Z Corporation (Burlington, MA) has launched a metal casting program to develop relationships with metal casting foundries throughout North America. The program establishes a network of Z Corporation customers, pattern makers, and foundries who are involved in the prototyping of metal parts. The program springs from the company's ZCast™ technology, which involves printing metal casting molds directly from digital data. The process drastically reduces the time it takes to produce a casting from weeks to days. The technology can be used to create patterns for the sand casting or investment casting of metal parts. More information about ZCast and the Metal Casting Program can be found at www.zcorp.com.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.