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.

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,...

Traditional robotic feet are made of rigid components. A team of engineers at UCSD turned to coffee grounds to make legged robots more flexible and able to walk on a variety of rough terrain.
The new method produces strips of rubbery material that can pick up and release objects.
Technology Leaders: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Biodegradable and Bio-Interfacing Flexible IoT Sensors

Bio-interfacing and biodegradable flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) devices can help tackle some of the world’s great challenges including environmental degradation and food...

Inspired by the octopus, the structure senses, computes, and responds without any centralized processing.
A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives.
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.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
VoroCrust v.1.0 Meshing Software
This program generates a mesh that conforms to a complex model without clipping.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Device Tests Drugs on Tumor Tissue
An inexpensive 3D-printed microfluidics device could be used to personalize cancer treatment.
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.
NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Space Station Garden Shines Light on Earth-Based Horticulture
NASA’s LED lighting system enables food and other crops to be grown indoors in places like skyscrapers.
Bandages with integrated pH and temperature sensors, and electronically triggered drug release, improve healing.
Question of the Week: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Can Solar-Powered Desalination Solve Water-Scarcity Challenges?

“Seawater is a very abundant resource for clean water, but the problem is how to desalinate it,” MIT researcher Lenan Zhang told Tech Briefs in our April issue.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Machine Learning Software for 3D Printing
Manufacturers, medical device companies, and others can use this 3D printing software driven by artificial intelligence (AI).
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Method for Sub-Microscale Three-Dimensional Structures
Applications include MEMS, microlattice fabrication, and other sub-microscale 3D structures with a broad range of materials.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Area Rapid 3D Printing
This new 3D printer can print an object the size of an adult human in just a couple of hours.
The basis for the technology is a special resin that can be cured with UV light.
Bridget Pelaez spoke to Tech Briefs about the 1,000 face shields being printed for Florida hospitals.
See how Prof. Olaf Diegel built a hands-free door opener.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Use a CurveBoard?

MIT researchers have invented a way to integrate “breadboards” — flat platforms widely used for electronics prototyping — directly onto physical products.

The technology could enable remote control of drug delivery, sensing, and other medical applications.
David Kaplan is solidifying silk to make products like rods and plates for medical implants.
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.
As additive manufacturing supports the creation of critical metal parts, designers need to know that the parts are high-quality.
AM is an especially good fit for products that require a high level of customization.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's Thirst for Water on Mars Quenched by Student Innovators
NASA and universities from across the country are teaming up to support a continued human presence on the Moon and ultimately Mars.

Videos