Advanced molding technologies, such as micro molding and metal injection molding, are under review as a way to lighten the load for U.S. soldiers in combat zones. One potential application: wearable antennas. Options include integrated helmet and fabric antennas. Radiation patterns and gain should be comparable to (or ideally superior to) a whip antenna. No snag hazards are acceptable, breakaway connections may be necessary, and designs that do not require wiring to the helmet are preferred. For more information, check out the new Design News Mechatronics Zone.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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