Prototype Today

Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants and adding 500 new jobs as it prepares to launch three highly anticipated new SUVs that go on sale later this year.

The transformation at the plant, which will begin in March, will expand capacity for the production of the all-new Ford Explorer – including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid – the all-new Police Interceptor Utility and the all-new Lincoln Aviator. The work will be completed in the spring. The additional 500 full-time jobs bring total employment at the two plants to approximately 5,800.

With the Chicago investment, Ford is building an all-new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly, and making major modifications to the final assembly area. At Chicago Stamping, the company is adding all-new stamping lines in preparation for the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator. Advanced manufacturing technologies at the plants include a collaborative robot with a camera that inspects electrical connections during the manufacturing process. In addition, several 3D printed tools will be installed to help employees build these vehicles with even higher quality for customers.

The production of three new SUVs will add to Ford’s output in the United States. Ford was the No. 1 producer of vehicles in the U.S. and the leading exporter of vehicles from the U.S., building nearly 2.4 million in 2018, and employs the most hourly U.S. autoworkers.

“We are proud to be America’s top producer of automobiles. Today, we are furthering our commitment to America with this billion dollar manufacturing investment in Chicago and 500 more good-paying jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up, and this investment will further strengthen Ford’s SUV market leadership.”

"Ford's announcement of 500 additional jobs and over $1 billion in plant investments is a testament to the quality and hard work of UAW Ford members,” said Rory Gamble, Vice President of the UAW Ford Department. "Every day UAW Ford members head to work, proud of the products they build and the craftsmanship required in vehicles like the Explorer, Aviator and Police Interceptor. Ford’s investment announcement demonstrates a commitment to the dedication of UAW members in Chicago."

Employee-related improvements to make the plant a better place to work total $40 million and include all-new LED lighting, cafeteria updates, new break areas, and security upgrades in the parking lot. The company’s investment is supported by Ford’s strong partnership with the UAW, along with federal, state, county and local government.

“As Chicago continues to strengthen our diverse economy, Ford’s commitment to add 500 jobs and infuse nearly a billion dollars into their Southeast Side assembly plant is a vote of confidence in our people and our future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The assembly plant is a local and regional economic engine where iconic American brands like the Lincoln Aviator and Ford Explorer are built. This investment is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of Chicago’s manufacturing sector, and I look forward to Ford’s presence in our city for generations to come."

Chicago Assembly, located on the city’s south side, is Ford’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plan. The factory started producing the Model T in 1924 and was converted to war production during World War II.

The all-new Ford Explorer – America’s all-time best-selling SUV – features lighter, leaner and stronger construction, the broadest model lineup ever, more powerful and efficient EcoBoost® engines and smart new technology to help tackle all of life’s adventures.

The all-new Explorer ST, the newest SUV from Ford Performance, is the most fun-to-drive and powerful Explorer ever with a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine projected to make 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque and reach a targeted top track speed of 143 mph.

The all-new Explorer Hybrid is a no-compromise Ford hybrid SUV designed to offer performance and capability in a fuel-efficient package and is projected to return an EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between fill-ups in the rear-wheel-drive model.

When the all-new Police Interceptor Utility takes to the streets later this year, that lineup will include the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, F-150 Police Responder, Expedition Special Service Vehicle, F-150 Special Service Vehicle, Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid Sedan Special Service Vehicle.

Ford is nearly two-thirds of police vehicles sales in the U.S. In 2017, Ford Police Interceptor Utility alone accounted for more than half of all police vehicle sales in the United States, outselling all other police vehicles combined.

The new Police Interceptor Utility with standard hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain has a projected EPA-estimated rating of 24 mpg combined, a 41 percent improvement over the current model equipped with a 3.7-liter gas engine. Projections indicate the first pursuit-rated hybrid police utility will save between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle annually in fuel costs versus the current Police Interceptor Utility*. If those savings were applied to every Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2017, it would equate to between $118 million and $193 million*, or more than 43 million gallons of fuel.

