Materials & Manufacturing

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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.

Blog: Materials
A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives.
Blog: Materials
A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will ‘Flexoskeletons’ Catch On?

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have found a new way to make soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The “flexoskeletons” are both made of a rigid material and a thin sheet of polycarbonate that acts as a flexible base. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

What do you think? Will...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

The future’s getting brighter for solar power. Researchers from CU Boulder have created a low-cost solar cell with one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies to...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
See how NASA engineer Mike Buttigieg is creating a device that will free up ventilators for patients with COVID-19
Blog: Medical

A low-cost, low-complexity ventilator developed by NASA engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This program generates a mesh that conforms to a complex model without clipping.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
An inexpensive 3D-printed microfluidics device could be used to personalize cancer treatment.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The material consists solely of components that have already been shown to work well in the body.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Applications include optical data transfer, infrared and night-vision systems, environmental sensors, and breath analysis for medical diagnosis.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Tech Briefs posed questions to 3D printing/AM industry execs, to get their views on issues like metal printing, new materials, and environmental sustainability.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The material combines two polymers with different properties.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A highly sensitive, CMOS-compatible, broadband photodetector was created by tailoring material defects.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A new way of making polymers adhere to surfaces may enable better biomedical sensors and implants.
NASA Spinoff: Aerospace
NASA’s LED lighting system enables food and other crops to be grown indoors in places like skyscrapers.
Briefs: Defense
These “developable mechanisms” are built into the surfaces of structures.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
A cryptographic ID tag, a high-reliability NASA switch, and a stretchable thermoelectric generator...
Briefs: Wearables
Bandages with integrated pH and temperature sensors, and electronically triggered drug release, improve healing.
Q&A: Green Design & Manufacturing
A new process will reduce the cost of manufacturing graphene by a factor of more than 100.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The nonlinear camera captures high-resolution images of the interior of solid objects using terahertz (THz) radiation.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Aspheric lenses greatly improve the performance and efficiency of a wide range of optical applications.
Products: Software
The ADISRA SmartView 4.0 HMI allows builders to see what's going on in their machines.
Briefs: Software
Applications include distributed computer systems, computer security, and commercial satellite systems.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
A new method could enable vehicles and equipment to better withstand high temperatures, loads, and speeds.
Briefs: Lighting
The AI system can help shorten the time required for 2D material-based electronics to be ready for consumer devices.
Briefs: Materials
This passive device relies on a layer of material that blocks incoming sunlight but lets heat radiate away.
Briefs: Materials
A ceramic sensor could be embedded into structures such as bridges and aircraft to monitor their health.
Briefs: Materials
This on-skin electronic device provides a personal air conditioner without electricity.

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