As you read this story on your computer screen, think about the technology that paints the letters and icons on your monitor.
For 95 years, the method of making flat-panel LCDs (liquid crystal displays) has been the same--rubbing a polymer substrate with a velvet paint roller. This aligns the molecules so they rotate in response to an electric signal, thus turning pixels on and off.
The new method is quicker, it avoids streaks and scratches, and it allows real-time quality control, IBM says. The company plans to create a production line by year-end, and also to license the method to other manufacturers.
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
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