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.

Briefs: Materials
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Stronger and flexible, polyimide aerogels provide insulation and structural support.
Briefs: Internet of Things
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Right Manufacturing Partner Can Save You Costs and Development Time

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is fast becoming an essential part of the modern manufacturing toolkit because of the powerful advantages it offers. Industry...

Question of the Week: Imaging
Will the Ability to Manipulate Virtual Objects in Real-World Scenes Help Your Design and Manufacturing Efforts?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week demonstrated a Brown University system called Portal-ble. The augmented-reality technology allows you to place virtual objects within real-world backgrounds on smartphone screens. Users can then...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Computed tomography is being used in the medical and industrial field. An expert explains how the two imaging techniques differ.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Current Trends in Medical Kit Packaging

In days of yore, when house calls were common, physicians used black leather bags to tote instruments from appointment to appointment. Those medical bags are long gone, but the logic behind them - a...

What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.

Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, a double-sided tape was developed that can rapidly seal tissues together within five seconds. The tape works much...

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As...

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion batteries...

A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Entire Planes Be Built By 'Assembler Robots?'

Commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations, and then flown to a central plant for final assembly. Researchers at MIT are hoping to change that.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are employed to locate cancerous tumors and aid in the development of treatment plans, while nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines are used to...

In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: November 2019
3D-printing platforms, simulation software, transistors, and more.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor the wearer’s health and correct eyesight use embedded electronics. These, and other curved devices such as solar cells and electronics, could be...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wind Event Warning System

NASA Langley Research Center developed a wind event warning technology that provides a practical early warning system (5-10 minutes) for a severe change in the wind vector. Events such as gusts, shear, microbursts,...

A fully print-in-place technique for electronics could enable technologies such as high-adhesion, embedded electronic tattoos and bandages with patient-specific...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Passive Smart Container

Although Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used widely for pallet and box-level tracking in the commercial sector, significant technology gaps remain for tracking dense quantities at the item...

See the eight winners of the 2019 "Create the Future" Design Contest
Through Livox, non-verbal people can speak, learn how to read and write, and understand abstract concepts.

Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission. In a study,...

Machine vision systems shed light on processes too small or too fast to see with the human eye.

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
OnLogic has introduced the Karbon 700 high-performance rugged computer.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facial Recognition Technology Works in the Dark

Thermal cameras like forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers, and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Smart Electronic Skin for Robots and Prosthetics

Humans use the sense of touch to accomplish almost every daily task such as picking up a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand. Without it, humans can even lose their sense of balance when walking. Similarly, robots need to have a sense of touch in order to interact better with humans but...

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