This summer marks the arrival of the all-new Aviator, Lincoln’s new entry in the growing premium midsize utility segment. The Aviator elevates Lincoln’s design vision and signals the direction of the brand’s vehicles going forward. The debut of the Aviator Grand Touring, marks the first time the company has combined a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and advanced electrified hybrid technology and is capable of delivering smooth performance and instantaneous torque. The Lincoln Aviator will be available globally, entering the highest volume segment in the U.S., the midsize luxury market, and the third-highest volume segment in China.

*Computed using fuel costs of $2.75 to $4.50 per gallon

To continue providing Makers and educators with the best in digital fabrication, Dremel has announced the debut of its newest 3D printer, the Dremel DigiLab 3D40 FLEX 3D Printer.

Designed for a truly seamless 3D printing experience, the 3D40 FLEX offers a variety of new features that make it quick and easy to create a range of prints for the classroom. Most notably, the 3D40 FLEX includes a flexible build plate to help make it much easier to remove parts after printing – one of the biggest challenges with most 3D printers today.

"We've seen a lot of use and success with our previous 3D printer models," Dremel President John Kavanagh said. "As we continue to learn about digital fabrication, it's important to introduce new innovations to better suit the classroom and makerspace settings. This is what led us to 3D40 FLEX."

To accommodate more users, the 3D40 FLEX also prints 30 percent faster in draft mode. This speed setting maximizes time with the printer, ideal for environments that require quick turnaround and continuous run time. The printer also features higher resolution capabilities to better print intricate features like arches, organic forms, small details, engravings and diagonals.

"The Dremel DigiLab 3D40 FLEX 3D Printer will help with complex and practical applications, perfect for educational usage," Kavanagh said. "It's a safe, reliable option for Makers of all ages and skill levels and incorporates a lot of smart design elements to enrich the experience."

Dremel DigiLab 3D40 FLEX 3D Printer Main Features at a Glance:

  • Flexible build plate for easy, safe removal of prints
  • 30 percent faster printing while in draft mode to maximize the utilization of the machine
  • 50 (.05mm) micron resolution to better print more intricate and detailed designs
  • Cloud-based printing software to easily maximize printer usage
  • UL-certified and rigorously tested to ensure safety
  • Ideal for classrooms and makerspaces that accommodate multiple users
  • Industry-best customer support that provides immediate assistance for any troubleshooting need

For educators interested in hands-on, project-based learning, Dremel has an education-focused offering featuring both the 3D40 FLEX and the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer. In addition to the products, users receive access to a four-hour professional development course and 30 standard lesson plans for students ranging from third to 12th grade.

The Dremel DigiLab 3D40 FLEX will be available at select retailers and online this February (MSRP $1,299 USD).

With an aggressive plan in place, Mazak Corporation has announced it will invest $8.5 million in new manufacturing technology for its Florence, Kentucky, Mazak iSmart Factory operations. The investment encompasses the installation of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing cell with fully automated storage and retrieval system, six of Mazak’s most advanced machine tools and several Mazak SMOOTH Technologies – all of which will allow the company to satisfy growing customer demand and provide the shortest possible turnaround times.

With an expected completion date of late 2019, the new cell will entail two HCN 6800 and three HCN 8800 Machining Centers and an INTEGREX e-1250V Multi-Tasking Machine and one MAZATEC Smart Manufacturing System (SMS). The machine tools all feature MAZATROL SmoothG control technology that is expected to help further increase part production speed by as much as 30 percent.

“Mazak continuously invests in its North American operations, which have grown and advanced into a sophisticated and extremely productive Mazak iSmart Factory,” said Dan Janka, president of Mazak Corp. “At the heart of that forward-thinking concept are plant-wide connectivity, automation and optimized production flow that allow us to significantly increase machine utilization, shorten throughput times, eliminate non-value-added operations and process parts more efficiently.”

