Give a 3D printer artificial intelligence, and this is what you'll get

Dyllan Furness for Digital Trends:  A London-based startup has combined some of today’s most disruptive technologies in a bid to change the way we’ll build the future. By retrofitting industrial robots with 3D printing guns and artificial intelligence algorithms, Ai Build has constructed machines that can see, create, and even learn from their mistakes. When CEO and founder Daghan Cam was studying architecture, he noticed a disconnect between small-scale manufacturing and large-scale construction. “On one side we have a fully automated production pipeline,” Cam explained at a recent conference in London. “On the other side we’re completely dependent on human labor.” With the emergence of more efficient printing technologies, he thought there must be a better way. “We wanted to push the boundaries of how intricate we could design things through computation and how we could create them through 3D printing,” Cam said.   Cont'd...

Fujitsu to sell 'smart' factory systems in China

Nikkei Asian Review:  Japan's Fujitsu will partner with Chinese group Shanghai Yidian to sell factory management systems in China, where the government is promoting such technology as a way to cope with a shrinking labor force and improve manufacturing quality. These systems fall into the realm of "internet of things" -- networks of machines, such as factory robots or appliances, that can collect and share data. The municipal-government-run Shanghai Yidian group comprises nearly 150 companies making electronic components, lighting and other products. Some of the group's factories have already adopted Fujitsu software that allows managers to monitor equipment in real time. These systems track energy usage as well as any problems the machines encounter.   Cont'd...

Adidas Shows Off First Shoe Made In Its German Smart Factory

Designed to provide the ultimate fit, the adidas Futurecraft M.F.G. shoe represents the first high performance footwear to come out of the adidas SPEEDFACTORY in Germany, heralding a new era in footwear crafting while providing greater precision, unique design opportunities and high performance. Welcome to the future.  Adidas, meanwhile, plans to open its second Speedfactory next year in the Atlanta area.

Home 3D Printing 'Just Not There Yet' Admits MakerBot

Alex Cranz for Gizmodo:  MakerBot was going to change the world. It was going to bring 3D-printing, long a product limited to designer offices and workshops, into the home (or at least the garage). But earlier today, under a veil of marketing speak and glitzy videos, the company announced a new focus on commercial—not consumer—products, and in so doing, finally admitted what we’ve all known for a while. No one really wants a 3D printer in their house. CEO Jonathan Jaglom called MakerBot’s event an “an overall repositioning” for the brand. That’s a market savvy way of saying MakerBot is abandoning the home and hobbyist and embracing offices and schools. Later, when I asked about MakerBot’s former dream of getting 3D printers into people’s homes Jaglom’s answer seemed to come easily, the consumer market’s “just not there yet.”   Cont'd...

Bosch, SAP team up for Industry 4.0

Peter Gutierrez for IoT Hub:  Bosch and SAP will combine their expertise on cloud technologies and software solutions to make inroads into the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 markets. Customers will be able to use SAP’s HANA database platform within Bosch’s IoT Cloud, which the companies hope will enable large-scale data processing for IoT applications in real-time. Bosch’s IoT microservices will also be made available in SAP’s HANA cloud platform, providing multiple device and component connectivity.   Cont'd...

Industry 4.0: Cloud driving the rise of machines

From BizCommunity:   The technologies defining the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution', more commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, are being powered by cloud infrastructures. The Oracle Cloud: Opening up the Road to Industry 4.0 report has found that from robotics to artificial intelligence, businesses view the cloud as a blank canvas upon which to build their innovation strategies. [Industry 4.0: Cloud driving the rise of machines] The research investigated how companies in EMEA are managing the transition to Industry 4.0 and sheds light on which technologies they are investing in to continue succeeding in the data-driven age.  The majority of businesses are currently implementing, or plan to implement new innovation strategies: • 62% have or plan to implement robotics technology • 60% have or plan to work with artificial Intelligence Most companies also recognise a cloud infrastructure is required to bring these technologies to life – 60% believe an enterprise cloud platform provides the opportunity for organisations to capitalise on innovation such as robotics and artificial intelligence.   Cont'd...  

3D printed designs easily stolen by nearby smartphone

Jack Loughran for E&T:  3D printers have been shown to be vulnerable to attack by smartphones that can steal designs by being within close proximity during the printing process. A study from the University at Buffalo, USA explored security vulnerabilities in 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, which analysts say will become a multibillion-dollar industry employed to build everything from rocket engines to heart valves. "Many companies are betting on 3D printing to revolutionise their businesses, but there are still security unknowns associated with these machines that leave intellectual property vulnerable," said assistant professor Wenyao Xu, who worked on the project.   Cont'd...

GE speeds up 3D printing push with bids for SLM, Arcam

Johannes Hellstrom and Maria Sheahan  for Reuters:  General Electric launched bids on Tuesday to buy two of the world's top makers of machines for metal-based 3D printing - Sweden's Arcam and Germany's SLM Solutions - for a total $1.4 billion to bolster its position in the fast-growing technology. 3D printing has been used to build prototypes for decades but has become more widespread for industrial mass production in recent years, with uses including the production of dental crowns, medical implants and light aircraft parts. GE has long been one of the main proponents of industrial 3D printing, using it to make fuel nozzles for its new LEAP jet engine in what marked a big step in using the technology in mass production.   Cont'd...

