Prototyping used to be an expensive and time-consuming process in engineering, but fortunately, recent technological developments in 3D printing have changed that. Although 3D printing technology has been around for more than 30 years, it’s only recently become an economic choice for mass production.
3D printing and rapid prototyping may seem like similar processes, but a few crucial differences exist between them. 3D printers manufacture items by turning digital 3D models into objects. Unlike subtractive processes like CNC, 3D printing builds objects by adding material from a print head, nozzle, and other methods, allowing to precisely control the amount of resources spent on prototyping. [Read More...]
You might think that the “selfie stick” was invented a few years ago, but it turns out the original was designed over 30 years ago. Like so many inventors, Hiroshi Ueda from Japan, created a product to solve a problem.
While on vacation in Paris, he asked a youth to take a picture of his family at a famous monument, and the youth ran off with his camera instead. Ueda thought it would be great if he had a device he could attach to his camera to take his own pictures. [Read More...]
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would provide federal funding to enhance education in the manufacturing space. The Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015 would create a program within the U.S. Commerce Department to select 25 “Manufacturing Universities.” Designated schools would receive $5 million per year for four years to meet specific goals related to engineering programs, building new partnerships with manufacturing firms, job training, and manufacturing entrepreneurship.
“As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers,” stated Rep. [Read More...]
It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been using plastics regularly for roughly 50 years. Marketed as “the material of the future,” plastics have become pervasive in our lives by adding convenience.
A new exhibit entitled “Plastics Unwrapped,” at the Burke Museum located on the University of Washington campus, explores the impact plastics have had on our lives and the world. Included in the tour are a life before plastics view, engineering and medical achievements, environmental impacts, and insight into global consumption. [Read More...]
Many of us will be celebrating the finale of the football season by participating in a Super Bowl party. Plastic packaging is a great way to store, transport, and serve the food and drinks that will be consumed. Plastics Make it Possible® has offered advice on how to utilize plastics for the fête while remaining mindful of waste.
- Less Packaging: Look for multi-function packaging. For example, some prepared foods now are available in plastic packaging that keeps food fresh on store shelves, transforms into a convenient serving dish during the party, and re-seals to protect food during storage, creating less waste and clean up.
Amidst a swarm of unfavorable publicity surrounding their manufacturing practices, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook announces plans to invest nearly $100 million to move a portion of Mac computer production back to the United States. Apple shifted a majority of its production to Asia beginning in the 1990s due to the cheap labor costs and the scale of operations available in factories. Scrutiny reached a fever pitch for this practice once working conditions in a contracted manufacturing plant were revealed.
It remains unclear which US manufacturers will be utilized for fabrication, and which processes will be performed on US soil. [Read More...]
While coming up with a great product idea may seem like the hardest part, often times it’s getting that invention to the shelves that requires the most work.
Tamara Monosoff, author of Your Million Dollar Dream: Regain Control & Be Your Own Boss, has made a career out of offering advice to individuals striving to launch a successful business. While she emphasizes there’s no one process that ultimately results in success, she believes understanding how to sell the product is critical to the overall process. [Read More...]
Thriving global design firm, IDEO, insists that analyzing human behavior is a crucial component to the success of inventions. They created a highly collaborative environment in the workspace and hired diverse candidates from a wide range of backgrounds in order to stimulate original thinking.
David Kelley, the founder of the company, believes that ideas build from ideas. Forming a cooperative space allows individuals to expand their range by exposing them to other rationales. They proved the notion that a preliminary plan can be tested and reformed until it becomes a breakthrough innovation. [Read More...]
The National Association of Manufacturers developed a 4 point plan designed to spur economic development in the manufacturing industry within the United States. The ultimate objectives are to increase production and add more jobs to the sector in the coming years. NAM hopes to gain support for their policy recommendations which they believe will be a catalyst for additional growth. If the United States hopes to remain the world’s manufacturing leader, it needs be competitive in the global market. NAM has outlined four goals to fulfill these ambitions. [Read More...]
From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, inventors have enhanced and improved our lives immeasurably. The inspiring book The Art of Invention by Steven J. Paley explores the psyche of these innovative individuals and summarizes what sets them apart from the rest of us.
Paley also outlines the three characteristics that define a great invention- simplicity, elegance, and robustness. Great creations typically have a simplistic way of solving a real world problem. Often these solutions are right in front of us, but it takes an imaginative individual to bring the answer to light. [Read More...]