Simon Winchester wrote an enjoyable book about the history of precision that starts with Wilkinson’s boring of steam cylinders to improve upon the efficiency of the first steam engines and rifles, through engineering history to ASML’s nano-level IC fab machines.
In America, it's called The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. Elsewhere, the title of the same book is Exactly.
Also, three surfaces that can be ground truely flat is also vital.
i can highly recommend the youtube series "machine thinking" if you have interest in this, aswell as the book "the perfectionist"
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