Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D-Printed Soft Robot ‘Walks’ on Any Terrain

A traditional robot often features isolated mechanical joints. These discrete components limit the rover’s ability to traverse sand, stone, and other challenging environments.

A team at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated a more flexible option: a soft robot that lifts its legs over obstacles and operates on a variety of terrains. The 3D-printed quadrupedal technology may someday support search-and-rescue missions requiring intelligent navigation capabilities.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Automation, Robotics
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What's New on Tech Briefs: Brickmaking on Mars a 'Smashing' Success

With support from Congress and the President, NASA aims to send a manned mission to Mars by 2040. Establishing a human presence on the Red Planet, however, will require permanent shelters.

And lugging a pile of bricks on the nine-month, 35-million-mile trip is out of the question.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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3D Printing Applications for Medical Education and Training

3D printed multi-material models can replicate the complexity and wide range of patient pathology, making them superior tools for medical education. But how do 3D printed models compare to traditional training methods? In multiple peer reviews, users agree they can be an invaluable asset to training and better prepare practitioners for the clinical realm. The studies evaluated:

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical
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Building Better Bonds

Until recently, there was little up-to-date research about adhesives that could be used with Eastman Tritan™ copolyester. By collaborating with Henkel Corporation, whose LOCTITE® adhesive continues to be tested at the industry’s most comprehensive ISO 10993 biocompatibility standards, Eastman was able to determine which combination of resins and adhesives could help optimize a manufacturer’s assembly process. Results proved that Tritan, together with LOCTITE® adhesives, provides improved process efficiency for a wide range of medical devices.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Medical
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A New Material for Mars Habitats? Mars Itself

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a compaction technique that may someday be used to turn Mars soil into building blocks for the Red Planet. The scientists' new method of applying pressure offers construction possibilities as NASA plans manned Mars missions in the upcoming decades.

Posted in: News, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials
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Shaping the Future of Service Robotics

Robots emerged in the early 1960s as a way to automate the monotonous and dangerous tasks in factories around the world. As time passed and new technologies emerged, these robots have taken a place outside of the industrial market and alongside humans in manufacturing and non-manufacturing applications alike.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics
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Metal Finishing White Paper: Electropolishing to Improve Corrosion Protection

One of the most common applications for electropolishing is to enhance corrosion resistance on a wide variety of metal alloys, specifically stainless steel. Electropolishing is quickly becoming a replacement process for a long established treatment: Passivation. Passivation is a chemical process that has been used for years to help restore contaminated stainless steel to original corrosion specifications.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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What's New on TechBriefs.com: 3D Printing's Next Frontier

In 1983, when Chuck Hull was spending nights and weekends building the first 3D printer, he couldn’t have imagined that someone would eventually use the apparatus to build a toaster from ashes.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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How 3D Printing Began, Layer by Layer

In 1983, Chuck Hull worked for a small California-based company that used ultraviolet light to turn liquid polymers into hardened, or cured, coatings. Inside the firm’s lab on his nights and weekends, Hull found a way to make UV-curable materials the basis for his Stereolithography Apparatus, patented the following year.

Tech Briefs spoke with Hull about the future of his invention, the 3D printer.

Posted in: News, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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The 3D Printing Landscape: Then and Now

Frequently used as a design validation and prototyping tool in its early days, the 3D printer now supports a much wider range of applications, from shape-conforming electronics to the creation of printed living tissue. Tech Briefs spoke with industry expert Terry Wohlers about 3D printing's emerging possibilities.

Posted in: News, News, News, Aerospace, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Implants & Prosthetics
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