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

NASA Spinoff : Energy
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Life support research for astronauts enabled a solution to one aspect of climate change.
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Articles : Aerospace
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Top prizes in the 2019 contest were awarded on November 8 in New York City.
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics
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...

High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics
Briefs : Materials
Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys
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...

Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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
Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
New Products: August 2019 Motion Design
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...

New Products: August 2019 Motion Design
Products : Software
Product of the Month: August 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: August 2019 Tech Briefs

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 removes...

Product of the Month: August 2019 Tech Briefs
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
New on the Market: July 2019
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...

New on the Market: July 2019
Special Reports : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing

AM/3D Printing is fundamentally changing how products are prototyped and produced in aerospace, medical, automotive, and many other fields. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs, Aerospace & Defense Technology, Medical Design...

Special Reports : Materials
Lightweighting

Demands for weight reduction and better fuel efficiency in the automotive and aerospace industries are driving design innovations and the development of new lightweight, high-strength materials. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering,...

Special Reports : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robotics & Machine Vision

Advances in robotics and machine vision are transforming the factory floor. To help you keep pace with the latest developments in industrial automation, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs, Automotive Engineering, and Medical Design Briefs magazines.

Briefs : Software
Safety Analysis: The Key to a Single-Pass ISO26262 Random Fault Workflow
Safety Analysis: The Key to a Single-Pass ISO26262 Random Fault Workflow

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

Safety Analysis: The Key to a Single-Pass ISO26262 Random Fault Workflow
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory
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,...

Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory
Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage
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...

Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Podcasts : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Here's an Idea: Sports
Here's an Idea: Sports
In this episode, we explore how sensors are being used to detect concussions, track player performance, and even provide new opportunities to bet.
Here's an Idea: Sports
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What's the most interesting or spontaneous prototype you've ever made?

It took two and a half years, 60 prototypes, and even some of his children's craft foam, but former designer and sensor pro Curtis Ray found a way to stop his snoring. He built a "smart" sleep mask equipped with an accelerometer, a microprocessor, a Bluetooth connection, a...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Cobots can help manufacturers automate tasks both known or unknown, says engineer Israel Nunez.
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
It took two and a half years, 60 prototypes, and even some of his children’s craft foam, but Curtis Ray turned his idea into invention.
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Products : Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: March 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: March 2019 Tech Briefs

Boothroyd Dewhurst, Wakefield, RI, announced Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA®) 2019 software for analyzing parts and assemblies. DFMA utilizes a question-and-answer interface that...

Product of the Month: March 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Software
Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design
Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design

Molding is a popular method for the mass production of objects. Essentially, two (or more) mold pieces are fit together, leaving the shape of the desired object as a hole. During...

Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design