TinkerCAD costs $19 per month for the Personal edition and $100/month for the Startup edition. I'd buy a basic CAD package rather than "rent" one month to month. Three-dimensional printers might appeal to more people at a lower cost, but as the cost goes down I expect more small companies to offer 3-D printing services--perhaps even the UPS Store or local Kinkos-Fedex store could make my prototypes.
I no longer make my own printed-circuit boards because I can get a 2-day turnaround from local shops that welcome small orders. And some PCB quick-turn companies also provide the schematic-capture and board-layout tools for free. Watch the same thing happen with 3-D printing.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.