News

News : Lighting Technology
New battery coating could improve smart phones and electric vehicles

High-performing lithium-ion batteries are a key component of laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles. Currently, the anodes, or negative charged side of lithium-ion batteries, are generally made with graphite or other carbon-based materials.

News : Lighting Technology
Precision work: Defect-free coatings for silicon spheres

The prototype kilogram is the unit of mass upon which the weight of a kilo is based. And it’s becoming increasingly lighter. The reason for this, however, is unknown. Now researchers are seeking alternatives for the platinum-iridium alloy artefact that is stored in a safe in Paris. The...

News : Lighting Technology
Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster, and even greener, over the last 60 years.

News : Lighting Technology
Lab researchers 3D-print with high-performance carbon fiber

Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers have become the first to 3D-print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites, opening the door to greater control and optimization of the lightweight, yet stronger than steel, material. The research represents a "significant advance" in the...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm
Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes...

Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm
News : Aerospace
Researchers Print the Unprintable: Kapton

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's structural characteristics.

News : Imaging
Imaging technique to improve understanding of Alzheimer's

Researchers have developed a fast and practical molecular-scale imaging technique that could let scientists view never-before-seen dynamics of biological processes involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

News : Imaging
Multispectral imaging reveals ancient Hebrew inscription

Using advanced imaging technology, Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered a hitherto invisible inscription on the back of a pottery shard that has been on display at the Israel Museum for more than 50 years.

News : Imaging
Video imaging of single molecule DNA replication

Almost all life is based on DNA being copied or replicated. Now for the first time, scientists have been able to watch the replication of a single DNA molecule, with some surprising findings. For one thing, there is a lot more randomness at work than has been thought.

News : Imaging
New cellular imaging paves way for cancer treatment

Researchers at the Universities of York and Leiden have pioneered a technique that uses fluorescent imaging to track the actions of key enzymes in cancer, genetic disorders, and kidney disease. Scientists hope this new development will aid drug design for new anti-cancer, inflammation, and...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sound-Off: How Does Recycled Powder Impact a 3D-Printed Part?

In the additive manufacturing process, leftover powder is often recycled for the next job. Do the raw materials degrade with time and exposure?

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sound-Off: Who is Using 3D Printing for Thermal Management?

By reducing size and weight, 3D-printed parts provide an opportunity to improve thermal control systems. So which major industries are leading the way and using additive manufacturing to stabilize product temperatures?

News : Energy
Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched
Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and South Korea’s Hanyang University have developed tiny, high-tech yarns that generate electricity when stretched or twisted. The...

Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched
News : Materials
From Seawater to Drinking Water? Nanotubes Upgrade Desalination Efforts

Looking to nature for inspiration, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Northeastern University have used carbon nanotubes to mimic the water-filtering proteins of the body. The super-thin graphene cylinders improve water desalination efforts and...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sound-Off: What is Live Tooling?

When features need to be removed from a product, manufacturers often use a subtractive process known as CNC machining. In a Tech Briefs presentation last week, engineer Tony Holtz made a case for a more “Rapid” method.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Perspiration Power: Biofuel Cell Reacts to Sweat
Perspiration Power: Biofuel Cell Reacts to Sweat

Engineers from the University of California – San Diego have developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from an often-unpleasant source: sweat. The flexible UCSD-developed devices...

Perspiration Power: Biofuel Cell Reacts to Sweat
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Next 3D-Printed Part: A Hack?

See what’s new on Tech Briefs, including a three-layer way of securing the growing number of 3D-printed parts being placed in today’s vehicles and airplanes.

News : Medical
Tissue Repair, With a Single Touch

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State’s College of Engineering have developed a new kind of TNT — a "Tissue Nanotransfection" device that generates specific cell types for treatment within a patient’s own body. The “cuff-link”-sized technology supports the...

News : 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.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

News : Imaging
New Software Spots Eye Contact
New Software Spots Eye Contact

Did you see? New software developed at Saarland University turns any camera into an eye-contact detector. Why is it so valuable to identify eye contact? We spoke with the inventor about new kinds of...

New Software Spots Eye Contact
News : Aerospace
The Newest Way to Propel Nanosatellites? Water.
The Newest Way to Propel Nanosatellites? Water.

Although maneuvering nanosatellites in space is a complex procedure, a new micro-propulsion method features the simplest of ingredients: water.

The Newest Way to Propel Nanosatellites? Water.
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Sound-Off: How Do Collaborative Robots Spot Human Operators?

In a “speed and separation” manufacturing scenario, a safe distance must be maintained between a collaborative robot and a human operator. When the gap reaches below a specific threshold, the cobot then initiates a monitored stop. But how does the robot “see” the human?

News : Energy
Researcher Sees the Power of Solar Glasses
Researcher Sees the Power of Solar Glasses

New eyeglasses from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology generate solar power. Featuring semitransparent organic solar cells, the eyewear powers a microprocessor and two small displays...

Researcher Sees the Power of Solar Glasses
News : Medical
New 3D printing method promises superior medical implants for millions

For the millions of people every year who have or need medical devices implanted, a new advancement in 3D printing technology developed at the University of Florida promises significantly quicker implantation of devices that are stronger, less expensive, more flexible, and...

News : Medical
Study points way to better implantable medical devices

Medical devices implanted in the body for drug delivery, sensing, or tissue regeneration usually come under fire from the host's immune system. Defense cells work to isolate material they consider foreign to the body, building up a wall of dense scar tissue around the devices, which...

News : Medical
Flexible glass made for tiny medical devices

Brigham Young University researchers have developed new glass technology that could add a new level of flexibility to the microscopic world of medical devices.

News : Photonics/Optics
Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit
Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit

Physicists from Washington State University (WSU) have used lasers to draw conductive circuits into a crystal. The achievement demonstrates a new kind of transparent,...

Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit
News : Materials
Using Spider Silk, Surgeon Hits a Nerve

Christine Radtke, a Professor for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Austria’s MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, has 21 spiders. The silk obtained from the Tanzanian golden orb-weavers offers Radtke and her team a valuable material to repair nerve and tissue.

Question of the Week
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?