Two Russian scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovery of a one-atom thick material called graphene that has significant potential for electronic applications, including semiconductors. In what appeared to be just a wacky experiment at the time, they applied Scotch tape to a sheet of graphite and extracted the extremely thin, totally transparent material with excellent strength and electrical properties.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov will split the prize of about $1.4 million.
Hundreds of researchers are now exploring potential for the material as ultracapacitors, sensors, touchscreens, liquid crystal displays, organic photovoltaic cells, and organic light-emitting diodes.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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