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.

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Innovation on a Larger Scale: Robotic Fiber Placement and 3D Printing
“The disruption promised by Industry 4.0 has already begun,” says Jason Melcher from the aerospace manufacturing company Ingersoll.
Your 2020 winners include a bacteria-repelling wrap, an advanced prosthetic leg, flash graphene, and more.
RadiBond technology, based on nanometer-thin coatings, provides ultra-strong and ultra-tight bonding between metals and plastics.
NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zero-Gravity Body Posture Influences Acupressure Massage Chair
NASA’s neutral body position research was used in the design of a medical massage chair.
Digital technologies are enabling an "Industry Renaissance" of virtual experiences.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Use 'Tsugite' Software for Woodworking?

A recent INSIDER story highlighted a new tool for architects, furniture-makers, and woodworking beginners. The interactive software from the University of Tokyo, known as "Tsugite," provides milling machine instructions and on-screen design guidance so that users can piece an object together...

Special Reports: Aerospace
Additive Manufacturing - November 2020

AM/3D Printing is fundamentally changing how products are prototyped and produced in aerospace, medical, electronics, and many other fields. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present...

5 Ws: Manufacturing & Prototyping
5 Ws of Algae-Based Flip-Flops
Would you take a walk in biodegradable flip-flops?
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: October 2020 Tech Briefs
Users can edit the shape of a model while viewing results and watch the simulation update immediately.
As Brazil begins mass-producing a NASA-developed ventilator, a Tech Briefs reader asks why NASA didn't go open-source.
The NASA-funded nanoparticle lubricant also works in satellites and space vehicles.
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.
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Even NASA Needs Effective Parts Sourcing

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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.

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.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing of Precision Optics at Micro and Nanoscale
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.
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.

Videos