Materials & Manufacturing

Manufacturing & Prototyping

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.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Application Briefs : Imaging
Driverless Forklifts

Although driverless forklifts have been around for about 30 years, it's only in the last 10 or so that they've been free to maneuver anywhere around their environment. In the early days, the machines followed a current...

Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology

Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

Articles : Imaging
Additive Manufacturing Using Infrared and X-Ray Imaging

Additive manufacturing is poised to liven the pace and scale of manufacturing. Deploying a range of techniques that use 3-D models to print objects layer by layer, it can generate a...

Articles : Software
The Role Deep Learning Plays in Imaging Software

Deep learning technology is inspired by the way the human brain works, using trained artificial neural networks to perform recognition and decision-making tasks. A convolutional neural network...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microfabrication Technique Modifies Semiconductor Material Atom-by-Atom

To keep up with Moore's Law — an observation made in the 1960s that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles about every two years — researchers...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Multi-Purpose, Flexible Wing Structure for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as micro air vehicles, are promising tools for a variety of military and commercial applications. Some small UAS have flexible wings and are lightweight, making them back-packable and easy to deploy. Most UAS that are...

Briefs : Materials
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...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Power Thermoelectric Generator

Objects in our daily lives, such as speakers, refrigerators, and even cars, are becoming “smarter” day by day as they connect to the Internet and exchange data, creating the Internet of Things (IoT)....

Articles : Design
Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System Design

Lightweighting design is an extensively explored and utilized concept in many industries, especially in aerospace applications, and is associated with the green aviation concept. The...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: March 2019

Controller and Datalogger

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced a batch processing feature for the F4T temperature and process controller and D4T datalogger. The new feature helps collect manufacturing part...

Articles : Design
SAE WCX: Bringing You the Future of Mobility

WCX™ World Congress Experience 2019 — presented by SAE International — is for forward-thinking engineers, executives, OEMs, suppliers, decision-makers, disruptors, and the entire spectrum of...

Briefs : Aerospace
Variable-Depth, Multilayer Liner for Aircraft Noise Reduction

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a new approach for designing aircraft liner cores for noise reduction. The cores are comprised of multiple honeycomb-shaped chambers,...

Articles : Motion Control
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials

One of the first things an electrical engineer will learn is that the number-one enemy of designing and manufacturing any electrical/electronic product is heat. It's the one...

Briefs : Materials
“Metallic Wood” Has the Strength of Titanium and the Density of Water

Titanium is as strong as steel but about twice as light. These properties depend on the way a metal's atoms are stacked, but random defects that arise in the...

Briefs : Propulsion
Interoperable Intelligent Controllers for Process Management and Control Networks

NASA Johnson Space Center developed reprogrammable and interchangeable electronic controllers that can attach to a system or subsystem wirelessly or through plug-and-play capability. Originally designed to work with rocket engines, this technology can control...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success

The Create the Future Design Contest, launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine, helps stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Advances Lignin as Renewable 3D Printing Material

Lignin is the material left over from the processing of biomass. It gives plants rigidity and also makes biomass resistant to being broken down into useful products. Researchers combined a melt-stable hardwood lignin with conventional plastic, a low-melting nylon, and carbon fiber to...

Articles : Communications
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...

Products : Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: March 2019 Tech Briefs

Boothroyd Dewhurst, Wakefield, RI, announced Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA®) 2019 software for analyzing parts and assemblies. DFMA utilizes a question-and-answer interface that...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System Selectively Sequesters Toxins from Water

Traditional methods, such as reverse osmosis, that remove contaminants from water are expensive and energy-intensive. Researchers have developed technology to remove contaminants from water,...

5 Ws : Test & Measurement
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials

Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Jigs & Fixtures on the Factory Floor

3D Printed Tools for Better Ergonomics, Speed and Design Complexity

Factory production lines know the right jig or fixture speeds production, which increases productivity. But that’s just the beginning. Well-designed tools are more ergonomic, offering both increased worker safety and productivity, as...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Graphene may play a greater role in tomorrow electronics, thanks to an achievement from the Technical University of Denmark.
White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Revolution in Design

3D printing can help bring better products to market faster.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Rubber Repairs Itself
A new material development from USC brings us a step closer to self-healing sneakers.
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Conducted an FMEA?

With design, it pays to anticipate problems — and solve them — during product development.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light

Numerous devices in everyday life use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

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