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.

Articles: Materials
Simulating Material Migration

Accurately tracking and predicting the subsurface migration of specific materials over time and over multiple phases is critical to efficient and effective strategy development and deployment in a growing number...

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new strategy for fabricating more efficient plastic solar cells. The work has implications for...

While abundant in nature, cellulose is difficult and expensive to find in pure or high-quality form. A Swedish research team has developed an efficient, accurate, and...

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an...

Products: Motion Control
Vertical Lift Module

Modula OnePick from Modula (Lewiston, ME) combines the company’s vertical lift technology with an automated system for picking or replenishing a single product directly from the bay. Using a secure delivery interface...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reversible Hard Jaws

Reversible hard jaws from Dillon Manufacturing (Springfield, OH) are suitable for ID and OD workholding. The jaws are designed to hold a specific range of part sizes and are usually used for first operation workholding....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robot

Rethink Robotics (Boston, MA) introduced Sawyer, a smart collaborative robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing, and other precise tasks. The robot modifies its behavior to respond to changing and...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Connectivity

Sandvik Coromant (Fair Lawn, NJ) introduced the CoroPlus™ platform for connecting manufacturing tools and software. The platform gives users access to product and application data through connected software and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Part Positioners

Yaskawa Motoman (Dayton, OH) expanded its line of RM2 ferris wheel-style robotic part positioners. The positioners have two servo-driven trunnion/station axes on opposite sides of a central “sweep” axis. One station is...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Automatic Multi-Pallet Changer

Midaco Corp. (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an automatic multi-pallet changer for 5-axis and standard vertical machining centers (VMCs). It can load and unload 19 aluminum pallets, one at a time, on any new or...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Cable Retraction System

The triflex® RSE pullback system from igus (East Providence, RI) uses a simple linear retraction without bends, fiber rods, or rollers. The system consists of a drylin® linear guide with carriage, elastic cord for...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Collaborative Robot

Kawasaki Robotics (Wixom, MI) introduced the duAro collaborative robot. The dual-arm, horizontal articulated robot can safely collaborate with humans in work operations due to its low-power motors, soft body, speed, and...

Briefs: Materials
Aerofoam

Aerofoam is a unique foam composite insulation with improved thermal and acoustic insulation properties. The novelty of this invention comes from combining a polymer foam with a unique inorganic filler in a way that maximizes...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Pressure Vessel Including Crack Arresting Barrier

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center innovators have developed several new designs and methods of fabrication for composite and composite-overwrapped tank vessels that help significantly improve their structural integrity against impact, abrasion, harsh environments, and fire. Several...

Sometimes referred to as “solid smoke,” aerogels are the world’s lightest solid materials, composed of approximately 85% air by volume. Polyamide aerogels open up a whole new world of...

Briefs: Materials
Advanced Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have created exciting new developments in thermal barrier coatings, both in the chemical compositions of the coatings and in the process by which they are applied. NASA’s researchers have developed a revolutionary bond coat system that improves the...

INSIDER: Green Design & Manufacturing
Glowing Crystals Cleanse Contaminated Drinking Water

Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a group of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.

A new morphing wing architecture could greatly simplify the manufacturing process and reduce fuel consumption of aircraft by improving the wing’s aerodynamics, as well...

INSIDER Product: 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...

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,...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
Metamaterial Structures Shrink When Heated

While most solid materials expand with heat, a new 3D-printed structure built by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers is designed to shrink. The metamaterial may enable heat-resistant circuit boards.

An international research team has used a thermal metamaterial to control the emission of radiation at high temperatures, an advance that could bring devices...

INSIDER: Imaging
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.

Engineers are joining forces with designers, scientists, and doctors at Drexel University to produce new biomedical textiles, and the resulting smart clothes are not only fashionably functional but could also...

INSIDER: Materials
Flexible Solar Panels Absorb Diffused Light

Virginia Tech researchers have produced flexible solar panels that can become part of window shades or wallpaper. The material will capture light from the sun as well as light from sources inside buildings.

Quantum cascade (QC) lasers employ intersubband electronic transitions in semiconductor quantum well structures to generate emission at specific...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Versatile Three-Dimensional Printing Approach

NASA has developed a versatile method and associated apparatus for constructing and using a conductive filament in various applications of 3D printing. It uses an attractive polymer...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed carbon fiber reinforced composites with self-healing properties. The initiation and propagation of damage to carbon...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Impact Toughness and Heat Treatment for Cast Aluminum

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center researchers have developed a new, stronger aluminum alloy, ideal for cast aluminum products that have powder or paint-baked thermal coatings. With advanced mechanical properties, the NASA-427 alloy shows greater tensile strength and increased...

Trending Stories

NASA Spinoff: Aerospace

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Making Curved Diffractive Optics by E-Beam Lithography

Articles: Motion Control

The Basics of Encoder Selection

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The 6 Most Important Parts of a Temperature Monitoring System

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Metal/Dielectric-Film Interference Color Filters

Videos