@Ran: One time I went over to Japan to work with the Canon engineers. It made for a great face-to-face visit. But I was also over to work on problems. We used a lot of diagrams on white boards, hand waving, saying key words, and having someone else nearby to do some rudimentary translations. We made progress because we were in the same room, could see each other's faces, and could draw and point. That is hard to do over a phone call. Troubleshooting over email took days. Face-to-face was better but I had to fly to Japan (which was a fun experience for me.)
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.