Manufacturing & Prototyping

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on manufacturing and prototyping, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
This electronic pill can relay diagnostic information or release drugs in response to smartphone commands.
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
Briefs : Materials
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Ultra-thin SiC microstructures enable batch fabrication of MEMS, NEMS, pressure sensors, and biosensors.
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Various components are used to assemble robots that are more aware of their surroundings.
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
This plant-based material can be manufactured using water as a solvent instead of other harmful solvents.
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Load-bearing structures in cars and airplanes could be manufactured from the metal foam.
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and the majority live in developing nations. A process was...

Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Briefs : Energy
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
A technology uses a combination of WiFi signals and accelerometer technology to track devices in near-real-time.
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Researchers have developed a self-contained wheel unit that combines a wheel and an electric motor.
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Briefs : Aerospace
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
This lightweight material brings strength and durability to complex shapes.
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
This hands-on, educational tool highlights the properties of SMA wire.
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
This technology provides simultaneous ohmic contacts and the process to make them.
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
This optical switch controls the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently.
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
This method also reverse-engineers computer chips to detect the chip’s purpose.
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Briefs : Energy
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
The method could impact optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Briefs : Motion Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
The technology can be used in commercial motors, robotic systems, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
The algorithm speeds up the planning process that robots use to adjust their grip on objects.
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Diamond Technology Enables Low-Cost Medical Imaging
Diamond Technology Enables Low-Cost Medical Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are employed to locate cancerous tumors and aid in the development of treatment plans, while nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines are used to...

Diamond Technology Enables Low-Cost Medical Imaging
Briefs : Energy
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor the wearer’s health and correct eyesight use embedded electronics. These, and other curved devices such as solar cells and electronics, could be...

Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wind Event Warning System
Wind Event Warning System

NASA Langley Research Center developed a wind event warning technology that provides a practical early warning system (5-10 minutes) for a severe change in the wind vector. Events such as gusts, shear, microbursts,...

Wind Event Warning System
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Printed Electronics for Electrified Tattoos and Personalized Biosensors
Printed Electronics for Electrified Tattoos and Personalized Biosensors

A fully print-in-place technique for electronics could enable technologies such as high-adhesion, embedded electronic tattoos and bandages with patient-specific...

Printed Electronics for Electrified Tattoos and Personalized Biosensors
Briefs : Aerospace
Passive Smart Container
Passive Smart Container

Although Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used widely for pallet and box-level tracking in the commercial sector, significant technology gaps remain for tracking dense quantities at the item...

Passive Smart Container
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Researchers Turn off Backscattering, Aim to Improve Optical Data Transmission
Researchers Turn off Backscattering, Aim to Improve Optical Data Transmission

Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission. In a study,...

Researchers Turn off Backscattering, Aim to Improve Optical Data Transmission
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Facial Recognition Technology Works in the Dark
Facial Recognition Technology Works in the Dark

Thermal cameras like forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers, and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently,...

Facial Recognition Technology Works in the Dark
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