Apparently, the engineers who designed the rotating amphitheater at the Hoover Dam took their proximity to Las Vegas too seriously. They took a gamble and designed the turntable, which holds 450 people, without using finite element analysis. Bad idea. Soon after the amphitheater opened, the turntable broke down. Engineering consultant David Dearth got a U.S. Department of Interior contract to determine the cause of the failure. He did use FEA, specifically MSC.visualNastran for Windows. Finding: Use stronger steel and bigger axle.
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.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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