In line with the latest Mazak iSmart Factory concept, the new cell in Kentucky will incorporate Mazak’s SmartBox for process monitoring and optimization. Mazak will also use this new cell setup to demonstrate to customers the effectiveness of the company’s SMOOTH Technology digital manufacturing solutions – such as Smooth Spindle Health Monitoring – that contribute significantly to increased productivity and maximized machine utilization.

On the automation side of the Kentucky iSmart Factory investment, a new fully automated MAZATEC Smart Manufacturing System (SMS) for both machine pallet and raw material stocking will supply the six new machine tools for continuous production. The MAZATEC SMS will also provide more storage capacity in the same amount of floor space as well as additional room for future cell expansions.

The new manufacturing cell, with four load/unload stations, will combine the three different models of machines, three different size work pallets and one new raw material/stocker system all in one cell. It also will include a tool transportation system that services all the machines with tooling. Mazak’s Smooth Tool Management will oversee the system’s operations as well as access tooling information via Cloud-based data that can then download into toolholder RFID chips.

According to Janka, all the technology involved in this factory investment is the same as that available to Mazak’s customers. “As always, it has been our practice to first use any newly developed Mazak manufacturing technology in our own operations before ever offering it to customers. We would never offer customers technology that we ourselves wouldn’t be willing to use in our own operations,” he said. “And the new technology as part of this investment is testament to that practice.”

Renishaw is recruiting for a record 68 apprentices across its Gloucestershire and South Wales sites. The 2019 intake will be the 40th round of apprentices to join Renishaw, which has taken apprentices every year since 1979. Applications for a range of roles including engineering, software, embedded electronic design and development, and IT are now open until Friday March 1st, 2019.

To begin the application process, Renishaw held an information evening at its Gloucestershire headquarters for students interested in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) careers. At the event, over 500 students from years 11 to 13 and their parents heard about the different pathways into STEM careers, including apprenticeship schemes after GCSEs or A-levels and a graduate scheme after university. Students also had the opportunity to hear personal experiences from current apprentices and graduates at the company and to ask questions about Renishaw and the available roles.

“My teachers pushed university as the only option after leaving school,” explained Lucy Spiteri-Beale, a Software Apprentice at Renishaw who spoke at the event. “However, I was lucky to hear from STEM Ambassadors at Renishaw at the time who encouraged me to apply for a degree apprenticeship, which allows me to study at university while working. Now, as a STEM Ambassador myself I get to pay it forward and let students know about all the options available to them.”

“Renishaw has consistently recruited apprentices since 1979 because of the value they add to the company,” explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “Apprentices have the opportunity to work on projects in a range of departments to find their passion and future career direction. Our apprentices go on to have fulfilling careers in a wide range of engineering and commercial positions in the company. For example, Gareth Hankins, Director of Group Manufacturing Services joined as an apprentice aged just 16.”

“At Renishaw, apprentices are heavily involved in projects from the start,” explained Ryan Taylor, Engineering Apprentice at Renishaw. “Each department treats you as a valued member of the team and offer you opportunities for personal development.”

As well as gaining on-the-job experience and nationally recognised qualifications, apprentices at Renishaw receive a tailored induction programme and in-house training to ensure they get the best possible experience. Apprentices are also eligible for Renishaw's comprehensive benefits package, which includes a nine per cent non-contributory pension, private medical insurance and a competitive salary.

To apply for an apprenticeship at Renishaw before March 1, 2019, visit

To maximize responsiveness to customer needs, GF Machining Solutions has expanded its Business Development/Marketing and Sales teams with talented new additions. To further ensure that manufacturers get the best possible manufacturing systems for their particular needs, GF Machining Solutions also has expanded its team of experts with several additions to its Applications Department.

Rina Hoshino, Market Intelligence Analyst, worked for GF’s Piping Solutions division in Irvine, California, for five years, holding the titles of Product Manager – Vinyls, Logistics Expeditor and Project Manager – Key Accounts. Her duties on GF Machining Solutions' Business Development/Marketing team include design and management of research projects aimed at locating new markets and growing market share. Rina holds a master's degree in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York). She is fluent in Japanese and enjoys learning languages.

