Materials & Manufacturing

Browse innovative developments in materials and manufacturing that significantly impact military, medical devices, automotive, and industrial manufacturing. Advances in plastics, metals, and composites are transforming 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

This approach could be used to cost-effectively make soft robots and wearable technologies.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
4D Printing of Morphing Structures
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
The device brings lithium metal batteries one step closer to commercial viability.
The battery design increases the number of possible cycles from tens to more than 100 with little degradation.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Semi-Liquid Metal Anode
Lithium batteries made using this electrode type could be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries.
Using ceramic material and graphene, the toughness of solid-state lithium-ion batteries can be doubled.
The technique could easily be translated into existing medical device manufacturing processes for use in orthopedic implants.
This highly porous sponge absorbs more than 30 times its weight in oil and can be reused up to several dozen times.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Transparent Graphene Electrodes
A new roll-to-roll production method could enable lightweight, flexible solar devices and a new generation of display screens.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hydrogel Contact Lens to Treat Eye Disease
The hydrogel could be made into a contact lens that effectively treats corneal melting.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Bacteria-Based Hydrogel Beads Clean Up Contaminated Groundwater
Beads that contain bacteria and a slow-release food supply to sustain them can clean up contaminated groundwater for months on end, maintenance-free.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: August 2020
A neural stimulator, a battery testing device, and a strain sensor.
This coating could lead to safely reusable personal protective equipment.
These are important traits in electronics and electrical systems including electric cars, industrial drills, and electric grids.
Briefs: Materials
Magnetic Force Manages Pain
This gel-like material leads a path toward “mechanoceuticals.”
The technology could help call attention to important traffic information when it’s dark, with potential benefits for both drivers and pedestrians.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
“Racetrack Memory” Digital Data Storage
This technology offers the possibility to both bolster computer power and create smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient computer memory technologies.
The self-adapting material was inspired by how human bone adjusts mineral deposits in response to surrounding environments.
The system looks for chemical indicators found in sweat to give a real-time snapshot of what’s happening inside the body.
The sensor has applications in fields such as robotics, healthcare, and security.
Application Briefs: Motion Control
Traverse System Enables Vertical Farming
See how a system feeds plants, delivering about 5,417 gallons of water per hour.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wireless Aquatic Robot Cleans Water
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New Products: August 2020 Battery Technology
Power switches, battery pack adhesives, supercapacitor modules, and more...
White Papers: Automotive
Mastering Tolerances for Machined Parts

Mastering CNC tolerances can be challenging, even for experienced engineers, designers, and machinists. Are general tolerances good enough? When does it make sense to call out for tighter tolerances?...

White Papers: Medical
The Right X-Ray Solutions for Medical Components, Assemblies and Devices

Manufacturers in the medical device sector face quality and process control challenges. Medical device components frequently need to be inspected without being...

A new way of making large sheets of high-quality, atomically thin graphene could lead to ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells, and to new classes of...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will Morphing Wings Take Off?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a morphing MADCAT aircraft wing.

“From a first glance, it literally doesn’t look like anything that anyone’s ever seen before,” said MIT researcher Ben Jennet in our Here's an Idea episode.

How about you? Will Morphing Wings Take Off?

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Podcasts: Robotics, Automation & Control
Here's an Idea: A Morphing Airplane Wing Built by Tiny Robots
Ben Jennet is a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA. He is working with NASA to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes mid-flight.

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