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.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
The 3D Printing Landscape: Then and Now

Frequently used as a design validation and prototyping tool in its early days, the 3D printer now supports a much wider range of applications, from shape-conforming electronics to the creation of printed living tissue. Tech Briefs spoke with industry expert Terry Wohlers about 3D printing's emerging...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: January 2017

HP, Palo Alto, CA, unveiled the HP Z2 Mini Workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The workstation is 2.3” high, and 90% smaller than a traditional business-class tower. It has the ability to support six displays and was designed for CAD users requiring smaller hardware....

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Design Lightweight, 'Stronger-Than-Steel' Material

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has successfully designed a new 3D material with five percent the density of steel and ten times the strength. By compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, the sponge-link...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: November 2016

Wolfram Research, Champaign, IL, released Mathematica 11 technical computing software that features more than 500 new functions, including improvements in machine learning, 3D printing and geometry, mathematics, visualization and graphics, graphs and statistics, geography, text and language processing,...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
BGA Socket

Ironwood Electronics (Eagan, MN) recently introduced a new BGA socket design using high performance elastomer capable of 75GHz, very low inductance and wide temperature applications. The GT-BGA-2052 socket is designed for 17x17 mm package size and operates at bandwidths up to 75GHz with less than 1dB of insertion loss. The socket is...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Scanning Method Speeds Up 3D Printing

Penn State University researchers have used a beam deflector to increase the speed of 2D and 3D printing by up to 1000 times.

News : Materials
Using Light to 3D-Print Structures that Remember Their Shapes

Engineers are using light to print three-dimensional structures that “remember” their original shapes. The process of 3D printing shape-memory materials can also be thought of as 4D printing, as the structures are designed to change over the fourth dimension — time.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New at IMTS

Optomec (Albuquerque, NM) unveiled its LENS machine tool machines that integrate the company's metal 3D printing technology into standard CNC machine tool platforms. Three standard system configurations are offered, making hybrid and traditional metal additive manufacturing more affordable and accessible. The three systems are...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Intelligent Machine Tool Prototype

A research group led by Professor Shirase Keiichi of the Kobe University Graduate School of Engineering has developed a prototype machine tool that can manufacture metal components and operates like a 3D printer. This development could speed up the manufacture of custom-made products such as dental implants and...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Space Station Crew 3D Prints Student-Designed Tool

A college student who won a NASA design challenge recently had the tool he designed 3D-printed on the Additive Manufacturing Facility on the International Space Station. The Multipurpose Precision Maintenance Tool was printed by astronaut Jeff Williams onboard the station.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
'On the Fly' 3D Printer Adjusts to Design Changes

In conventional 3D printing, a nozzle scans across a stage: depositing drops of plastic, rising slightly after each pass, and building an object in a series of layers. A new "on-the-fly" prototyping system from Cornell University allows the designer to make refinements while printing is in...

News : Test & Measurement
Light-Powered 3D Printer Creates Terahertz Lens

Researchers from Northwestern University used a light-powered 3D printer to create a terahertz lens. The imaging component is made from a novel metamaterial that exhibits properties not readily available in nature.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robotic Drones to 'Print' Emergency Shelters

Researchers from the University of Bath, Imperial College, and University College London have developed robotic drones designed to "print" emergency shelters. The flying robots will autonomously assess and manufacture building structures to help areas suffering from natural disasters.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
'Cockroach' Robots Squeeze Through Cracks

UC Berkeley biologists have found robotic inspiration in the creepy ability of cockroaches to squeeze through even the tiniest crack.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphene-Based Inks Enable High-Speed Manufacturing of Printed Electronics

A low-cost, high-speed method for printing graphene inks using a conventional roll-to-roll printing process, like that used to print newspapers, could open up a wide range of practical applications, including inexpensive printed electronics, intelligent packaging, and...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Print Glass Structures in 3D

A new system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) creates strong, solid glass structures from computerized designs. The 3D-printing method allows researchers to construct optically transparent objects.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design Tool Converts CAD Files into Visual Models

A new system from researchers at MIT and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel automatically turns CAD files into visual models that users can modify in real time. Once the design meets the user’s specifications, he or she hits the print button to send it to a 3D printer.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robotic System Builds Biggest Composite Rocket Parts Ever Made

One of the largest composites manufacturing robots created in America will help NASA build the biggest lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles. The robot will build structures larger than 26 feet in diameter. The robot travelled across the country from Electroimpact,...

News : Aerospace
Special Delivery: NASA Marshall Receives 3D-Printed Tools from Space

Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, unboxed some special cargo from the International Space Station on April 6: the first items manufactured in space with a 3D printer.

The items were manufactured as part of the 3D Printing in Zero-G...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Measure Stress in 3D-Printed Metal Parts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM).

The 3D-printing process produces metal parts layer by layer using a high-energy laser beam to fuse metal...

News : Aerospace
Engineers Harvest and Print Parts for New Breed of Aircraft

Student interns and engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center rapidly prototyped and redesigned aircraft using 3D-printed parts. The aircraft was custom-built by repurposing surplus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). By lengthening the wings, the team was able to improve aerodynamic...

News : Transportation
3D-Printed Power Inverter Enables Lighter Electric Vehicles

Using 3D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful, and more efficient.

At the core of this development is wide bandgap material...

News : Propulsion
Underwater Robot Skims for Port Security

MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans.

Originally designed to look for cracks in nuclear reactors’ water tanks, the robot could also...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printer That Could Build a Home in 24 Hours Wins Global Design Competition

New York, NY – Contour Crafting, a computerized construction method that rapidly 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models, has been awarded the grand prize of $20,000 in the 2014 "Create the Future" Design Contest.

Contour...

News : Aerospace
3D Printer Heads to International Space Station

The first 3D printer is soon to fly into Earth orbit, finding a home aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The size of a small microwave, the unit is called Portal. The hardware serves as a testbed for evaluating how well 3D printing and the microgravity of space combine. The soon-to-fly 3D...

News : Aerospace
Researchers Create Energy-Absorbing Material

Materials like solid gels and porous foams are used for padding and cushioning, but each has its own advantages and limitations.

A team of engineers and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has found a way to design and fabricate, at the microscale, new cushioning materials...

News : Materials
NASA 3D Printing Technique Creates Metal Spacecraft Parts

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are implementing a printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object. JPL scientists have been developing a technique to address this problem since 2010. An effort to improve the methods of combining...

News : Imaging
NASA Engineer Set to Complete First 3D-Printed Space Cameras

By the end of September, NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff is expected to complete the first imaging telescopes ever assembled almost exclusively from 3D-manufactured components.

Under his multi-pronged project, funded by Goddard’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD)...

News : Materials
Engineers Use Resin Inks, 3D Printing to Build Lightweight Cellular Composites

Like other manufactured products that use sandwich panel construction to achieve a combination of light weight and strength, turbine blades contain carefully arrayed strips of balsa wood from Ecuador, which provides 95 percent of the world’s supply.

As turbine...

News : Nanotechnology
Engineers Develop Ultrastiff, Ultralight Material

Engineers at MIT and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a new ultrastiff, ultralight material.

The material is based on the use of microlattices with nanoscale features, combining great stiffness and strength with ultralow density. The actual production of such...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D Printed Metals Are Not All the Same

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Using Simulation to Design Robust Adhesively Bonded Structures

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Energy

Thermal Management Crisis: Knowing Your Passive Solution Options

Upcoming Webinars: Internet of Things

IoT’s Role in Today’s Transportation Systems