Philipp Hauser, Director of Sales, has added the responsibilities for GF Machining Solutions' North American sales activities to his role with the company's Turbine Group. Phil joined GF Machining Solutions in May 2015.

Peter Eigenmann, Head of Sales – Southeast Region, joins GF Machining Solutions in Huntersville, North Carolina after serving as Head of Project Management for GF Machining Solutions in Schorndorf, Germany. Peter joined the company in April 2013, bringing extensive experience in industrial manufacturing operations, machine tools, and the tool and die industry. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Technical University (Uzwil, Switzerland) and a master's certificate in project management from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

Sean Szczygiel, Regional Sales Manager - Northeast, previously held the title of Territory Manager for the Northeast Region at Belmont Equipment and Technologies (Madison Heights, Michigan). His prior position focused on EDM consumables and machine tools. Sean holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western New England College (Springfield, Massachusetts).

Andrew Stemler, Sales Manager – Milling, assumes sales and development responsibilities for GF Machining Solutions' Central Region after holding managerial roles with machine tool companies in Illinois and Wisconsin. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Andy has managed sales, applications and service teams throughout his career. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Lewis University (Romeoville, Illinois).

Sean Smith, Sales Manager – Canada, previously served as a Product Manager with Machine Tool Systems Inc. (Mississauga, Ontario), where he represented the GF Machining Solutions product line. Sean also was responsible for GF Machining Solutions products for Elliott Matsuura (Oakville, Ontario), working with dedicated application and service staff. He holds tool and die certification from Georgian College (Barrie, Ontario) and completed a four-year machinist apprentice program.

Richard Klein, Sales Manager – Advanced Manufacturing, joins GF Machining Solutions after 18 years with OKK USA Corporation (Glendale Heights, Illinois), most recently as Senior Manager Engineering Department and Regional Sales Manager, with responsibilities for 12 states and seven distributors. He will focus on machine sales development and performance in additive manufacturing, laser ablation and micro machining. Rich holds an associate degree in machine tool technology/machinist and computer-aided manufacturing from Triton College (River Grove, Illinois).

Melissa McCrossen, Sales Manager – Advanced Manufacturing, moves from Regional Sales Manager for the GF Machining Solutions Consumables group to her new role with the Advanced Manufacturing group. Before joining the company in 2013 as a Regional Sales Manager, Melissa served as Western Regional Sales Manager for Nordson MARCH (Concord, California), gaining extensive sales experience with capital equipment.

Jérôme Drouet, Director of Applications, has transferred to GF Machining Solutions in Lincolnshire, Illinois, from GF Machining Solutions Advanced Manufacturing group in Geneva, Switzerland where he held the position of Head of Laser R&D and Innovation, managing a staff of 24. With more than 25 years of machine tool industry experience, Jerome has great expertise in customer service, sales and product support.

Marc Erickson, Applications Engineer, joins GF Machining Solutions in Mississauga, Ontario. A native of Illinois, Marc has more than 25 years of machining operation experience in applications engineering roles, working previously for Machine Tool Systems Inc. (Mississauga, Ontario) and Elliott Matsuura (Oakville, Ontario). He completed an apprenticeship program in machine technology at Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, Illinois) and a mold making and machinist apprenticeship at the Tooling & Manufacturing Association (Park Ridge, Illinois).

Mason Dufore, Applications Engineer (Milling), joins GF Machining Solutions with more than 20 years of CNC metalworking experience in fields of automotive, tool & die, injection modeling and aerospace components. As a development engineer, he has designed and fabricated new tooling to improve existing composite manufacturing. Mason holds an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology from the State University of New York College of Technology at Canton.

Christian Meekma, Applications Engineer (Milling), brings more than 20 years of machine tool and die experience to GF Machining Solutions. His background includes roles with both small and large companies as a CNC programmer/operator, applications engineer and advanced product manager. Christian's expertise in CNC part processing focuses on milling, cycle-time reduction and process improvement.

