Brent Donaldson Senior Editor

Brent Donaldson is senior editor for Additive Manufacturing Magazine and Modern Machine Shop, specializing in long-form feature articles related to machining and all-things-AM and industrial 3D printing

Before joining Gardner, Brent was editor-in-chief of Northern Kentucky University Magazine — at the same university from which he received his journalism degree in 2005. Brent previously served as associate editor for Cincinnati Magazine, and is the recipient of two Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards for feature news writing, Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists awards, and more than 40 individual awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for writing and editorial.

Fun fact: Brent was the last journalist ever to interview Evel Knievel.

Automation

Made in the USA - Episode 2: The Automation Puzzle

By: Brent Donaldson

There is a fundamental question we need to answer when we talk about automation: To what extent is automation an answer to the skilled workforce shortage, and to what extent is automation vs. Skilled labor the wrong comparison to make in the first place?

When Handing Down the Family Machine Shop is as Complex as a Swiss-Turned Part

By: Brent Donaldson

The transition into Swiss-type machining at Deking Screw Products required more than just a shift in production operations. It required a new mindset and a new way running the family-owned business. Hardest of all, it required that one generation let go, and allow a new one to step in.
#successionplanning

Aerospace

Starting with the End in Mind: An Exit Strategy for Machine Shops

By: Brent Donaldson

John Shegda and Eric Wilhelm each had different ideas about how they wanted to phase into retirement. The exit strategies for the three successful manufacturing businesses the two men operated included a mix of seeking equity groups, selling the business, or transitioning into an employee stock ownership plan. All it took was a friendly suggestion from a mutual friend to set them on a different path.

Additive

Here Is Why Knust Godwin Decided to 3D Print Mission Critical Parts

By: Brent Donaldson

Knust Godwin introduced metal 3D printing into its precision-machining environment nearly eight years ago. Now the company is using the capability to break through into new applications and give 3D printed mission-critical parts a renewed business case.

Aerospace

When Organic Growth in Your Machine Shop Isn’t Enough

By: Brent Donaldson

Princeton Tool wanted to expand its portfolio, increase its West Coast presence, and become a stronger overall supplier. To accomplish all three goals at once, acquiring another machine shop became its best option.

Additive

Inside Oak Ridge’s 3D-Printed Machine Tool Moonshot

By: Brent Donaldson

The widespread outsourcing of large machine castings led a collaborative team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to tackle the machine tool supply chain. The first step? 3D print the largest cast component.

Additive

Growing Closer: Machine Shops and 3D Printing for Production

By: Brent Donaldson

Machining a large 3D-printed part for aerospace composite tooling is fundamentally different than manufacturing the part traditionally. Baker Industries knows this first-hand.

Additive

A Methodical Strategy to Bring Additive Manufacturing into Sheet Metal Fabrication

By: Brent Donaldson

When Wilson Tool International launched its additive manufacturing division in 2018, it had already proven 3D printing’s value through dozens of printed parts for its own line of equipment. Demonstrating that value to customers required a new, highly focused approach.

Milling Tools

How Machine Tool Dynamics Could Become a U.S. Supply Chain Strategy

By: Brent Donaldson

A collaborative agreement being overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy involves a deceptively simple test — a test that could radically increase throughput of the United States’ existing base of CNC machine tools.

Grinding

Lessons from a COVID-19 Shutdown and Reopening

By: Brent Donaldson

Weldon Solutions, a manufacturer of CNC cylindrical grinders and robotic automation systems, had to close its doors for two months due to COVID-19. Now allowed to reopen, the company is taking stock of the lessons learned and a path forward during the pandemic.
#covid-19

Medical

An Unusual Machine for an Unusual Time: Mazak Helps AquiSense Fight COVID-19 with PearlSurface

By: Brent Donaldson

When a company that specializes in rendering viruses and pathogens harmless via UV light looked to produce a portable disinfection device, it turned to its neighbor Mazak to move from design into production.
#covid-19

Turn/Mill Machines

CNC Machining as a Business Strategy for 3D Printing

By: Brent Donaldson

As the additive manufacturing company 3rd Dimension Industrial 3D Printing prepares for production, it has one critical advantage over the competition: a standalone CNC machine shop.