Machining "the Impossible"

Practical Wisdom & Profitable Thinking


My "GE Light Bulb Coating" Experience

Referencing Guy Kawasaki's story about "harnessing naïveté"

Creating an "impossible" 7-sided Part

on a manually-operated "hex" milling machine

In high school machine shop class,

we were instructed to create 6-sided salt and pepper shakers,

Using an ancient manually-operated milling machine,

limited by the manufacturer to mill a max of 6 sides.

I asked my teacher if I could make a 7-sider.

He laughed and said it was impossible...

Spatial Projecting

This literally involves getting inside all of the anticipated angles of the project

After 45 minutes at the machine, handing him the 7-sided part.

I did this by entering “the zone”...

after thinking about the problem for a week,

going to the machine,

holding the angular permutations in my head,

whilst manually operating three levers