MakerBot introduces a new category for the professional segment with the launch of Method, the first performance 3D printer. Performance 3D Printing bridges the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing by bringing features that were previously only available on industrial 3D printers to professionals at a significantly lower cost. Method leverages industrial technologies and expertise from Stratasys® and combines it with the accessibility and ease of use for which MakerBot is known.

Industrial technologies on the MakerBot Method 3D printer include a Circulating Heated Chamber, Dual Performance Extruders, Precision PVA Water Soluble Supports, Dry-Sealed Material Bays, and an Ultra-Rigid Metal Frame. Method also includes built-in sensors and automation features that are designed to provide users with a seamless experience. The printer’s industrial features control the 3D printing process to deliver a high level of precision, reliability, and dimensional accuracy at an accessible price. This technological breakthrough defines the new Performance 3D Printing category.

“In an age of disruption, businesses are under pressure to innovate and bring products to market faster. Current desktop 3D printers derive their DNA from hobbyist 3D printers and are insufficient for many applications in the professional segment,” said Nadav Goshen, MakerBot CEO. “We believe that Method is the next step in helping organizations adopt 3D printing at a larger scale. Method provides a breakthrough in 3D printing that enables industrial designers and mechanical engineers to innovate faster and become more agile. It is built for professionals who need immediate access to a 3D printer that can deliver industrial performance to accelerate their design cycles. Method is developed to bring industrial technologies into an accessible platform, breaking the price-performance barrier and redefining rapid prototyping in the process.”

Method is designed to deliver industrial reliability and precision by carefully controlling every aspect of the 3D print environment, resulting in repeatable and consistent parts with ± 0.2 mm dimensional accuracy as well as vertical layer uniformity and cylindricity. Until now, this level of precision has been limited to industrial-grade 3D printers. The dual extrusion system found in Method combined with water-soluble PVA provides a superior surface finish, and enables unlimited design freedom and unrestricted geometries, such as complex overhangs without scarring.

Method allows users to turn their CAD files to parts faster by providing a seamless and reliable workflow without tinkering, up to 2X faster print speeds than desktop 3D printers. Method offers out-of-the-box deployment and a hassle-free guided setup, making it easy to install and use. Method also includes automated maintenance procedures and support to ensure a smooth and seamless user experience.

Method delivers industrial-level performance at one-third of the first-year cost of ownership of an entry-level industrial 3D printer. With Method, teams can reduce design risks by testing and validating prototypes with accuracy early and often, minimizing potential cost overruns later in production. It is also designed to provide an elevated level of speed and control into product design cycles while reducing production costs – helping businesses bring products to market faster.

The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) recently announced the official launch of, a website devoted to the AMBA mission of providing workforce development solutions, networking and benchmarking opportunities and industry promotion for members’ success.  

Complete with refreshed branding, improved usability, clearer navigation and mobile-friendly features, the new AMBA website effectively improves ease-of-use for visitors and allows better access to industry resources, such as the Find a Mold Builder search feature and the Careers in Mold Building section, a primary resource for students, parents and teachers visiting the site.

Other improved features include access to AMBA Skills Certification, a key initiative that allows mold builders and CNC technicians to demonstrate mastery of their craft, as well as robust content areas with recruitment tools for AMBA member companies, publications and benchmarking reports on industry standards and upcoming events like the bi-annual AMBA Leadership Summit (Feb. 27 – March 3, 2019) and the AMBA Conference 2019 (May 8-10, 2019).

“Launching this website reinforces the AMBA’s goals of serving the needs of our membership, while at the same time, addressing key industry challenges, particularly workforce development. It also provides our members (and all visitors) with easier access to information and resources, thereby allowing the AMBA to continue moving our mission forward,” said Kym Conis, AMBA managing director.

