Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D Printed Tensegrity Object Can Change Shape

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3D printers to create objects capable of shape change. The objects use tensegrity, a structural system of floating rods in compression and cables in continuous tension. The researchers fabricated the struts from shape memory polymers that unfold when heated. The technology could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Motion Control
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Improving Corrosion Resistance of 303 Stainless Steel

Able Electropolishing, a leader in the electropolishing industry, teamed up with Swiss Precision Machining Inc., to test the effectiveness of passivation vs. electropolishing on corrosion resistance of machined 303 stainless steel components.

Posted in: White Papers, Green Design & Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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ABLE TECHNICAL GUIDE: Your Solution to 7 Metal Surface Problems

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws from the surface of a metal part.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Test & Measurement
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Taking Manufacturing Control By Force

In today's data-driven world, there's no such thing as having too much information. From a product manufacturer's perspective, there are countless variables that can impact their production process. Among these variables are changes in force, where the slightest contact can make a major impact on efficiency and quality.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics, Sensors
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Three Things Medical Device Designers Need to Know About UVC LEDs

The global infection control market is projected to reach $22 billion by 2022 with disinfection products, which would include UVC devices, representing the largest growth segment. UVC LEDs offer medical equipment designers an exciting new way to develop hand-held or portable disinfection devices to greatly enhance HAI prevention in a wide range of healthcare applications. Importantly, the design and operating flexibility of UVC LEDs means that these devices could be used during routine daily patient management and not limited to empty terminal room events.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical
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Fabrication of BSA 14-23 Superhydrophobic Sponges as Efficient Oil and Organic Liquid Absorbents

This approach is fast, simple, inexpensive, widely applicable, and scalable.

Oil spills have become an environmental problem due to the growth of offshore oil exploration, production, and transportation. There are several methods that have been used to clean up oil spills such as chemical dispersants, water skimming, and using absorbent materials. Although skimming is the most common method for cleaning large spills, this method is time-consuming, expensive, and poorly separates oil and water. Chemical dispersants can be used to break up oil slicks into droplets that can be easily dissipated in water, but the mixture of oil and dispersants can be toxic and damage marine ecosystems. Thus, the use of oil sorbents can be an effective method to ease oil collection, and sorbents have a high capacity for removing oil from a targeted site.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Environmental technologies, Water reclamation, Fabrication
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Suspended Platform Improves Efficiency in Large-Scale Manufacturing

The platform enables access to large, external surfaces with minimum footprint and maximum system rigidity.

The Flying Carpet is a platform of any shape, size, or material that is suspended by a four-point cable system. The platform can serve as a movable scaffolding and worker positioning system that enables workers to maneuver themselves, parts, and tools throughout a large work volume for tasks such as ship repair and aircraft paint removal with up to 20 times improved efficiency over hand-built scaffolding. The Flying Carpet is a cable-supported platform that uses single-axis jog-, velocity-, and force-control modes.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Industrial vehicles and equipment
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Positioning Stage

Assembly of optic-electronic devices requires precision alignment of optical fibers with lasers or sensors, and then bonding. A worker looking through a microscope at the end of a fiber conventionally executes this precision alignment and bonding process.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Fiber optics, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Electronic equipment, Fiber optics, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Assembling, Joining
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Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

These multi-functional composite materials have applications in body armor, radiators, chemical sensors, computers, and electronics.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. CNTs are being studied for applications in high-strength/low-weight composites and other applications. In order to alter the CNT properties for particular applications, chemical functionalization may be necessary. Development of multifunctional composite materials may require functionalization of a collection of CNTs to allow the tubes to be dispersed more easily in a host matrix.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Chemicals, Composite materials, Nanomaterials
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Carbon Fiber and Fiber Metal Laminate Composites Reinforced with Metallic Glass

This new class of composites has applications in aerospace, automotive, sporting goods, military, and defense.

Carbon fiber (CF) and carbon fiber composites have gained widespread use in recent years due to their unique combination of high strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio. To improve their mechanical properties, CF is sometimes used as a laminate, usually with aluminum, to improve the impact and residual strength properties of the CF. By bonding sheets of CF and aluminum, it was noticed that fatigue crack growth rates could be reduced in the laminates, as compared to monolithic sheets of either material. These composites have been referred to as CF metal laminates (CFMLs), and they are generally comprised of thin sheets of metal alloys (not always Al) and plies of fiber (not always carbon fiber) reinforced with polymeric materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Composite materials, Fibers, Glass, Materials properties, Metals
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