3D printing antennas, is seen replacing conventional tech in production

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According to Optomec, Aerosol Jet printing utilizes aerodynamic focusing to precisely deposit nanomaterials to produce fine feature circuitry and embedded components without the use of masks or patterns. The resulting functional electronics can have line widths and pattern features ranging from 10’s of microns to centimeters.

Read more at: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130531-optomec-is-3d-printing-antennas.html
The combination of 3D printing and Materials Technology, particularly the ‘nanoscale’ materials or the materials we now understand at atomic scale, is changing the world more quickly than some see. It is not always obvious because in the end the devices are not that different than what came before, just better, smaller, longer lasting, stronger, etc. over a relatively short time it is amazing what small increments of change, multiplied by thousands of applications and dozens of iterations, can build up to.

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Multi material 3D printing // The Engineer

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Kinda creepy actually.

…multi-material 3D printing aims to address inefficiencies by reducing the number of manufacturing steps for one object. Compared with single material 3D printing, it allows a functional product to be created with different properties without the need to bring together components. It increases speed to market by allowing organisations to prototype increasingly complex parts and reduces waste products by using exactly the right amount of material required.

Read more: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/channels/design-engineering/in-depth/the-rise-of-multi-material-3d-printing/1016242.article#ixzz2Ujj5QP00

3rd Power Law, 0 Complexity premium, working memes for 3D Printing

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A 3-D printed table … with holes and all. Photo: rosemarybeetle / Flickr

WIRED http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/05/an-insiders-view-of-the-hype-and-realities-of-3-d-printing/

3-D printing is indeed an important fabrication technology, because it has the marvelous ability to make anything regardless of the complexity of the form.

BUT

Everything from cost and time to amount of material increases exponentially: specifically, to the third power. So if we want something twice as big, it will cost 8 times as much and take 8 times as long to print. If we want something three times as big, it will cost about 27 times more and takes 27 times longer to print. And so on.

Love simplifying memes, these are two great ones that help the mind focus on the issues involved when ‘discussions’ dealing with potentials are taking place.

Also in the article:
The reminder that these are not replicators, not yet anyway.

AND

That many of the technologies enabling 3D printing are enabling CNC machining, laser-cutting, robotics and more, at DIY / hobbyist scale.

Now this Really Is Rocket Science

New research key to revolutionary ‘green’ spacecraft propellant at Phys.org
Got me interested in this new material…liquid…which is REALLY cool, in a hot sort of way, look at this briefing by the Air Force Research Lab…this Rocket Fuel burns at 1600degC but it just sort of fizzles if thrown on a fire, sits there when hit by a hammer, does not create clouds of toxic fumes and while not a great ice cream topping is not wildly poisonous either…and this stuff was actively developed, not just stumbled across. Such is the power of modern research tools and materials knowledge.

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The GPIM project aims to introduce AF-M315E as a green alternative to hydrazine (Credits: NASA).

phys.org | Do-it-yourself invisibility with 3-D printing

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“I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight,” said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.
Urzhumov said that producing a cloak in this fashion is inexpensive and easy. He and his team made a small one at Duke which looks like a Frisbee™ disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours.
“Computer simulations make me believe that it is possible to create a similar polymer-based cloaking layer as thin as one inch wrapped around a massive object several meters in diameter,” he said. “I have run some simulations that seem to confirm this point.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-do-it-yourself-invisibility-d.html

Well ain’t that just Harry Potter cool?

Meta material technique allows for high efficiency coupling of light on a surface AND the ability to switch direction via polarization

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An electron micrograph shows the nanoscale perforations at the surface of the plasmonic coupler. Credit: Jiao Lin and Balthasar Müller.
(Phys.org) —A Harvard-led team of researchers has created a new type of nanoscale device that converts an optical signal into waves that travel along a metal surface. Significantly, the device can recognize specific kinds of polarized light and accordingly send the signal in one direction or another.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-04-physicists-left-solution-on-chip-optics.html

Pretty important stuff, ducting light around on chips is an important ability for future electronics…or maybe one should say, nano- electro- optic- systems. Cool stuff…