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Manufacturing

The trends in the photography and 3D printing industry suggest that we may be heading towa...

Diginova, a consortium of European companies and universities, has proposed a roadmap for how the manufacturing industry could fully benefit from the digital era over the next two decades. According to this vision, we are moving toward manufacturing highly customizable, on-demand goods that are locally produced from raw materials and globally distributed digital designs. This could lead to extreme product customization, decentralization of production and, perhaps surprisingly, much lower costs of everyday goods ranging from smartphones to medicine.  Read More

Example of levitating and heating coil assemblies (Image: ESA)

Astronauts, get your welding goggles on – the space station is going into the foundry business. The International Space Station is set to do a spot of industrial research this June, when ESA’s Materials Science Laboratory-Electromagnetic Levitator heads for the station aboard Europe's’ ATV-5 Georges Lemaître unmanned space freighter as part of a program to study the casting of alloys in a weightless environment.  Read More

It's an exciting time to be alive if you are highly educated and capable of making a diffe...

Of all the technologies to have emerged from the digital renaissance, additive manufacturing (3D printing) has the potential to be the most disruptive. A perfect example of the way 3DP will change the way we make things will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show this week when EDAG, the world’s largest independent engineering partner to the mobility industry, displays an example of a printed automobile. The Genesis is more a conceptual sculpture than an automobile, but it will give you a taste of what the world's leading manufacturers might be producing a decade or two from now.  Read More

Projected figures show the Gigafactory producing 500,000 units per year by 2020, with expe...

As Tesla’s Supercharger network expands and Model S sales continue to grow, so too does the company’s need to find a more economical battery solution. A proposed technology amalgamation in the form of the Gigafactory could theoretically reduce per kWh and lithium-ion costs by over 30 percent by 2020.  Read More

The Markforged Mark One – the world's first 3D printer capable of printing carbon fiber

Auto and motorcycle enthusiasts with a bit of CAD savvy will soon have access to a remarkably affordable dream machine – the US$5,000 MarkForged Mark One. Touted as the world’s first 3D printer capable of printing in carbon fiber, the device could trigger an avalanche of aftermarket carbon fiber bolt-on parts.  Read More

Panigale batch hits the chassis assembly area.

For motorcycle lovers, this is where dreams are made. Ducati's resident historian Livio Lodi takes us on a tour of the Ducati Factory near Bologna, Italy, talking us through the production of the 1199 Panigale superbike from start to finish, and showing us the techniques Ducati has used to vastly improve its efficiency, output and reliability.  Read More

The Georgia Tech system is designed to improve the 'intelligence' of human-controlled robo...

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a system that makes a human-controlled robot more "intelligent," and improves the amount of control that a human user has over it. It incorporates a number of sensors that are placed on the user's arm to read muscle information, and help the robot to anticipate the user's intentions. The system has been developed to improve safety and efficiency in manufacturing plants.  Read More

MIT's new digital material allows the assembly of huge structures like towers, spacecraft ...

MIT researchers have invented a new digital material with a block-like design which could allow the assembly of huge structures like towers, spacecraft and airplanes – simply by snapping blocks together. Parts 10 times stiffer than existing ultralight materials can be assembled instead of engineered, by small robots crawling over the structure adding pieces of material bit by bit. Not only does the tinkertoy-like block construction method enable any structure to be assembled and disassembled easily, it's also possible to recycle them into entirely new configurations.  Read More

Zeoform promises a recyclable, low carbon-footprint building material that's as strong as ...

Australian company Zeo has developed and patented a glue-free process that creates a strong, versatile new building material out of just cellulose and water. The resulting hardwood-like material known as Zeoform can then be sprayed, molded or shaped into a range of products. And it's not just trees that stand to benefit – Zeoform also promises an eco-friendly alternative to the use of plastics and resins.  Read More

An illustration of InfraStructs (left) and the resulting  terahertz scans (right) (Image: ...

Fundamental to the Internet of Things is the idea that objects must be uniquely identifiable. RFID chips are perfect for assigning objects a digital fingerprint, at least so far as traditional manufacturing goes. But with the rise of 3D printing, incorporating an RFID chip into your object means interrupting the printing process. Now, scientists have come up with a way to 3D print a unique tag, called an InfraStruct, inside the object as it's being printed, and it's made possible by the slowly emerging field of terahertz imaging.  Read More

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