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Engineering Design at its Coolest

Day one at the Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West show in Anaheim, CA was bustling with energy. Nearly everyone I spoke with said that they had found themselves happily busy throughout the day.

One nice part about meeting people at trade shows is that you might come across information you would never have gleaned from a simple press release (or information that never made it into the press release in the first place). For instance, although I was aware that NASA and GM had developed the highly advanced "Robonaut 2" robot for space and automotive applications, I had no idea that Quickparts was involved in the process as well -- until I spoke with their representatives at today's show. Roughly speaking, Quickparts supplied custom parts for the Robonaut 2's head and body, while GM was involved mainly with the development of the robot's dexterous arms.

In other news, one innovation that caught my eye was the Noble UltraLight from Norman Noble. The brochure features a man in swimming gear making a snow angel, underneath the words, "Our New Laser Technology is Cool." This athermal laser machining process was developed for applications that require intricate cutting without thermal damage to the material - such as the manufacturing of stents or a number of other medical devices. Hopefully I'll find something just as "cool" tomorrow.