In efforts like this, companies tend to stick to a proprietary system. Its initiatives like this that keep innovative ideas out of the public's hands. They don't have to go open source, but how about a generalized software package? Something like what universal CAM software packages can do already. For example, many CAM packages can handle brand name machining centers as well as DIY machines.
As in any new product, someone has to come up to speed in the learning curve. Is this so expensive only huge companies can afford it, or can a regular street engineer get a copy and make himself useful?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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