INDUSTRY

MANUFACTURING: ARCHIVE

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REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES FROM 2017 – AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU

New method 3D-prints fully functional electronic circuits (Additive Manufacturing/Electronics - 2017-11 - Kurzweil)

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a method for rapidly 3D-printing fully functional electronic circuits such as antennas, medical devices, and solar-energy-collecting structures.
These circuits can contain both electrically conductive metallic inks and insulating polymeric inks. A UV light is used to rapidly solidify the inks.

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Adidas creating small batches of city-specific sneakers, using robots and athlete data to cut shoe production (Robotics/Shoes - 2017-10 - TechRepublic)

Using its Speedfactory in Germany, Adidas is making shoes designed for certain cities, starting with London. The factory uses athlete data to create the city-customized designs, with manufacture by robots, cutting time to market from >12 months to <2 months. Mass production profitability requires at least 50,000 shoes, with Adidas employing a million factory workers in China and Vietnam.

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Small manufacturers operating all night using robots and automation (Robotics - 2017-10 - ZDNet)

A new class of collaborative industrial robots (‘cobots’), is distinguished by their relatively easy programming, and their ability to work safely alongside people thanks to robust safety features. Universal Robots is a major supplier with about 60% of the global market and $99 million (2016). Cobots can be used for ‘lights-out’ (i.e. all nght) operation.

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US manufactures more with 8 million fewer employees (Robotics - 2017-05 - TechRepublic)

Moshe Vardi, a computer science professor at Rice University and a leading expert in AI, points out that manufacturing is actually at an all-time high, but uses 8 million fewer employees. (Robots cost $15/hour to operate.) It’s impossible to predict the result of automation on the local basis, and people need to move to something that they do better than machines, which would involve higher-value skills.

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Large metal objects can be 3D-printed in a fraction of the time needed by current technology (Additive Manufacturing - 2017-05 - Technology.org)

Lawrence Livermore researchers use high-powered arrays of laser diodes, a Q-switched laser and a specialized laser modulator to flash print an entire layer of metal powder at a time, instead of raster scanning with a laser across each layer. Large metal objects could be printed in a fraction of the time needed for metal 3D printers on the market today, expanding possibilities for industries requiring larger metal parts, such as aerospace and automotive.

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Tomorrow’s office furniture will be rapidly 3D-printed in pools of goo (Additive Manufacturing/Furniture - 2017-04 - Quartz)

The furniture company, Steelcase, partnered with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab at its International Design Center to create a printer that uses liquefied rubber, plastic or foam, which is injected into a scalable vat of gel (algae) that holds 3D-printed objects in place until they harden & can be removed & cleaned. Test designs were produced in minutes.

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3D-printing metal parts may soon be practical and affordable (Additive Manufacturing/Metal - 2017-04 - MIT Technology Review)

Desktop Metal plans on developing affordable 3-D printers that can make metal parts—and thus transforming much of manufacturing. It has raised nearly $100 million, and its founders include 4 prominent MIT professors, including the head of the school’s department of materials science and Emanuel Sachs, who filed one of the original patents on 3-D printing in 1989. Their vision is to establish a process of creating a digital design, printing out prototypes that could be tested and refined, and then use the digital file of the optimized version to create a commercial product or part out of the same material using a 3-D printer. The article reviews the history of 3-D printing and the current main players in the industry.

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Customized sweaters (Laser/Clothing - 2017-03 - The Verge)

A pop-up Adidas store in Berlin is offering customers the chance to design, create, and purchase a sweater in about 4 hours. A laser body scan determines the correct sweater size, and light projections show off potential patterns for the sweater, while customers use hand gestures tracked by sensors to tweak the pattern to their liking. Customers choose design options and color combinations on a computer screen. The cost is 200 euros (around $215).

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Cellulose filament 3D-printed creating anti-microbial tweezers (Additive Manu/Medical Instruments - 2017-03 - ScienceNews Journal)

The basis for the paper, the material that is the most used for printing on, is cellulose. Cellulose may soon also become a material that is used to do 3-D printing. New research done at MIT shows that this abundant material may potentially provide a renewable, biodegradable alternative to the polymers currently used for 3-D printing.

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REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES FROM 2016 – AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU

Robots make up for China's labor shortage (Robotics - 2016-11 - China.org)

Increasingly Chinese factories across the Country are using robots to make up for the shortage of labor in the country. Shanghai-based Baosteel, the country’s largest steelmaker, said that robots would replace more than 2,000 workers and that there would be 1,000 robots installed by the end of 2021. China plans to increase the annual production of home-made industrial robots to 100,000 by 2020, according to a five-year plan for the robot industry released earlier this year. A total of 36,000 major companies will replace their human force with robots by 2017.

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