Manufacturing & Prototyping

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma-Based Fabrication of Printable Electronics and Functional Coatings

Applications include biomedical, consumer electronics, security, and communications industries. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is growing. Nanomaterials have proved to be very useful in both printable electronics due to their electronic properties, and in biosensors for signal transduction, and amplification. Chemical vapor deposition requires high temperatures for the growth of nanostructures, restricting the type and nature of materials that can be used as substrates. Conventional plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition requires high vacuum equipment, and the need for vacuum results in additional costs of vacuum pumps and energy resources.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Passive Destructive Interference Acoustic Liner for a Turbofan Engine Using Additive Manufacturing

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio This technology exploits the capabilities of additive manufacturing to attenuate the fan noise within the inlet or aft duct of a turbofan engine. The approach may be expanded to include auxiliary power units, environmental control systems, or other cooling systems requiring noise attenuation.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today. This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. If you are interested in licensing the technologies described here, use the contact information provided. To learn about more available technologies, visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal at

Posted in: Articles, Products, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Optical Components, Optics


Product of the Month: April 2015

Onshape, Inc., Cambridge, MA, introduced Onshape, the first full-cloud 3D CAD system with built-in data collaboration and management that lets all members of a design team work together using any Web browser, phone, or tablet. Using parametric and direct modeling techniques, the CAD system and data live in the cloud and are not copied, so everyone works on the same master at all times, eliminating checkouts, file copies, and overwriting. The product also eliminates installations, license codes and servers, service packs, and add-on PDM systems. Each user works on the same version of Onshape, so teams can access the same documents simultaneously. Access is controlled by the document owner, so each user sees visual indicators when others are working within the same document. Onshape allows users to perform all CAD work — not just view and markup — from a mobile device. The mobile apps are optimized for phones and tablets, allowing flexibility to access, collaborate, and edit CAD data anytime, anywhere, on any device. Both Free and Professional plans are available, with both providing access to full functionality. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software


Magnetic Encoders

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) introduced new models of IXARC magnetic encoders that combine incremental and absolute rotation measurement capabilities in a single, compact package. Absolute encoders provide a control system with a report of the rotational angle and rotation count at a specific point in time; incremental encoders provide a signal pulse each time the encoder shaft rotates by a specified angle. The hybrid encoders are based on the company’s magnetic measurement technology, and offer shock, dust, and moisture resistance. The hybrid incremental and absolute rotary encoders have communications interfaces that support both measurement modes: RS-422, HTL, or TTL for incremental readings; and SSI for absolute measurements. Available multi-turn versions can count up to 64,000 revolutions, while incremental measurements have resolutions as high as 16,384 pulses per revolution. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Measuring Instruments


Servo Drive

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the NANO Gold Twitter servo drive that delivers up to 4000 Watts of qualitative power, current up to 50A at 100VDC, and up to 15A/200V with advanced servo capabilities and support for EtherCAT or CANopen networking communication. It weighs 18 grams, is less than 13 cm3 in volume, and complies to safety, EMC, and environmental standards. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Power Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Power Transmission


Planetary Gearbox

GAM (Mount Prospect, IL) offers the SPH inline planetary gearbox with helical gears for dynamic and cyclic applications, as well highspeed and continuous duty applications. It is available in six frame sizes with nominal torque ratings from 15 to 900 Nm. The face width of the gears provides more tooth contact and greater overall torque density. The gears are case-hardened, which imparts strength deeper into the gear. With several output configurations available, machine integration is simplified. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Motion Control


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