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announced Professor Gideon Levy of Technology Turn Around (TTA) as the recipient of its esteemed Innovators Award. The award is bestowed on those that have cultivated innovative ideas that in turn have advanced the additive manufacturing industry.

The Innovators Award will be presented at the 2019 AMUG Conference, following Professor Levy’s onstage appearance during the conference’s Innovators Showcase. Previous recipients include technology creators Chuck Hull, Scott Crump, and Carl Deckard—inventors of Stereolithography, Fused Deposition Modeling, and Selective Laser Sintering, respectively—and Fried Vancraen, founder of Materialize.

Paul Bates, AMUG president, said, “Gideon Levy embodies the very spirit of the Innovators Award. Over two decades, his research has advanced AM technologies and materials. In his many years of attending the AMUG Conference, he shares his insights to help others. And yet, he remains somewhat anonymous—working to advance the technology without concern for recognition.”

Professor Levy has specialized in manufacturing technologies and lived a life for manufacturing. Devoted to advanced R&D in mechanical systems, electronics and manufacturing, he has made significant contributions as both an educator and researcher. Those contributions have earned him many accolades, including being named a Fellow of CIRP (The International Academy for Production Engineering). Presently, Professor Levy is a consultant with Technology Turn Around (TTA), which focuses on additive manufacturing (AM), electro-physical and chemical processes.

Professor Levy’s AM activities began in 1997 with the establishment of the Institute for Rapid Product Development (iRPD) at the University of Applied Sciences (St. Gallen, Switzerland). Over the years, he has made many substantial contributions as a researcher, consultant and advisor. His early work included the development of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) materials, including PA 12, which continues to be the most widely used. He has also contributed to technology advancements that span numerous AM processes and was an early participant in metal AM technologies, starting with beta testing of Concept Laser’s first Metal Laser Melting machine.

Professor Levy holds more than 35 patents and has been published in more than 250 scientific/technical publications. For his work in advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing, he has received numerous awards, including AMUG’s Distinguished INovator Operator (DINO) Award, TCT’s Top 25 Most Influential in RPD&M, SME RTAM’s Industry Achievement Award, Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium’s FAME Award and VRAP Conference’s Career Award.

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Professor Levy will take the stage for a casual, relaxed interview during the AMUG Conference. In the Innovators Showcase, he will respond to questions asked by the host and conference attendees with the intent of getting to know the man behind the innovations and gaining guidance from his experiences. Paul Bates noted that the Innovators Showcase is unique in that it is structured to be an intimate conversation between two friends that just happens to be witnessed by over 2,000 AMUG Conference attendees.

Designed for both novice and experienced additive manufacturing users, the AMUG Conference agenda topics range from technology basics to advanced applications to business considerations. Although the agenda is still in development, AMUG anticipates having nearly 200 presentations, workshops and hands-on training sessions. The AMUG Conference will be held March 31 – April 4, 2019, at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

Mars has just received its newest robotic resident. NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.

InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.

InSight launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California May 5, 2018. The lander touched down Monday, November 26, near Mars' equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia, with a signal affirming a completed landing sequence at 11:52 a.m. PST (2:52 p.m. EST).

"Today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “InSight will study the interior of Mars, and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars. This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our international partners and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our team. The best of NASA is yet to come, and it is coming soon.”

The landing signal was relayed to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, via NASA's two small experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, which launched on the same rocket as InSight and followed the lander to Mars. They are the first CubeSats sent into deep space. After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight's entry, descent and landing.

"We hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes," said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at JPL. "During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly — and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did."

Confirmation of a successful touchdown is not the end of the challenges of landing on the Red Planet. InSight's surface-operations phase began a minute after touchdown. One of its first tasks is to deploy its two decagonal solar arrays, which will provide power. That process begins 16 minutes after landing and takes another 16 minutes to complete.

The InSight team expects a confirmation later Monday that the spacecraft's solar panels successfully deployed. Verification will come from NASA's Odyssey spacecraft, currently orbiting Mars. That signal is expected to reach InSight's mission control at JPL about five-and-a-half hours after landing.