This new 3D-printing pen draws with wood, copper, and bronze

James Vincent for The Verge:  3Doodler's 3D-printing pens have always had a lot of potential (who doesn't want a souped-up glue gun that can draw 3D structures in midair?), but in our hands-on with the pens, their rough build quality means they come across more as toys than serious design tools. The company's latest model, the 3Doodler Pro, wants to shake up this perception, offering professional users more control, faster-setting plastics, and a whole new range of materials to work with. Some of the new filaments on offer are pretty wild, too. 3Doodler says the Pro supports materials including wood, copper, bronze, nylon, and polycarbonate. Obviously, this doesn't mean you'll be sticking a length of dowel in the back of the Pro to draw tiny pieces of wooden furniture — instead, these new materials blend elements of their namesake into the plastic standard filament.   Cont'd...

Hirose, Harting Team Up on 10 Gbit Ethernet Connector Standard

Spencer Chin for Electronics360:  Interconnection component suppliers Hirose Electric Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, and Harting Electronics GmbH, Espelkamp Germany, have reached an agreement on the joint development, product standardization and marketing of a miniaturized connection technology system for 10 Gbit ethernet. The technology will overcome the limitations of RJ45, which is not ideally suited for industrial environments and could only be deployed with certain modifications. In light of this situation, Harting developed reportedly the world’s first industry-compatible field attachable RJ45. The miniaturization of components and interfaces in connection technology has become a key factor in global digitalization through the Internet of Things and Services.   Cont'd...

2100 Animated Mechanical Mechanisms

Mechanical engineer Nguyen Duc Thang used Autodesk Inventor to animate different types of gears, joints, clutches, linkage and other common mechanisms. 2100 total: (Nguyen Duc Thang's youtube channel) (download of all videos)

How 3D Printing Streamlines the Engineering Workflow

Michael Molitch-Hou for Engineering.com:  The desktop 3D printing space has become an interesting one in the last year or so, as manufacturers shift the focus away from consumers and towards professional and industrial users. The technology has proven that it may not quite be ready to produce consumer goods for every household—or perhaps households aren't quite ready for 3D printing at home. Those in the industry know, however, that low-cost 3D printing is still a powerful technology, if not for fabricating home goods, then as an early design tool and, in some cases, even for short-run manufacturing.   Cont'd...

Metal additive manufacturing software 'Amphyon' uses simulations to offset printing distortions

Benedict for 3Ders.org:  German startup Additive Works is developing a simulation-based preprocessing software for metal additive manufacturing. The “Amphyon” software package, currently in beta, uses a four-step approach which enables manufacturers to predict and avoid potential deformations in their printed parts. As the metal additive manufacturing industry expands its collective wealth of knowledge and experience, users of SLM 3D printers are becoming less likely to create faulty printed parts. While a complete amateur might make the mistake of printing an unsupported or weak structure which exhibits radical contortions before it has even left the print bed, most makers now know a few things about stress points, deformations, and how to avoid bad prints. Despite these advancements, problems still persist even for the most advanced users of laser-based 3D printers. Problems such as residual stresses, deformations, and insufficient part density can occur frequently and, due to various design, material, and hardware factors, can often be hard to predict.   Cont'd...

Do the benefits of robotics outweigh the heavy demands on infrastructure?

Ben Rossi for Information Age:   Robotics has already been deployed in manufacturing to great effect for over a decade, performing delicate and precise tasks with greater accuracy than humans. But now cutting-edge robots and other smart machines are set to join forces with the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, which Gartner estimates will total 25 billion devices by 2020. In healthcare, robotic services are already operating pharmacy dispensers and robotic trolleys are now deployed in a growing number of hospitals. In hospitality, robots deliver services such as drinks dispensing and automated trolley deliveries. Robots have even made their way into education, where they are being deployed successfully as a tutor, tool or peer in learning activities. But what impact will this large-scale adoption of robotics have on existing networks as they encounter inevitable further strain?   Cont'd...

3D Hubs, an online marketplace for local 3D printing, scores $7M Series B

Steve O'Hear for TechCrunch:  3D Hubs, an online marketplace for 3D printing services, is tapping into two recent trends enabled by industrial 3D printing: the rapid prototyping of new products, and the move to personalised and bespoke production. The Amsterdam-headquartered startup connects those requiring 3D printing with local 3D printers, both through its website that lets you order 3D printing jobs online, including getting a real-time quote, and via an API that enables companies to automate short production runs of products on-demand. The latter, of course, is also powering “zero-inventory” manufacturing: products are only produced on a per-order basis (and in some instances are also fulfilled directly to the end customer), which is another trend that is starting to gain traction.   Cont'd...

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