Research and consulting firm CIMdata predicts that engineers will be increasing their use of PDm (product-definition management) software and services 25% over the next three years. The total market for PDm alone will be about $118 by 2006, according to CIMdata. Part of the larger PLM (product lifecycle management) category of engineering applications, PDm encompasses collaboration tools and the general sharing of product information. All the major CAD developers offer such tools.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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