There were a lot of exciting technologies on display at last week's Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, and WestPack shows (among others) in Anaheim, Calif.
One of the best things I came across was at the Stratasys booth -- a 3D-printed face that had the texture of real skin. It was hand-painted -- which made it look very realistic -- and many people would do a double take when they walked by.
Another booth that had people crowded around it was Stäubli's. They used one of their industrial robot arms to play a game with the crowd. Using a push button, you pick a particular die and the robot arm spins a wheel. If the wheel lands on the die you picked it throws you a poker chip over the glass enclosure. If it did not land on the die you picked it swings around to you and motions back and forth as if to say, "no, no."
Click Stratasys's face below to see some highlights from the show floor.
Stratasys showed off this 3D-printed face that was made from PolyJet rubber-like TangoPlus material, which gave it the texture of real skin. It was then hand-painted to give it an even more life-like appearance. (Source: Design News)
We actually had the honor of having dinner with Andrew. He's an amazing inventor (not sure, but I believe he said he had 13 patents). The Gadget Freak column could not have had a better or more talented representative.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I do indeed have 13 patents. I would have had 14 patents, but my employer closed down the facility where I worked and laid us all off before the final step in the patent process could be accomplished, namely finding 2 qualified people to witness my invention. That invention, a digital motor speed regulator algorithm is now in the public domain and is the basis of one of my winning gadgets. I'm glad that the patent fell through, as now others can use it. I wouldn't have gotten any money from it anyway. It is a published patent application, which anyone can find in a patent search. I bought and reverse-engineered a cordless floor sweeper that has my invention in it. Good for them! I'm glad that someone else has found it useful.
The dental appliance fabber shown in image 9 is a perfect use of a small fabber. Imagine going to the dentist in the morning for mold-taking and returning in the afternoon for your finished appliance! I haven't had a crown in some time, but it took days for it to be manufactured.
It's very impressive to see the developments being done in 3D printing. Most of the projects mentioned in the slideshow are of 3D technology, which in turn makes us realize the fast and efficient growth being done in this area by different firms. Now it's only a matter of time, when we would be making actual products through these printers instead of the prototypes.
While in Anaheim, I attended the "Golden Mousetrap Awards" ceremony, where I was handed my "Gadget Freak of the Year" trophy. There was a young woman there, named Justine Haupt. She's a real genius. I estimate her age to be in her late 20's or early 30's. She won the "Rising Engineering Star" award. The things that she has already done in her young life makes my accomplishments look like nothing, IMO. I'm not complaining. She deserves it. She said in her acceptance speech that she is on a campaign to encourage young women to go into engineering.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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