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I worked as an intern at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories during the Summer of 2011 and spent the majority of my time there working on the Digi-Comp II, which had been in development since that Spring. As of about a month ago, the mechanical computer is up for sale on their website. Although they may release a cheaper, plastic edition of this educational computer in the future, the wooden version they have for sale now is absolutely beautiful and I’m glad I had a chance to participate in the early stages of its development.

Their most recent blog post offers a comprehensive walkthrough of the manufacturing process, from sheets of plywood to the boxed product. The many months that go into the production of a product like this may seem extensive to some, but it makes sense after reading about the thought that went into every step and the extreme challenge of making a mechanical mechanism like this reliable for all it’s owners.

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In the business of producing kits, it’s all in the details. Evil Mad Scientist leaves nothing out, especially in the two CNC cutting processes; everything from the layouts of the large playfields on the router table to the careful nesting of flip-flops in the laser are given extreme attention to minimize machine downtime and human intervention. I like how they’re using the vacuum former to create a plastic cradle for the computer and the laser cutter to etch a custom graphic on the box prior to shipping.

Click here for lots more in the blog post. It’s an inspirational read.

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Manufacturing Engineer at Other Machine Co., where he uses large machines to make smaller machines. When not building things, Eric enjoys skiing, cycling, and climbing.


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