Overall product costs and part weight were reduced by conversion of this housing used in a microwave telecom application. Elimination of machined chips of an expensive nickel alloy was one part of the cost reduction. Another was a design that incorporated threaded posts that had been separate "stand-offs" with longer bolts. All eight threaded holes were molded into the part. Like other microelectronic devices used in telecommunications, this part needed to be sealed in a hermetic package. The molder, FloMet of DeLand, FL, went to sister company Teka Seal for a glass-to-metal sealing process that completes the part. Final nickel/gold plating was done through an outside contractor. Cost savings over the original wrought design were 60 percent. For more information on FloMet, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4933-516.
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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