On Christmas Day 2021, Nasa launched a telescope 100 times more powerful than Hubble. The James Webb Telescope traveled one million miles away from Earth before unfolding itself, like a delicate piece of origami, and starting its job of transmitting images and data that will answer some of humanities biggest questions. It is one of mankind’s most incredible feats of manufacturing and Hexagon is proud to have played a part in its creation. When we talk about the magic of manufacturing, this is just one of the many examples that spring to mind. 

It was writer Arthur C Clark who famously wrote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” We see this everyday. As an industry, we can manufacture things down to a micron – that’s 100th of a human hair. This precision enables us to do incredible things – enriching lives with microscopic medical devices and sending advanced telescopes to outer space. 

And yet manufacturing isn’t always seen through this prism of the spectacular. We don’t even think about the breakthroughs, the design, the engineering – the brilliance that has gone into our tiny smartphones or our paper thin laptops. 

Perhaps it’s down to a misunderstanding about what manufacturing actually is. It’s not Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, assembly lines and dirty machines. These days manufacturing is about precision, it’s about data and harnessing the latest materials. A typical factory is full of computer engineers, robotic engineers, integration engineers – people who wouldn’t look out of place in Silicon Valley.

At Sixth Sense, we want to reignite the excitement around manufacturing. We want to capture people’s imaginations about the ability to create things that mean something. Not just because we want to keep building things that make people happy – but because in a world that faces lots of challenges, we believe manufacturing will have the solutions. 

We want to give this generation’s young manufacturing innovators an opportunity to make a difference. Sharing the vast resources and insight we have to power further breakthroughs and solve more problems. And in doing so, we will hopefully inspire the next generation to do the same. 

The magic of manufacturing is conjured not by magicians, but by brilliant minds, inspired by the task and pushing for better. That’s something to be proud of.