This is really an interesting application for crowd sourcing. Since it is a public venture, we should be able to see a little more clearly if it works (as opposed to a private company trying it). What is really surprising is that in the past a lot of what they are sending out to everybody would have been extremely classified for the people working on it.
I'm very interested to see how effective crowdsourcing design process will be on this project. We all have heard how military budgets can have schedule delays and cost overruns, so I would like to see if this new design technique will have an impact in this area.
Looks like DARPA continues to push the envelope in terms of leveraging crowdsourcing techniques to push combat vehicle design. The agency appeared to have enjoyed some pretty strong success teaming up with Local Motors on another combat vehicle, the XC2V, which was designed and built via the crowdsourcing approach in under six months. In fact, that project led President Obama to cite Local Motors' development approach as a model for American manufacturing innovation in a speech last summer.
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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