The concept of "Design for AM' is intriguing. Fabricating parts using AM could change many of the traditional design and manufacturaiblity guidelines we used for parts creation. I would imagine that AM can now create many features we couldn't have previously made using traditional manufacturing methods. Conversely, additional design constraints will also need to be considered during the creation of a 3D part design.
Thanks, Nadine--I agree. There's a lot of dollars and effort going into R&D via this institute and its projects. Knowledge about those projects also gives us a window into where some of the most advanced technology is and where it's going.
The first round of projects funded targeted materials understanding and performance; qualification and certification; and process capability and characterization/process control. This second round also targets the first two topics, but adds design issues and knowledge base development. That tells me that materials remain a challenge, which is not surprising. But I think it also indicates that some initial process knowledge already exists and R&D can move forward with some much more in-depth projects. I also thought it significant that aerospace and metals AM dominate the discussion. I think aerospace will be one of the first areas where industrial-strength 3D printing/AM takes off.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
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