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.

Products : Motion Control
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs

Toposens, Sunnyvale, CA, released the TS3, a 3D ultrasonic sensor suitable for autonomous systems including robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other positioning applications that require...

Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Chip Converts Wasted Heat to Usable Energy

Car engines, laptop computers, cellphones, and refrigerators all heat up with overuse. That heat can be captured and turned into energy using a method that produces electricity from heat. The technology uses a silicon chip, also known as a “device,” that converts more thermal radiation into...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Atomically Thin Heat Shield Protects Electronic Devices
Atomically Thin Heat Shield Protects Electronic Devices

Excess heat given off by smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices contributes to malfunctions and, in extreme cases, can even cause lithium batteries to explode. To guard...

Atomically Thin Heat Shield Protects Electronic Devices
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultrathin Transistors for Faster Computer Chips
Ultrathin Transistors for Faster Computer Chips

For decades, microchip transistors have become smaller, faster, and cheaper; however, miniaturization has reached a natural limit, as completely new problems arise when a length scale of only a...

Ultrathin Transistors for Faster Computer Chips
Products : Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: October 2019
New on the Market: October 2019
See the new tech products being offered in October 2019.
New on the Market: October 2019
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Products of Tomorrow: October 2019
Products of Tomorrow: October 2019
Permeable concrete, quick disconnects, and more
Products of Tomorrow: October 2019
Briefs : Aerospace
Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner
Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner

In the wake of recent developments that have reduced fan and jet noise contributions to overall jet-engine noise, aircraft designers are turning their attention toward reducing engine core...

Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner
Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Are You Encouraged by the Increasingly Sophisticated Capabilities of Today’s Robots?

Researchers from Boston Dynamics have stuck the landing and created a robot that can perform a full gymnastics routine. Watch the performance on Tech Briefs TV.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
Learn more about ULiSSES, a life-saving device for organ and limb transport.
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
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 : Lighting
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 : Materials
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 : Photonics/Optics
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Aerospace
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 : Transportation
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 : Transportation
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 : Imaging
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Materials
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 : Materials
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