MICA Freeform is a microscale fabrication process that bridges the gap between traditional micromachining processes, such as microEDM and laser machining, and newer methods, like LIGA—a process developed in Germany that combines lithography, electroplating and molding.
When the rapid-prototyping industry launched in 1987, stereolithography apparatuses (SLAes) were used to build physical parts from pools of laser-cured liquid resin. Since then, the technology has grown, changed and inspired a handful of fundamentally different additive-manufacturing (AM) processes that also create parts by binding successive layers of various raw materials into CAD-designated shapes.
In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, weapons engineers aboard the USS Enterprise didn’t need to search the galaxy for rapid-prototyping (RP) shops to model their phaser designs. All they had to do was program the ship’s holodeck with whatever death-ray design an engineer dreamed up in the shower, test the device on a few hostile Romulans and go into production.
In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, doctors put a new spin on the term “house call.” Using microminiaturization technology, scientists shrink a team of surgeons to the size of the flu virus, then send the group on a mission to destroy a blood clot deep inside the brain of a Russian defector. (There’s no spoiler—you’ll have to watch the movie for yourself.)
You probably don’t think about electrically conductive inks as you drive to work each morning. But it’s likely that you give at least a passing thought to some of your vehicle’s features that incorporate potentiometers and rheostats made with conductive inks.
T-Ink Inc., New York, offers a "thinking ink" technology that reportedly can replace physical switches, wire and sensors with printed components that create circuits without wires, as the company illustrated in a recent video animation of the process used to make an automobile overhead light.
Keigo Fukumoto, representing Fukui Byora Co., Ltd, Fukui, Japan, during the recent ICOMM 2012 gathering at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., offered a brief backround about the company and its Cold Heading Technology.
April 13, 2012—With about 150 attendees turning out for the 7th International Conference on MicroManufacturing (ICOMM 2012) held March 12-14 at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., conference organizers hailed the balanced attendance from Asia, Europe and North America as a first for the annual gathering.
Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., and Optomec Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., have partnered in a joint development project to merge 3-D printing and printed electronics to create what Stratasys is calling the first fully printed hybrid structure, according to a release by Stratasys.
Tech-Etch Inc. specializes in the manufacture of light gauge metal parts as small as 0.0005" thick. The photoetching process allows the company to produce intricate metal components with close tolerances.
Advanced Manufacturing Service is an electronic contract manufacturing service provider. Its customers include manufacturers of industrial controls, medical devices and equipment for laboratories, surveillance and communication.
"Micromachining Techniques for Fabrication of Micro and Nano Structures," a new book presenting advances in micromanufacturing technology, is available as a free download through InTech, an open access publisher of scholoarly papers and books.
Feb. 21, 2012—Pixelligent LLC and Brewer Science Inc. have combined their respective expertise in nanocrystal additives and microelectronics "to create a next generation spin-on hardmask for advanced lithography," Brewer announced in a recent news release.