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: 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...

A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.

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...

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

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Facility Focus: RF & Microwave Electronics
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...

Articles: Communications
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...

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...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Electronics & Computers
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
VELO3D was able to print the perfect spaceship on the very first try.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
3D-Printed Soft Mesh Robots

Researchers have created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Robot “Eye” Provides 360° Field of View

The production of precision products depends on robot control systems knowing the location of the adhesive bonding head or welding head to the nearest millimeter at all times. This means the robot...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optical Coatings Technology

Optical coatings are critical for enhancing the transmission, reflection, polarization, and phase of light incident upon and passing through optical components. There are many different technologies used to...

Micromachining Subsystem

SCANLAB GmbH (Puchheim, Germany) has introduced a new member of its precSYS product line. Five-axis precSYS subsystems enable industrial...

Industries are constantly searching for new approaches to advance operational efficiency and product quality. With unplanned downtime estimated to cost...

Application Briefs: FDA/Regulatory
Designing Sensors for Hazardous Environments
Some of the most common applications for hazardous duty sensors are in the oil and gas industry.
We interviewed an industry expert about the role of inductive position sensors in the IIoT.
The key to acceptance and adoption of a "smart home" will be enhancing total ease of ownership.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection

Accurately detecting, locating, and quantifying leaks of methane — the main component of natural gas and a major fuel source worldwide — is critically important for both environmental...

Each passing year, machine vision is finding its way into applications that were not commercially feasible — and in some cases, impossible.
People-Counting Sensor

FLIR Systems, Inc. (Wilsonville, OR) announced the latest generation of the FLIR Brickstream 3D Gen 2 people-counting sensor. This new version includes a unique...

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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