Manufacturing Independence Day

Independence Day, full of grilling, fun, and fireworks. But that’s not the Independence Day we’re talking about today. We are geeked for the movie, Independence Day and its sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.

If you are wondering what a summer blockbuster has to do with a manufacturing blog, stick with me. You’d have to be living under a rock, or born after 1996, to not know the story of the original movie. Aliens come to Earth in a giant space ship, to invade the earth, steal our resources and enslave, or eat, the inhabitants. Human perseverance, plus our drive for survival being as strong as it is, allows Earth’s population to manage to drop the alien shields and engage the aliens in an epic air battle.

After winning the day, humanities greatest fear is that the aliens would eventually return, in greater numbers. At least that’s the premise of Independence Day: Resurgence, which is set twenty years after the original. Fortunately humanity didn’t stand still, they had some time to prepare.


What happens in between the two movies is that Earth’s population opens the spigot of design and manufacturing wide open. Utilizing technology left over from aliens in the first movie, plus good ole’ Yankee ingenuity, they create new weapons, ships and defenses for the upcoming invasion.

Ramping up manufacturing in this capacity is not a new concept. During World War II, the United States did something similar. Manufacturing and industrial production took a giant leap. Automobile factories were converted to making airplanes and bombers. Willow Run’s bomber facility was eventually able to turn out one new B-24 bomber per day.

After World War II, that industrial production was turned into unprecedented growth of the United States and benefited the economy. Growth in design and manufacturing lead to incredible advancements in air, sea, and land transportation. Eventually leading to putting a man on the moon only two and a half decades after the end of World War II.


While I have not seen Independence Day: Resurgence yet, I feel pretty confident in saying humanity will find a way to win the day again. Hopefully you’re able to enjoy this blockbuster movie this summer. Just remember, the real unsung hero of the story is manufacturing; designing and making the means to kick alien butt.


Al Whatmough is Product Manager at Autodesk for the HSM based CAM product; HSMWorks, Inventor HSM & Fusion 360. A machinist by trade, prior to joining Autodesk, Al was involved in the CADCAM field by running or owning companies that provided sales, services and created training for businesses wishing to implement integrated CAD/CAM technology.

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