Interesting that the results of our survey seem to buck the current feeling in the general populace around a stalled economy and stagnant economic growth. I'm running into this mixed messaging a lot lately, depending on the geographic location of who I'm talking to and the type of work/industry sector that they're in. Part of me thinks some of the current economic doom and gloom is too tied to what's going on abroad and the upcoming election, yet there are still so many hard-to-ignore signs that growth hasn't returned to where people expected after four years of "the great recession." In any case, I'm pleased to see engineering as a bright spot and hope there's some kind of filter down or filter up effect for the broader, global economic ecosystem.
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.