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.
Parallax Inc. is known for developing the Basic Stamp microcontroller development board and educational accessory kits. In addition to developing a user-friendly educational platform to learn about 8-bit microcontrollers and software programming, it created a multicore 32-bit chip called the Propeller.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
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