6 Blogs That Manufacturing Companies Should Read

Our machine shop staff receives an average of 5-10 manufacturing periodicals a day. I’ve combed through it all (and I’m sure you have too) and I’ll be frank – manufacturing magazines, newsletters, and blogs could use an upgrade.

Let’s pause the chatter about speeds, feeds and the latest cutting tools for a moment. If you’re looking for some unique, remarkable content focused on manufacturing companies and industry thought leaders, you’re at the right place.

remarkable manufacturingI’ve searched far and wide for blogs written by purple cow (see: Seth Godin) thinkers in manufacturing. Blogs that look at the bigger picture beyond the shop floor. Blogs that explore the human aspects of manufacturing. Blogs that both educate on manufacturing and inspire to manufacture.

I want to offer you some manufacturing blogs that get our imagination going, and remind us why we got involved in manufacturing in the first place. I salute them, and I want to pay it forward by sharing 6 of my favorite blogs here… and lots of helpful links too!

1. Manufacturing Innovation Blog

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) publishes this excellent blog written with small to mid-sized manufacturers in mind. Clear mission, well designed, and always written for humans. The MEP features many different writers, and all bring a unique perspective to their posts. This blog does a great job at constantly reminding us all that manufacturing does have a home for everyone.

2. Dream It. Do It. Nebraska Blog

The folks who publish this blog from the American Heartland have a real passion for manufacturing, and it shows. With posts like 5 of America’s Coolest Factory Tours and College Students Rejoice: NASA is Printing Pizza, the Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition (who runs the blog) does their part to show young people the exciting and quirky opportunities available by pursuing a career in manufacturing. Keep it up guys!

3. Made in Dayton Blog

Main authors, Steve Staub and Gary Weldon, bring their own experience of running a contract manufacturing business to the table. They steer the blog towards the difficult topics for the industry, they never shy away from opinion, and they open dialogue with manufacturers about ways we can ALL work together to make American manufacturing great again. Steve and Gary are relentless in addressing the ever-growing US manufacturing skills gap and redefining the tired image and misconceptions about manufacturing that many outsiders have  today. They are determined to revitalize manufacturing in Dayton, OH and beyond.  I simply love the positive direction that they take this blog.

4. Fabbaloo

Many manufacturing veterans are still figuring out the different ways to apply 3D printing technology, beyond oddball objects and replacement parts. Kerry Stevenson is a purple cow thinker who takes 3D printing head-on on Fabbaloo. He writes helpful reviews about different 3D printers and resins available on the market. He gives virtual factory tours. He features different, amazing 3D printed designs each week. Quite simply, keep up with Kerry, and you’ll better keep up with the ongoing evolution in 3D printing.

5. Stratasys Blog for a 3D World

Stratasys is a BIG company and a global leader in 3D printing technology (they also just acquired MakerBot for $403M). Like me, you might expect to find another sterile corporate blog here. But I have been continuously impressed and enlightened by their very down-to-earth, relevant and helpful blog. The team at Stratasys has personality, for sure. If additive manufacturing piques your interest for mostly industrial applications, Stratasys covers foundry patternmaking, aerospace, and more. If you’re into consumer goods, they have cool shoes and even 3D printed Kryptonite stories to boot.

6. Make:

Let’s not forget about the DIY’ers. If there was a definitive Homebrew Computer Club (of Steve Jobs lore) for manufacturing hackers today, they would surely be active community members on this blog.  Make: offers a phenomenal list of the “makers” who are probably worth connecting with on Twitter (hint hint). Their parent company, Maker Media, hosts an annual Maker Faire that is cool to follow on YouTube, and cooler to attend (it’s in Queens, NY). The content on this blog is fascinating and runs deep — if manufacturing is your passion, Make: is surely the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory you’ve been looking for.

About Justin Knabb

Justin Knabb is VP of Operations at Specialty Design and Manufacturing, a family-run, US manufacturer of custom home building products as well as custom industrial machinery. Justin is a fan of microbreweries, traveling, Apple products, and Philly cheesesteaks. He can be reached at 1-610-779-1357 or here.