Making planes, cars, sweets, jeans and plastic bottles
A varied collection of manufacturing industry video clips from the Alliance for Innovative
Manufacturing at Stanford University. Clips include making aeroplanes, motorbikes,
cars, sweets, chocolate, plastic bottles, textiles, crayons, golf clubs, steel and
A wide range of manufacturing processes can also be seen in action, including casting,
moulding, forging, hydroforming, stamping, cutting, milling, turning, welding, assembly
and rapid prototyping. There is an appealing video on choice of materials called
‘Engineering: Making it Work’
Note the three tags on the left, each of which gives access to a different list of
The interface takes a little getting used to and might seem inflexible at first.
But waiting until the clip has fully loaded - bottom right - then hitting the pause
button in the centre, makes fast forward and rewind options available.
Where do pencils come from?
Five clips that blend film and animation to answer the question in a brief and colourful
“We know they’re made of wood, so could they grow on trees? I’m going back to school
to find some answers.”
How computer chips are made
Interactive presentation from Intel: “Although several microprocessors are built
on a single wafer, our demonstration will build only a small piece of a microprocessor.
Let's take a closer look...”
Lego bricks from little balls
Animation of the whole manufacturing process, from coloured plastic granules sucked
up out of large container trucks into three-storey high metal silos, all the way
to the final conveyor belt - “where kits can have hundreds of different pieces, so
packaging has to be fast and accurate.”
Injection moulding and vacuum forming
Thermoplastic materials are an essential element in modern manufacturing. Watch machines
make plastic shapes.
How to make a silicon wafer
Short colourful animations that start with melted “polysilicon, together with minute
amounts of electrically active elements such as arsenic, boron, phosphorous or antimony”
and end with “a thin, single-crystal layer grown on the polished surface of the basic
wafer substrate”. Looks much nicer than it sounds. From MEMC Electronics Materials,
Die casting is an efficient, economical process that produces more shapes and components
than any other manufacturing technique. It provides complex shapes within close tolerances.
Little or no machining is needed and thousands of identical castings can be produced.
“Die castings are among the highest volume, mass-produced items manufactured by the
metalworking industry, and they can be found in thousands of consumer, commercial
and industrial products. Die cast parts are important components of products ranging
from automobiles to toys. Parts can be as simple as a sink faucet or as complex as
a connector housing.” More
Hot chamber die castingis used for lower melting-point metals, such as zinc, zinc-aluminium
and magnesium. “The process utilises a crucible fitted with a cylinder to force molten
metal through a tube called a goose-neck into the die cast tool.” Squeeze casting
is a variant.
Simple, clear and colourful animation of how iron has been madefor well over a hundred
years. Find out more from Corus, one Europe’s largest steel producers.