Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling

Access a wide range of multimedia resources and the latest technical briefs that are essential to rapid prototyping and tooling, and technologies essential to the design cycle.

Latest Briefs & News

Special Reports : Transportation
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...

Q&A : Test & Measurement
Q&A: 3D-Printed Hydrogel Blocks Can Aid Robotics and Diagnostics

Ian Y. Wong, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Engineering, Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology at Brown University in Providence, RI. He and colleagues have developed a new type of hydrogel blocks that can be assembled like LEGO®s.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
For Prototyping, Do You Prefer 3D Printing or CNC Machining?

During a live presentation this month, a Tech Briefs reader had a question for Proto Labs machining pro Gus Breiland:

“When can 3D printing be a viable alternative to CNC machining?”

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
3D Printer Uses Rays of Light to Shape Objects

Most 3D printers, including light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible...

Briefs : Software
Fast and Accurate Simulation of Manufactured Parts with Defects

Unwanted porosity is typical to many manufacturing processes — from traditional casting to additive manufacturing (3D printing) — and is difficult to avoid entirely....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to...

Articles : Materials
Industrial Blue Lasers

What Does It Takes to Change the Game?

Industrial lasers are integrated into manufacturing and fabrication facilities around the world. Every moment, there is an industrial laser somewhere that is cutting,...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.
Podcasts : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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.
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: When to CT Scan in the 3D Printing Process
The 3D-printing process has a number of steps. Find out where CT scanning should fall.
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...

Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Have You Used Sleep Tech Products?

This month’s Here’s an Idea podcast featured a variety of Sleep Tech products, including the Hupnos snore-preventing sleep mask, the temperature-controlled Ooler mattress, and the brain-activity-monitoring Dreem headband. Listen to our episode to learn more about each of the inventions.

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D-Printable Sensor ‘Turns Blue’ to Detect Trace Amounts of Water
The sensor supports new ideas in food-quality control, environmental monitoring, and more.
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.
Blog : Defense
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Briefs : Aerospace
Flexible, Spinning Heat Shield for Spacecraft

Heat shields are essentially used as the brakes to stop spacecraft from burning up and crashing on entry and reentry into a planet's atmosphere. Current spacecraft heat shield methods include...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Since 1967, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has been the United States’ premier particle physics laboratory, working on the world's most advanced particle accelerators...

Briefs : Software
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...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Technique Helps Inkjet Printers Deliver Ink More Evenly

When a coffee mug leaves a ring, the outer edges of that ring are darker than the inside of the ring. That's because the solute is separated from the liquid during the...

Products : Software
Product of the Month: February 2019

MakerBot, Brooklyn, NY, introduced the Method 3D printer that bridges the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing. The printer includes a circulating heated chamber, dual performance extruders,...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing

The perception and promise of 3D printing are that it offers a digital workflow that is simple, fast, and automated — a process that is complexity-free. That perception is generally correct up to...