I've been doing model engineering in metal for a few weeks now, and want to tell you all about it. You'll all probably all know all about all this, but anyway.
F'r instance, I was just taught how to grind a tool to cut a thread on a lathe with (not to plunge cut, but to cut on one side). Left side done on the outside of the wheel, and so hollow, with a very large (apparent) rake angle. Right side done on the side of the wheel - wow, it can even be with an apparent negative rake angle.
The left side angle is the thread angle plus the cutting rake suitable to the material to be cut, and the right side is the thread angle minus the suitable rake. But don't forget to leave space there so it doesn't contact the thread side, and screech when you use it.
Then get the angle between those two surfaces to 60 or 56 degrees at the top surface (never mind the number of other threadssssss that are possible). And the vertical-ish line where those surfaces meet, if looking at the tool head-on, should be not-vertical to the top of the tool, but at the cutting angle.
Then guess a bit at the roundness of the thread tips and bottoms, because you will never get it right without a chaser, and very lighly round the vertical line to match. And then grind the top surface to the cutting rake.
wow. Apart from the complex shape, which I am sure both can and has been done in CADCAM, but wow anyway, and the wholly impressive skill involved in actually grinding it,-
there is no accuracy.
It is all only-so-accurate. This much accurate. I'm used to that no in chemistry, but not in mechanics.
I misse the "w" in now - was that a freudian slip? I miss "p"'s sometimes, but that's because the "p" key on my keyboard is scummy.*
Now I could do flat, over say 6x10 inches - and I mean atomically flat, by cleaving a suitable crystal on one plane, and in about ten or twenty years I think rich people and good shops will be able to afford _flat_ diamond surface plates - but apart from that, it isn't exact. Ever. Yet.
Sigh, I can't get seem to get used to this stuff, not that easily. The problems I had with uncertainty theory are almost legendary (if a few people remembering them 30 years after counts).
Another thing I thought about which might interest you, it might be soon be possible to make say a 5 inch threadcutting lathe without gears. Any gears. The head would have a direct drive motor, and so would the a carriage. Power drive electronics and motor technology is getting quite near that point now.
Maybe some more later, hope I didn't bore anyone.*Apple do some good stuff, but their keyboards are shit. The membranes aren't sealed, and they should be.
That means if you spill water on them - just water, not orange juice, or coffee, or coke, or beer - they will stop working. I mentioned this to the seniorest person at Apple I could find - very - and he said "you shouldn't let drinks get near your keyboard".
That asshole just asks for a new one (keyboard, that is). His 4 million customers have a more serious problem ...
But you can wash most sticky/splashed/spilled-upon PC keybards in the sink or bath, leave them to dry, and plug them in (and they'll work). try that with an Apple keyboard and you end up with.. junk.