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.

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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Latest Briefs & News

INSIDER : Lighting
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch

A synthetic optical lace developed by a Cornell Ph.D. student creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system. The flexible, porous lattice structure is manufactured from...

Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
INSIDER : Defense
Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research
Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research

A team of undergrad engineers discovered a method that could make materials more resilient against massive shocks such as earthquakes or explosions. The students tested whether...

Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research
On-Demand Webinars : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Deep Dive into Metal 3D Printing

This 30-minute Webinar examines how to optimize your design through part geometry, surface finish, secondary operations, and other considerations.

Question of the Week : Materials
Are You Lightweighting with Plastics and Composites?

A Tech Briefs webinar this month focused on the idea of lightweighting – or replacing traditionally metal parts, like engine components, with plastics and composites.

Photonics & Imaging Technology : Photonics/Optics
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like...

Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Photonics & Imaging Technology : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners

Along with flying and invisibility, high on the list of every child’s aspirational superpowers is the ability to see through or around walls or other visual obstacles. That...

Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
Photonics & Imaging Technology : Photonics/Optics
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for...

Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Photonics & Imaging Technology : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Diffraction-Limited Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) is an international supplier of diffraction-limited aspheric lenses for nuclear research laser facilities. Over the last 40 years, Optical Surfaces has produced diffraction-limited aspheric lenses, up to 600mm...

INSIDER : Power
A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries
A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 — liquefied gas electrolytes — could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries:...

A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries
Blog : Materials
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
Stanford Professor Eric Pop learned a valuable electronics lesson from his early days as a radio DJ.
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Question of the Week : Automotive
Have You Considered Using Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots are part of Ford Motor Company’s assembly line. One cobot performs the greasing of the camshaft followers, another fills the engine oil, and a third uses a camera and UV light to check for leaks.

Articles : Materials
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures

Your new industrial electronic product has been designed and the board components specified. It has been prototyped, either on a development board to check...

10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
Articles : Transportation
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering...

Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Articles : IoMT
Executive Forum: Sensors & the IoT

No longer just a buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly taking hold in many different industries, from aerospace and automotive, to medical and manufacturing. The IoT ecosystem incorporates Web-enabled smart devices that use processors, sensors, communication hardware, and software to collect, send,...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
VELO3D
Campbell, CA
www.velo3d.com

Over the past four years, Enrique Enriquez, president of KW Micro Power, has worked in pursuit of his company’s goal: a microturbine generator...

3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Micromachining Subsystem

SCANLAB GmbH (Puchheim, Germany) has introduced a new member of its precSYS product line. Five-axis precSYS subsystems enable industrial...

New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Articles : Automotive
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
We interviewed an industry expert about the role of inductive position sensors in the IIoT.
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
Sensor Technology : Semiconductors & ICs
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
The key to acceptance and adoption of a "smart home" will be enhancing total ease of ownership.
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
Articles : Internet of Things
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Each passing year, machine vision is finding its way into applications that were not commercially feasible — and in some cases, impossible.
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Products : Electronics & Computers
New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology
New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology

People-Counting Sensor

FLIR Systems, Inc. (Wilsonville, OR) announced the latest generation of the FLIR Brickstream 3D Gen 2 people-counting sensor. This new version includes a unique...

New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology
Articles : Lighting
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019

Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a semi-liquid lithium metal-based anode. Lithium batteries made using this new...

Products of Tomorrow: September 2019
Briefs : Materials
Low-Cost Thermoelectric Material Works at Room Temperature

The widespread adoption of thermoelectric devices that can directly convert electricity into thermal energy for cooling and heating has been hindered, in part, by the lack of materials that are both inexpensive and highly efficient at room temperature. A new material was developed that...

Briefs : Materials
Fiber-Based Artificial Muscles
Fiber-Based Artificial Muscles

While different approaches have been used to create artificial muscles — including hydraulic systems, servomotors, shape-memory metals, and polymers that respond to stimuli — they all have limitations such...

Fiber-Based Artificial Muscles