EE Bookshelf: Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals
It’s a while since I’ve included a book in EE Bookshelf, but I’ve purchased a lot of books lately on the manufacturing process — specifically material science and manufacturing techniques — so I figured a few book suggestions are long overdue. There are a decent number of good books out there on manufacturing and industrial design (I picked up six after collecting some recommendations), but by far the best book of the bunch to me was Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals by Rob Thompson. It wasn’t the cheapest book of the bunch, but it’s an exceptional value and a fascinating read if you have any interest in moving from a populated PCB to a finished product, but don’t know what options are out there to wrap around your PCB. Thompson not only goes into sufficient detail on many modern manufacturing processes — describing their relative strengths, weakness, associated costs, etc. — but the book relies heavily on invaluable technical illustrations and photographs, including some inspiring examples of products that were manufactured with the said process. If you’re interested in getting inside factories around the world, this is the cheapest quality tour you’ll find!
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I took a course in the late 60’s called “Manufacturing Processes and Materials”. I have worked in a couple of start-ups and one of my own (had to wear a lot of “hats”). I referred to the course text many times to get an idea of material strengths, costs, and process costs, tooling costs, post-process requirements, typical tolerances, and tooling life (related to the number of parts you could expect from a tool). If this book is anything like the text I had (except for the fact that mine was on clay tablets), it is very helpful to own.