Manufacturing & Prototyping

Custom & Contract Manufacturing

Find the latest news and technical briefs in custom and contract manufacturing. Review the applications that design engineers are using to meet their manufacturing design challenges.

Latest Briefs & News

Ben Jennet is a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA. He is working with NASA to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes mid-flight.

You can design the best product in the world but what if the parts, assemblies, and sub-components for your idea aren’t there?

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Do You See Yourself Someday Printing in 4D?

You’ve heard about 3D printing, but what about 4D?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week showcased how Rice University researchers’ new way of making shape-shifting materials. The “4D-printed” objects can be manipulated to take on alternate forms when exposed to changes in temperature,...

See how NASA engineer Mike Buttigieg is creating a device that will free up ventilators for patients with COVID-19
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's 'VITAL' Ventilator Gets FDA Approval

A low-cost, low-complexity ventilator developed by NASA engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Executive Roundtable: 3D Printing
Tech Briefs posed questions to 3D printing/AM industry execs, to get their views on issues like metal printing, new materials, and environmental sustainability.
Manufacturers, medical device companies, and others can use this 3D printing software driven by artificial intelligence (AI).
See how Prof. Olaf Diegel built a hands-free door opener.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Create the Future Contest Idea Saving Lives
Tech Briefs checks back in with CEO Jon Sumroy about his award-winning product: the mifold grab-and-go car seat.
How does testing a metal 3D-printed part compare to testing a casted one? That's the elephant in the room, says industry pro Kevin Brigden.
NASA is using the International Space Station as a testbed for 3D printing.
Here are five technologies that aim to add intelligence to the most surprising household objects.
AM is an especially good fit for products that require a high level of customization.
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
5 Ws: Data Acquisition
5 Ws of EarEcho
The biometric tool uses modified wireless earbuds to authenticate smartphone users
Life support research for astronauts enabled a solution to one aspect of climate change.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Top prizes in the 2019 contest were awarded on November 8 in New York City.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics

3D printers that build small parts layer by layer from melted plastic can take up to an hour to produce a pocket-sized piece. This process is far too slow for the mass-production of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys

An advanced manufacturing process was developed to produce nano-structured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder in a single step. Using a Solid Phase Processing...

A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: August 2019 Motion Design
Miniature Linear Translation Stages

PI, L.P. (Auburn, MA) offers the L-505 miniature linear translation stages for precision motion, alignment, and positioning applications where space is...

nTopology, New York, NY, offers the nTop Platform, a unifying technique for design, simulation, and manufacturing data to be intelligently embedded directly into a part. The approach...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘4D Knitting’ Lead to Better Robots and Wearables?

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have demonstrated "4D knitting. The computationally-controlled machines are being used to make a variety of soft textile objects.

Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: July 2019
Sensor Controller

The induSENSOR MSC7401 sensor controller from Micro-Epsilon, Ortenburg, Germany, is used for displacement and distance measurements and is operated with LVDT and LDR measuring gauges...

Advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous drive technologies increase the complexity of automotive integrated circuits (ICs), making it harder to ensure that...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory

In recent years, the emergence of Industry 4.0 has been steadily transforming the manufacturing sector into an ultra-high-tech industry. Innovative smart technologies such as robotics,...

Application Briefs: Lighting
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage

Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) is arguably America's most recognized hot rod shop. Founded in 2004 by charismatic serial entrepreneur Richard Rawlings, the Dallas, Texas garage is a state-of-the-art restoration and...

Videos