University of Utah metallurgists have used an old microwave oven to produce a nanocrystal semiconductor rapidly using cheap, abundant, and less toxic metals than other semiconductors. X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and atomic spectroscopy all helped confirm that the CZTS (copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur) semiconductor was suitable for use in a solar cell.
Magnetic vortices typically occur in nanometer-scale magnetic disks, which are studied...
University of Utah metallurgists have used an old microwave oven to produce a nanocrystal...
Researchers in Spain report they have produced self-compacting concrete with ash from...
A new design tool interprets hand gestures, enabling designers and artists to create and modify 3D shapes using only their hands as a "natural user interface" instead of keyboard and mouse. The tool, called Shape-It-Up, uses specialized computer algorithms and a depth-sensing camera to observe and interpret hand movements and gestures.
At seven times the toughness of Kevlar, a silk produced by the Caerostris darwini spider of Madagascar is more robust than any other material—synthetic or natural. Most spider silks are about two times tougher than Kevlar, and have long been considered an intriguing alternative for bulletproof vests and other protective gear. There’s only one problem: producing spider silk on demand is a tricky task.
Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability. The Purdue researchers have developed a system that uses a flashbulb-like heat source and a thermal camera to read how heat travels through the electrodes.
Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory experiments. Now it appears creating a simple cloak has become a lot simpler through 3D printing. Producing a cloak through this method is inexpensive and easy; and the small one the team made looks like a Frisbee disc made out of Swiss cheese.
In a process comparable to squeezing an elephant through a pinhole, researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have designed a way to engineer atoms capable of funneling light through ultrasmall channels. Their research is the latest in a series of recent findings related to how light and matter interact at the atomic scale.
Many natural composite materials have evolved to wrinkle in response to certain stimuli; and scientists say that understanding the mechanisms by which materials internally wrinkle could help in creating new, responsive materials. Now researchers have identified the mechanics involved in the wrinkling of thin interfacial layers within soft composite materials, and developed a model based on material properties and geometry.
The University of Connecticut and Pratt & Whitney this week celebrated the opening of a new Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center at UConn, one of the most advanced additive manufacturing laboratories in the nation. Located on UConn’s Depot Campus in Storrs, the center features the latest in 3D manufacturing equipment and rapid prototyping technologies.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have devised a dynamic and reversible way to assemble nanoscale structures and have used it to encrypt a Morse code message. The team started with a template of DNA origami―multiple strands of DNA woven into a tile. They “wrote” their message in the DNA template by attaching biotin-bound DNA strands to specific locations on the tiles that would light up as dots or dashes.
A researcher from North Carolina State University has developed a technique for creating high-density ceramic materials that requires far lower temperatures than current techniques—and takes less than a second, as opposed to hours.
What kinds of industrial production can bring innovation to the American economy? An intensive, long-term study by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scholars suggests that a renewed commitment to research and development in manufacturing, sometimes through creative new forms of collaboration, can spur innovation and growth in the United States as a whole.
Physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University have succeeded in building a facsimile of a living human ear that looks and acts like a natural ear. Researchers believe their bioengineering method will finally succeed in the long quest by scientists and physicians to provide normal looking "new" ears to thousands of children born with a congenital ear deformity.
Distillation techniques for commonly used feedstocks, such as those containing benzene, can be expensive and involve large amounts of energy for hard-to-separate mixtures. A team of chemists in the U.K. have created organic molecular crystals that are able to separate important organic aromatic molecules by their molecular shape. The technique could be used in industry to separate complex organic chemical mixtures.
A team of researchers in Austria has shown that so-called block copolymer stars—polymers that consist of two different blocks and are chemically anchored on a common point—have a robust and flexible architecture and they possess the ability to self-assemble at different levels. The team has called their invention, which can form complex crystal diamonds or cubes, the “soft Lego”.
Organovo Holdings Inc., a creator and manufacturer of functional, 3D human tissues for medical research and therapeutic applications, is working together with researchers at Autodesk Inc. to create the first 3D design software for bioprinting.
Changes in the R&D environment are driving research managers to look at different ways to support and grow their organizations.
Photochemical machining and electroforming offer alternative, non-mechanical prototyping methods for precision parts.
Stratasys Inc. and Objet Ltd. announced the completion of their merger, forming a leader in 3D printing and direct digital manufacturing. The company will offer three technologies: FDM for functional prototypes and production parts; inkjet-based PolyJet for prototyping parts with high feature detail and fine surface finish; and Solidscape Drop-on-Demand thermoplastic ink-jetting technology for complex wax patterns for investment casting of finished parts.
Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rock through a 3D printer, and making something useful—like a needed wrench or replacement part. It may sound like science fiction, but it's really possible. A group of researchers from Washington State University have demonstrated how to print parts using materials from the moon.
Engineers at Oregon State University and other leading institutions have made important advances that may dramatically change how machines get built, with a concept that could turn the approaches used by modern industry into a historic relic. Instead of old prototyping and testing approaches, virtually all of the design, testing, error identification, and revisions of products will be done on a computer up to the point of commercial production.
A collaboration of several government and academic research organizations are hard at work on a design and manufacturing concept called “model-based design and verification”. Instead of building prototypes and discarding them, manufacturers would conduct virtually all of the design, testing, error identification, and revisions on a computer up to the point of commercial production.
They're soft, biocompatible, about 7 mm long, and able to walk by themselves. Miniature "bio-bots" developed at the University of Illinois are making tracks in synthetic biology. Designing non-electronic biological machines has been a riddle that scientists at the interface of biology and engineering have struggled to solve. These bio-bots demonstrate the Illinois team's ability to forward-engineer functional machines using only hydrogel, heart cells, and a 3D printer.
Engineers in Texas have adopted the nanoscale fabrication technique of directed self-assembly to increase the surface storage density of hard disk drives. The method, which relies on block copolymers, is able to organize magnetic dots into patterns far finer than existing methods. And it does so without risking the integrity of the magnetic fields.
Techniques for the manipulation of matter at the nanoscale are a step further ahead with the publication of new results from a University of Technology, Sydney research group. A team of physicists have unveiled new physics behind the nanofabrication technique known as electron beam induced deposition (EBID), essentially 3D printing at the molecular level.
Based on a new discovery, the world's multi-billion dollar foundry industry may soon develop a sweet tooth. Scientists have identified a new, non-toxic binder to use in the molds this industry depends upon. It's called sugar.
When it comes to imaging, every single photon counts if there is barely any available light. This is the point where the latest technologies often reach their limits. Researchers have now developed a single photon avalanche photodiode that can read individual photons in just a few picoseconds. The speed allows the image sensor to capture high quality images with very low light levels.