Explore innovations supporting advances in manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Access the developments and solutions that have an impact on applications in 3D printing and automation.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pressure-Sensor Assembly Technique

Nielsen Engineering & Research (NEAR) recently developed an ultrathin data acquisition system for use in turbomachinery testing at NASA Glenn Research Center. This system integrates a microelectro- mechanical-systems- (MEMS-) based absolute pressure sensor [0 to 50 psia (0 to 345 kPa)], temperature sensor,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Micromachining of a Mesoscale Vibratory Gyroscope

A micromachining-based fabrication process has been proposed for low-volume production of copies of a mesoscale vibratory gyroscope. The process would include steps of photolithography, metallization, deep reactive-ion etching (RIE), Au/Au thermal-compression bonding, and anodic bonding. In the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Deforming Fibrous Insulating Tiles To Fit Curved Surfaces

A curved tile of refractory silica-fiber-based or alumina-fiber-based thermal-insulation material can be formed from an initially flat billet in a process that includes pressing against a curved mold surface during heating. The mold or tile curvature can be concave or convex. Curved tiles...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tool for Installing a Seal Ring Between Pipe Flanges

A tool has been devised to facilitate the accurate placement of a seal ring between the hubs of two pipe flanges that are to be clamped together. Heretofore, technicians have resorted to impro- visations that have included, variously, insertion of a ring with fingertips, lowering a ring into...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Growing Carbon Nanotubes Aligned With Patterns

A process has been proposed for growing carbon nanotubes aligned substantially parallel with the nominal planar surfaces of substrates and further aligned with patterns on the substrates. Prior to growth, the patterns would be formed by micromachining the substrates, which could be silicon or...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Rapid Prototyping in Ceramic-Matrix Composites

The ceramic-composite advanced tow- placement (CCATP) process is a means of laying down continuous-fiber-reinforced, ceramic-matrix composite (CMC) materials in patterned layers to form objects that could have complex three-dimensional shapes. The CCATP process is a member of the growing...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Temperature Thermocompressive Au-to-Au Diffusion Bonding

A technique of thermocompressive gold-to-gold diffusion bonding at relatively low temperature has been devised to provide stable, uniform, strong bonds between struc- tural components of microelectromechanical systems. The technique can also be used for vacuum sealing of microscopic...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Rapid Prototyping in Ceramic-Matrix Composites

The ceramic-composite advanced tow-placement (CCATP) process is a means of laying down continuous-fiber-reinforced, ceramic-matrix composite (CMC) materials in patterned layers to form objects that could have complex three-dimensional shapes. The CCATP process is a member of the growing...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Plasticity Burnishing

Low-plasticity burnishing (LPB) has been devel- oped as an affordable means of imparting residual compressive stresses to surface layers of metal parts (especially engine components) in order to increase their fatigue lives. Heretofore, surface compressive stresses to enhance the fatigue lives have been produced,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lithographic Fabrication of Mesoscale Electromagnet Coils

A partly lithographic method of fabrication is being developed to enable the economical mass production of mesoscale electrically conductive coils for miniature electro- magnets, solenoids, electric motors, and the like. This or a similar method is needed to overcome the limitations of...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Apparatus for Welding to Seal Pyrotechnic Devices

An automated, remotely controllable apparatus has been developed for resistance welding for hermetic sealing of pyrotechnic devices, as a substitute for special-purpose welding equipment that is no longer commercially available. Hermetic sealing of a pyrotechnic device involves a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Correlation Spectrometers for Detecting Fires in Aircraft

Compact, lightweight, sensitive correlation spectrometers for detecting gaseous byproducts of the onset of fire are under development. These spectrometers would be installed in aircraft, where early detection of fire could enable crews to respond with timely fire-suppression actions....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Velocity, Pulsed Wire Arc Spray

A high-velocity, pulsed wire arc spraying apparatus has been proposed and partly developed in an effort to improve the quality of coatings deposited by thermal spray techniques. In this apparatus, material from a wire arc is atomized and propelled toward a deposition substrate by a repetitively pulsed plasma...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Photolithographic Fine Patterning of Difficult-To-Etch Metals

A process that includes photolithography, liftoff, etching, and sputter deposition has been developed to enable the fabrication of thin, finely patterned layers of gold, platinum, and other difficultto- etch materials in advanced miniature sensors and associated electronic circuitry....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Software for Optimized Flattening From 3D to 2D

