Manufacturing & Prototyping

Mine-Sweeping Device

Minelab Electronics
Torrensville, Australia
Dulles, VA

Minelab Electronics, an Australian company known for its metal detectors, has partnered with NIITEK, a Dulles, VA-based developer of ground-penetrating radar, to produce a mine-sweeping device that detects both metal and shapes in the ground. Together they have won a contract to supply a mounted mine detection system for US Husky Detection System (HMDS) military vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Detectors, Radar, Protective equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Racecar with Composite-Intensive Suspension Gets Track Tested in 2015

A racecar fitted with a prototype rear suspension will compete in the Sports Car Club of America's 2015 season as a proof-of-concept demonstrator for using thermoplastic composite suspension components in future light-duty vehicle production applications. Read more at

Posted in: Articles, News, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping

Isuzu Takes High-Level Approach to T4F Solutions

Depending on which off-highway engine manufacturer you’re talking to, it is either an advantage that its teams of engineers design specifically and solely for the off-highway industry, or it is an advantage that its teams of engineers design for both the on- and off-highway industries. Read more at

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Automotive

Manufacturing Robotic Tools for Piping Inspection and Repair

Fleet piping systems are complex, space-constrained systems that are difficult to inspect using standard external inspection techniques. Pipe lagging, as well as limited space, makes external access prohibitively expensive and difficult. A robotic tool was developed that will deliver a sensor package capable of real-time corrosion/erosion and pipe wall measurements. Implementation of this system will allow for fleet preventative maintenance (PM), ensuring that possible failures are detected and replaced before they occur.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Sensors and actuators, Fleet management, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Tools and equipment, Robotics, Inspections

Design and Fabrication of a Radio Frequency Grin Lens Using 3D Printing

Engineered electromagnetic materials and meta-materials have been researched to explore devices that enable access to electromagnetic properties that are not available in nature. This new class of devices can not only open the door to new functionality, but also be effectively utilized to improve the overall performance of existing systems with respect to electromagnetic performance, cost, size, weight, and repeatability.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid prototyping, Optics, Additive manufacturing, Fabrication, Materials properties

Preparing Carbon-Coated Current Collectors for High-Power Lithium-Ion Secondary Batteries

Achieving high-power capability of a battery requires minimizing the overall resistance of the electrochemical system. For lithium-ion batteries, much effort has been devoted to minimize the ionic diffusion resistances and electronic resistance associated with the electrode active materials. In the typical electrode configuration, the layer containing the active material is supported on a metallic current collector. The interface between the current collector and active layer imposes additional resistance to charge transfer within the electrode. The advancement in material synthesis technologies has reduced the ionic and electronic resistances associated with the active materials to the point that they become competitive to the other resistance sources. Thus, the significance of the electronic resistance at the active layer/current collector (AL/CC) interface is worthy of re-examination.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lithium-ion batteries, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Materials properties

Three-Dimensional Plastic Part Extrusion and Conductive Ink Printing for Flexible Electronics

Structural electronics, or structronics, seeks to build wiring and electrical interconnects directly into component structures to diminish the need for structural fasteners. A MakerBot Cupcake Computer Numerical Control (CNC) was used to investigate the fabrication of plastic structures by printing, and a Fujifilm Dimatix Materials Printer (DMP) was used to create flexible Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). After developing processes to make these machines easier to use, others will be able to utilize them to develop structures with integrated electronics.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Additive manufacturing, Plastics, Parts

Micro-Composite Fabrication via Field-Aided Laminar Composite Processing

Much work has been accomplished since the discovery that particles in a dielectric fluid experience forces when placed in an electric field, including mathematical descriptions of the forces and resulting motion of particles of differing shapes, particle separation and segregation for use in drug delivery, and even the manipulation of long-chain molecules of certain polymers.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Composite materials, Polymers

Tin-Based IV-IV Heterostructures Fabricated Using Molecular Beam Epitaxy

The indirect nature of the fundamental energy gap in the elemental semiconductors Si and Ge prevents the use of these materials and their alloys in laser devices. The objective of this work is to fabricate Sn-based IV-IV compounds for finding direct bandgap material. This work focuses on the material system GeSn/Ge, from the growth, characterization, and optical measurement. Experimental evidences on pseudomorphic growth of thick Ge1-xSnx film for Sn composition up to 10% and the direct optical transition are presented.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers, Fabrication, Alloys, Semiconductors

Stencil Mask Methodology for Parallelized Production of Microscale Mechanical Test Samples

Over the past decade, there has been considerable progress in the development of new mechanical testing methods to characterize the properties of materials at the micro and nano scales. One common application of these testing methodologies is the measurement of mechanical properties of structures that are physically small in scale, such as the strength of nanowhiskers and MEMS devices. Another common application is the use of small sample testing to gain insight into plastic deformation processes through systematic alteration of the sample dimensions in order to help isolate selected aspects of material behavior. Examples of these studies include the exploration of size-scale strengthening effects, the quantitative measurement and analysis of dislocation avalanches, and the measurement of local property variations in engineering alloys.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials properties, Nanotechnology, Test procedures