handbook’s wealth of tables, charts and text. Much of the subject matter has been reorganized, distilled, or simplified to enhance its usability and reduce bulk. Whether you are a practitioner, educator or student, you’ll find the Pocket Companion to be a convenient ready-reference. Keep it nearby while working in the shop or factory floor or learning fundamentals in the school lab.
This edition of the companion is suitable for use with both the 28th and 29th editions of Machinery’s Handbook.
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