Biotech may come to the rescue when it comes to meeting future demand for corn needed for both food and ethanol. According to a study released by the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, U.S. farmers gained an additional 8.3 billion pounds of yield in 2005 due to biotech crops, including an extra 7.6 billion pounds of corn. This represents a 29 percent increase over 2004's harvest. The report notes that plant biotechnology boosted corn production by 39 billion pounds since it was introduced in the late 90s. That represents 1.9 billion gallons of ethanol.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.