Manufacturing & Prototyping

Sound-Off: How to Sell Additive Manufacturing to the Organization

How do you convince program managers to take an additive manufacturing approach to tooling? A 3D-printing pro shares lessons he learned about how to overcome obstacles from leadership.

Posted in: News, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors
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Sound-Off: How Does ‘Cold Forming’ Impact a Part?

The manufacturing process of "cold forming" applies force to a metal as it is staged in a die. The technology, used originally in the early 1900s to create artillery shells, supports the creation of a variety of sophisticated, small parts, including fasteners, pins, and screws. But how do the residual stresses caused by the process affect the life of the part?

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Conductive Particle Assembly Enables Creation of Two-Dimensional Electronic Circuits

Fabrication of one-dimensional granular and colloidal materials can be used for granular conductors, flexible electronics for wearable devices, and electromagnetic energy transport.

One-dimensional conductive particle assembly holds promise for a variety of practical applications; in particular, for a new generation of electronic devices. Synthesis of such chains with programmable shapes outside a liquid environment has proven difficult.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Integrated circuits, Electronic equipment, Integrated circuits, Conductivity
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Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene

This method makes graphene for flexible and printable electronics, energy storage, and catalysis.

Engineers have developed a simple method for producing high-quality graphene that can be used in next-generation electronic and energy devices. The method essentially bakes the compound in a microwave oven.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Manufacturing processes, Graphite
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3D-Printed Heart-on-a-Chip with Integrated Sensors

This technique paves the way for more complex, customizable devices.

The first entirely 3D-printed organ-on-a-chip with integrated sensing has been built by a fully automated digital manufacturing procedure. The 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip can be quickly fabricated and customized, allowing researchers to easily collect reliable data for short-term and longterm studies.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies, Additive manufacturing
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Robotic System for 3D-Printing the Basic Structure of an Entire Building

This technology could enable faster, cheaper, more adaptable building construction.

Materials that can be produced by 3D printing include not just plastics, but metal, glass, and even food. A new system called a Digital Construction Platform (DCP) was developed that can 3D-print the basic structure of an entire building. Structures built with the system could be produced faster and less expensively than traditional construction methods allow. A building could also be completely customized to the needs of a particular site and the desires of its maker. Even the internal structure could be modified in new ways; different materials could be incorporated as the process proceeds, and material density could be varied to provide optimum combinations of strength, insulation, or other properties. Ultimately, this approach could enable the design and construction of new kinds of buildings that would not be feasible with traditional building methods.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Method of Manufacturing Convective Accelerometers

Miniaturization and integration of accelerometers in standard integrated circuit (IC) processes has been the topic of extensive research. In most cases, accelerometer structures involve a solid proof mass that is allowed to move under accelerating conditions. This approach has many disadvantages. One key disadvantage is the difficulty of processing such components in IC technologies inherently unsuited for these components.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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4D Printing of Load-Bearing and Predictable Structures

Moveable and shape-changing components are created using multi-material 3D printers.

Research is being performed in adding a fourth dimension to 3D printers — the dimension of time. This technique, called 4D printing, creates moveable and shape-variable objects, such as flat components, that can be folded into three-dimensional objects at a later point, or even objects that can change their shape as a function of external influences.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Improved Two-Step Replication Process for Producing Precision Optical Mirrors

Production of precision optical mirrors by replication requires molds or mandrels of the complementary shape. For example, replicating a concave mirror requires a convex mandrel. Convex shapes are difficult to fabricate and test since they do not focus light. Convex mandrels are therefore costly when they are available. Their sizes are limited to 1-2 meters. Two-step or double replication is well known in the art. In the traditional method, a specific polymer resin system with fillers is used to replicate an existing concave mirror (designated as “mother”) to produce a convex intermediate designated as “daughter.” The same material is then used to replicate the daughter, creating a third-generation concave that is designated as “granddaughter.”

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mirrors, Fabrication, Resins
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