"We are solar powered, so getting the arrays out and operating is a big deal," said Hoffman. "With the arrays providing the energy we need to start the cool science operations, we are well on our way to thoroughly investigate what's inside of Mars for the very first time."

InSight will begin to collect science data within the first week after landing, though the teams will focus mainly on preparing to set InSight's instruments on the Martian ground. At least two days after touchdown, the engineering team will begin to deploy InSight's 5.9-foot-long (1.8-meter-long) robotic arm so that it can take images of the landscape.

"Landing was thrilling, but I'm looking forward to the drilling," said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL. "When the first images come down, our engineering and science teams will hit the ground running, beginning to plan where to deploy our science instruments. Within two or three months, the arm will deploy the mission's main science instruments, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) and Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instruments."

InSight will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until November 24, 2020. The mission objectives of the two small MarCOs which relayed InSight’s telemetry was completed after their Martian flyby.

"That's one giant leap for our intrepid, briefcase-sized robotic explorers," said Joel Krajewski, MarCOproject manager at JPL. "I think CubeSats have a big future beyond Earth's orbit, and the MarCO team is happy to trailblaze the way."

With InSight’s landing at Elysium Planitia, NASA has successfully soft-landed a vehicle on the Red Planet eight times.

"Every Mars landing is daunting, but now with InSight safely on the surface we get to do a unique kind of science on Mars," said JPL director Michael Watkins. "The experimental MarCO CubeSats have also opened a new door to smaller planetary spacecraft. The success of these two unique missions is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists who put their genius and labor into making this a great day."

JPL manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The MarCO CubeSats were built and managed by JPL. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

A number of European partners, including France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are supporting the InSight mission. CNES, and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), provided the SEIS instrument, with significant contributions from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR provided the HP3 instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) supplied the wind sensors.

Carbon announced a further set of price reductions for its most widely-used resins, expanding upon the bulk discount program introduced last year. EPX 82 (epoxy), EPU 41 (elastomeric polyurethane), and RPU 70 (rigid polyurethane) will be offered in bulk volumes at $50 per liter. This game-changing move will increase the total addressable market for large-scale digitally manufactured parts across industries, and continue to drive down costs and spur growth for the implementation of Carbon’s digital manufacturing solution globally.

“The global appetite for using digital manufacturing for high-volume production is rapidly growing, as more and more manufacturers are implementing these next-gen technologies into their processes and supply chains,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-founder at Carbon. “Carbon has made digital manufacturing a reality, and the skyrocketing need for large- volume production enables us to introduce the most radical reduction of resin pricing ever. This move will also create new high-value applications and opportunities that were previously impossible, helping to transform the modest, estimated $10B 3D printing world into a multi-hundred-billion-dollar industry.”

The $50 per liter resin pricing more than fulfills Carbon’s 2017 promise of getting to sub $100 per liter, when RPU 70 became the first resin offered at bulk discounts through Carbon’s materials program. In response to overwhelming demand from its customers and partners, Carbon is reducing the price for:

  • RPU 70: a versatile, tough, and rigid material comparable to ABS;
  • EPX 82: a rigid, high-strength, temperature-resistant material comparable to glass-filled PBT used primarily for applications like electrical connectors;
  • EPU 41: a highly elastic, tear-resistant, and resilient material comparable to traditional TPU elastomers used primarily for cushioning, vibration isolation, gaskets, and seals in applications like footwear, sporting goods, robotics, prosthetics, and consumer products.

One order in one shipment for 50 or more liters of EPX 82, EPU 41, or RPU 70 will be priced at $50 per liter. One order in one shipment outside the U.S. for 50 or more liters of EPX 82 or RPU 70, pricing will be EUR €45 per liter, GBP £40 per liter, CAD $65 per liter and JP¥ 7,500 per liter. (EPU 41 is currently not available outside the U.S.)

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