2001 monolith replica machined to 0.001″

Fun & Games Science

SO. It turns out the 2001 monolith (in)action figure I wrote about last week is one of ThinkGeek’s prank products. You can’t actually buy one. Yet.

It’s a clever trick, really: Call it an “April Fool’s” product, then count the number of clicks on the buy link, and decide based on that info if you really want to manufacture and sell them, or not.

Me? Bitter? ‘Course not.

Anyway, reader Don Simpson saw that post and commented that

[b]ack in the 70s, I was commissioned to make one of these. I used one inch thick black acrylic plastic, and machined it to a thousandth of an inch accuracy on a vertical mill, then gave it a satin finish. Now, around three decades later, it’s in stores. But I still have my prototype, which is a few thousandths off….

I asked, and Don was kind enough to throw me a bone (sorry) with this photograph of his prototype. If it looks a bit funny, here, it’s probably because I couldn’t resist the temptation to crop it to 400.0 x 900.0 pixels. Although I am insufficiently evolved to perceive them, Don assures me that the model’s hyperspatial dimensions are equally precise. [Thanks, Don!]

16 thoughts on “2001 monolith replica machined to 0.001″

  1. RocketGuy says:

    Or do you use a regular milling head but feed in G-Squared codes?

    1. Don Simpson says:

      There used to be this great bunch of surplus stores near the Oakland Airport North Field. You could get all kinds f stuff there….

  2. CircuitGizmo says:

    It’s full of WIN!

    Just HAD to say that.

    1. Zool says:

      @My God! It’s full of WIN!

      Actually its my god, its full of stars! ;)

      1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

        I’m pretty sure he knows that, man. =]

  3. Don Simpson says:

    Actually, my name is Don. But I’m thrilled to see my work featured here.

    1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

      It’s Dan! I’m sure of it!

      Seriously, Don, sorry about that. Should be fixed now.

      1. Don Simpson says:

        Yup, looks fixed. I wish I had thought of the 4 x 9 photo cropping; glad you did that.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).