A computer program offers enhanced capabilities for calculating two-dimensional (2D) patterns needed to construct specified three-dimensional (3D) surfaces to within acceptably close approximations, with minimal waste of sheet material. Examples of complexly shaped sheet-material items that could...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electron-Beam Welding of Superalloys at High Temperatures

Electron-beam welding at high temperatures has been found to be a suitable process for joining structural components made by casting certain superalloys. This process can be used in the fabrication of superalloy parts that must withstand high operating temperatures. Examples of such parts...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Two Techniques for Removing Core-Drill Debris

Two alternative techniques make it possible to remove core-drill debris more rapidly and efficiently than was previously possible. Either technique is a vast improvement over the prior art. For industries in which ultrasonic core drills are used, these two techniques are expected to result in savings...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrical Monitoring of Thicknesses of Semiconductor Wafers

A technique based on electrical-continuity measurements has been proposed as a means of monitoring and controlling the thicknesses of semiconductor wafers during lapping, polishing, and etching. The technique is expected to contribute to the development of microelectromechanical...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal-Stress Technique for Cutting Thin Glass Sheets

A technique based on the generation of highly localized thermal stresses has been devised as a means of cutting both flat and curved glass sheets of thicknesses between 30 and 600 µm. The technique is reliable, accurate, and economical. The technique can be used, for example, to cut thin...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Digital Preassembly Process

Because the International Space Station is being assembled in orbit, there was a need to verify in advance that it could, indeed, be assembled there and that the various assembled parts would function as intended. A digital preassembly process was devised to satisfy this need for verification, without having to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Expendable Composite-Layup Dies From Rapid-Prototype Masters

A method that exploits rapid prototyping has been conceived to reduce the time and cost associated with the production of small quantities of composite-material parts that have complex shapes. In this method, mandrels and dies used in forming composite layups are sized and shaped by...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Punches and Dies for Rounding Corners of Metal Sheets

Punch-and-die sets have been designed for use in rounding corners of rectangular metal sheets to specified radii. One of the traditional procedures for rounding a corner on a rectangular metal sheet is to first make a rough cut with a band saw and/or hand metal snips, then to file the roughly...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hermetic Wafer Bonding by Use of Microwave Heating

Microwave heating is the basis of a simple technique for quickly and gently bonding two metallized dielectric or semiconductor wafers to each other. The technique can be used, for example, to bond a flat, gold-coated silicon wafer to another gold-coated silicon wafer that is flat except for a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Weld Repair of a Directionally Solidified Superalloy Article

An arc-welding technique for repair of a directionally solidified (DS) nickel-base superalloy article (e.g., a turbine blade or vane) has been devised. The technique equally is applicable to a part as cast or a part that has been damaged in use. Unlike ordinary gas tungsten arc (GTA)...

A process for making precise, high-quality curved or flat mirror surfaces on bare aluminum substrates has been devised. The process consists of (1) diamond turning to establish the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
External Adhesive Pressure-Wall Patch

A mechanical device has been developed for applying an adhesive patch, from the outside, to the wall of a spacecraft module that has lost pressure because of penetration by a meteoroid or a piece of orbital debris. This device will make it possible to seal and re-pressurize the affected module during space...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Glass Cure Plates for Fabricating Flat Composite Panels

Glass plates are used as cure plates in a modified process for the fabrication of flat composite-material (matrix/fiber) panels. In the unmodified previous version of the process the cure plates were made of aluminum.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Using Light To Fabricate Photonic Devices

A developmental apparatus and process for the fabrication of photonic devices utilize intense, focused laser light projected and/or diffracted in controlled patterns. The apparatus and process can be used in a microgravitational environment to form microscopic three-dimensional device structures (e.g.,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Making Submicron Features by Ion Etching Through PMMA Masks

Experiments have shown that a substrate can be patterned with submicron features by the following procedure:

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Software for Designing Plasma Reactors for Microelectronics

Outer-space plasmas and arc-jet plasmas are well known to many researchers at NASA. Efforts to understand the structures of these plasmas have consumed years of research at various NASA laboratories. Computational modeling of such plasmas involves analyses of multicomponent,...


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