Materials & Manufacturing

Browse innovative developments in materials and manufacturing that significantly impact military, medical devices, automotive, and industrial manufacturing. Advances in plastics, metals, and composites are transforming 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

New Class of Two-Dimensional Materials

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Here's an Idea: Candy
subscribe to magazine
Get the latest breakthroughs from NASA & other technology sources.

Latest Briefs & News

INSIDER : Materials
Double-Sided Tape Rapidly Seals Tissues Together
Double-Sided Tape Rapidly Seals Tissues Together

Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, a double-sided tape was developed that can rapidly seal tissues together within five seconds. The tape works much faster...

Double-Sided Tape Rapidly Seals Tissues Together
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
New Metasurface Design Can Control Optical Fields in Three Dimensions
New Metasurface Design Can Control Optical Fields in Three Dimensions

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As reported,...

New Metasurface Design Can Control Optical Fields in Three Dimensions
INSIDER : Materials
Exposing Cathodes to Light Decreases Charge Time in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Exposing Cathodes to Light Decreases Charge Time in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion batteries for...

Exposing Cathodes to Light Decreases Charge Time in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Webinars : Medical
How 3D Printing Is Changing the Development of Orthopedic Devices

With the advent of 3D printing, prototyping orthopedic implants began to change. In recent years, it has been common to see a patient-specific 3D printed hip or knee created in order to reduce the number of implant options the physician has to choose from. But 3D technology has...

Blog : Materials
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Entire Planes Be Built By 'Assembler Robots?'

Commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations, and then flown to a central plant for final assembly. Researchers at MIT are hoping to change that.

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
Facility Focus : Transportation
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
Products : Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: November 2019
New on the Market: November 2019
3D-printing platforms, simulation software, transistors, and more.
New on the Market: November 2019
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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
Articles : Aerospace
2019 Create the Future Design Contest Special Awards Section
See the eight winners of the 2019 "Create the Future" Design Contest
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
2019 'Create the Future' Consumer Products Category Winner: Livox
2019 'Create the Future' Consumer Products Category Winner: Livox
Through Livox, non-verbal people can speak, learn how to read and write, and understand abstract concepts.
2019 'Create the Future' Consumer Products Category Winner: Livox
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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
Articles : Imaging
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Machine vision systems shed light on processes too small or too fast to see with the human eye.
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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
Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
OnLogic has introduced the Karbon 700 high-performance rugged computer.
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Imaging
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
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Smart Electronic Skin for Robots and Prosthetics

Humans use the sense of touch to accomplish almost every daily task such as picking up a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand. Without it, humans can even lose their sense of balance when walking. Similarly, robots need to have a sense of touch in order to interact better with humans but...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Laser illumination is scaling in a new direction.
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics
Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics

Undercooled metal technology was developed that features liquid metal (in this case, Field's metal, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin) trapped below its melting point in polished,...

Undercooled Metal Technology for Flexible Electronics
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Robotics Perception System
Soft Robotics Perception System

A perception system for soft robots was developed that is inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. The system includes a...

Soft Robotics Perception System
5 Ws : Wearables
5 Ws of the E-Tattoo for Heart Monitoring
5 Ws of the E-Tattoo for Heart Monitoring
A new wearable could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines.
5 Ws of the E-Tattoo for Heart Monitoring
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use

To investigate oceans, researchers aim to build a submerged network of interconnected sensors that sends data to the surface. Supplying constant power to scores of sensors designed to stay for long...

Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use