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.

White Papers : Test & Measurement
Effortlessly Achieve Precision Flow Control of CO2 Injection in Beverage Manufacturing

In the beverage production process, precise mass flow control of Carbon Dioxide (C02) is a crucial part of creating high quality brews and beverages. It is pivotal that beverage manufacturers have the ability control the exact amount of carbon dioxide (CO2 )...

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Customize a Product with PhotoChromeleon?

An MIT team came up with a new way of producing a multicolor part: “PhotoChromeleon.” The system’s reprogrammable photochromic ink enables objects to change colors when exposed to ultraviolet and visible light. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

INSIDER : Materials
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch

A synthetic optical lace developed by a Cornell Ph.D. student creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system. The flexible, porous lattice structure is manufactured from...

Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
INSIDER : Defense
Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research
Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research

A team of undergrad engineers discovered a method that could make materials more resilient against massive shocks such as earthquakes or explosions. The students tested whether...

Undergrad Engineers Advance Shock Wave Mitigation Research
On-Demand Webinars : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Deep Dive into Metal 3D Printing

This 30-minute Webinar examines how to optimize your design through part geometry, surface finish, secondary operations, and other considerations.

Question of the Week : Materials
Are You Lightweighting with Plastics and Composites?

A Tech Briefs webinar this month focused on the idea of lightweighting – or replacing traditionally metal parts, like engine components, with plastics and composites.

INSIDER : Imaging
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like...

Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners

Along with flying and invisibility, high on the list of every child’s aspirational superpowers is the ability to see through or around walls or other visual obstacles. That...

Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
INSIDER : Nanotechnology
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for...

Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Diffraction-Limited Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) is an international supplier of diffraction-limited aspheric lenses for nuclear research laser facilities. Over the last 40 years, Optical Surfaces has produced diffraction-limited aspheric lenses, up to 600mm...

INSIDER : Design
A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries
A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 — liquefied gas electrolytes — could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries:...

A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries
Blog : Electronics & Computers
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
Stanford Professor Eric Pop learned a valuable electronics lesson from his early days as a radio DJ.
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Additive and Traditional Parts Manufacturing Capabilities of 3D Systems on Demand

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is fast becoming an essential part of the modern manufacturing toolkit because of the powerful advantages it offers. Industry pioneer and technology innovator 3D Systems, Inc. is one of the world’s leading providers of...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Blog : Defense
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Have You Considered Using Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots are part of Ford Motor Company’s assembly line. One cobot performs the greasing of the camshaft followers, another fills the engine oil, and a third uses a camera and UV light to check for leaks.

Briefs : Materials
Magnetic Metamaterial Amplifies MRI
Magnetic Metamaterial Amplifies MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of organs and tissues in the human body, helping doctors diagnose potential problems or diseases. Doctors use MRI to...

Magnetic Metamaterial Amplifies MRI
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures

Your new industrial electronic product has been designed and the board components specified. It has been prototyped, either on a development board to check...

10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence
Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence

Robotics has traditionally focused on industrial applications in which robots require strength and precision to carry out repetitive tasks. These robots flourish in highly...

Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces
Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces

Landing is stressful on a rocket’s legs because they must handle the force from the impact with the landing pad. One way to combat this is to build legs out of materials that absorb some of...

Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Clean Fabrication Platform for 2D Transistors
Ultra-Clean Fabrication Platform for 2D Transistors

Recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) materials with superlative properties have the potential to advance semiconductors but creating 2D devices with both good electrical contacts and...

Ultra-Clean Fabrication Platform for 2D Transistors
Briefs : Materials
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency

Unlike water, liquid refrigerants and other fluids that have a low surface tension spread quickly into a sheet when they come into contact with a surface. For many industrial...

Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Briefs : Communications
Soft, Wearable Health Monitor with Stretchable Electronics
Soft, Wearable Health Monitor with Stretchable Electronics

A soft and conformable health monitor can broadcast electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, respiratory rate, and motion activity data as much as 15 meters to a portable recording...

Soft, Wearable Health Monitor with Stretchable Electronics
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Soft, Multi-Functional Robots
Soft, Multi-Functional Robots

In the future, soft, animal-inspired robots may be safely deployed in difficult-to-access environments in which rigid robots cannot currently be used such as inside the human body or in spaces that are too...

Soft, Multi-Functional Robots
Briefs : Data Acquisition
Miniature Spring Performance Tester
Miniature Spring Performance Tester

In order to qualify miniature springs, manufacturers of these systems rely on commercially available testers that are designed for large-scale springs (>0.5" diameter). Commercially available spring...

Miniature Spring Performance Tester
Facility Focus : Photonics/Optics
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering...

Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Articles : Transportation
Executive Forum: Sensors & the IoT
Executive Forum: Sensors & the IoT

No longer just a buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly taking hold in many different industries, from aerospace and automotive, to medical and manufacturing. The IoT ecosystem incorporates...

Executive Forum: Sensors & the IoT
Briefs : Materials
3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves
3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves

A 3D-printed polymer-based foam structure was developed that responds to the force of a shock wave to act as a oneway switch, a long sought-after goal in shock research. The...

3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves
Briefs : Materials
Graphene Field Effect Transistors for Radiation Detection (GFET-RS)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developed novel transistor technology based on a single graphene layer coupled to a radiation absorber substrate. Unlike conventional charge-sensing detectors, the GFET-RS utilizes the sensitive dependence of graphene conductance on local change...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
VELO 3D
Campbell, CA
www.velo3d.com

Over the past four years, Enrique Enriquez, president of KW Micro Power, has worked in pursuit of his company’s goal: a microturbine generator roughly...

3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part