SAP and Stratasys announced that SAP is establishing along with Stratasys, a global network of 3D printing co-innovation labs to educate and enable customers, employees and partners on the adoption of additive manufacturing as an integral part of the manufacturing production line. Unveiled in conjunction with charter co-innovation partner Stratasys, this initiative builds on SAP’s more than 40 years of experience across the industry. Digital manufacturing and co-innovation sites are currently being rolled out across Paris, France; Johannesburg, South Africa; Walldorf, Germany; and Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and Palo Alto, California, in the United States.

“SAP and Stratasys share a common vision of the tremendous value distributed manufacturing brings to customers’ supply chains,” said Pat Carey, senior vice president, Sales, North America, Stratasys. “Harnessing this potential fully requires that 3D printing be seamlessly integrated with enterprise workflows for certification, planning, procurement and production. By participating in this initiative, it’s now possible to combine SAP’s leadership in these areas with our premier 3D printing solutions and services ecosystem. We look forward to further driving 3D printing adoption with these co-innovation customers.”

The SAP® Distributed Manufacturing application is intended to make 3D printing a valuable part of digital manufacturing by helping co-innovation customers and partners to transform the extended supply chain. Services related to SAP Distributed Manufacturing connect 3D printing to familiar business processes to help manufacturers achieve production and logistical cost savings and reduce complex supply chain issues. The new 3D printing co-innovation facilities offered by SAP will provide an interactive learning and design thinking environment. It enables SAP customers, partners and employees to further develop and test active business cases and applications of the latest distributed manufacturing technology.

“Manufacturers and their suppliers and production partners increasingly recognize the potential of 3D printing in smart digital supply chain strategies that are optimized with unprecedented speed and efficiency,” said Hans Thalbauer, senior vice president, Extended Supply Chain and IoT, SAP. “SAP is fast building a co-innovation network with leaders like Stratasys that share our vision for making connected, real-time distributed manufacturing a reality for our customers.”

Published in Stratasys

Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit school providing Veterans free training and nationally recognized industry credentials in CAD/CAM programming, CNC machining and welding, announced it received a $75,000 commitment from JPMorgan Chase & Co. The funding will allow WFW to provide Veterans with quality training and accredited STEM educational programs.

“Veterans face significant challenges as they transition back to civilian life and focus on career development. We’re grateful to JPMorgan Chase for supporting our training program as we work to improve post-service lives,” said Hernàn Luis y Prado, founder of Workshop for Warriors. “We’re helping Veterans gain the skills they need in an effort to help fill the more than 2.3 million advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. These funds are crucial to helping us reach our goals.”

Founded in 2008, Workshops for Warriors offers classes in Advanced CNC Manufacturing, CAD/CAM programming, advanced welding/fabrication, and machinery repair. Between 2011 and 2016, Workshops for Warriors has trained and certified 321 Veterans, with 1,223 nationally recognized third-party credentials. In 2015, 94 percent of their graduates obtained jobs in advanced manufacturing after completing their programs. The school solves two systemic economic issues: rebuilding America’s advanced manufacturing infrastructure and providing a nationally scalable and repeatable model to train, certify, and help place transitioning service members and Veterans into advanced manufacturing careers.

“JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to promoting Veteran employment, empowering Veterans to succeed in small business and improving the financial security of vets, service members and their families, said Brian Page, West Region Head for JPMorgan Chase’s Government, Healthcare, Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Banking Group. “We are honored to work with Workshops for Warriors as it helps our city’s Veterans build a solid foundation for the future.”

Published in Workshops for Warriors

Ogle Models was asked to create parts for the vehicle which took a year to design as part of the world’s biggest student motorsport competition.

The parts were created for the IMechE Formula student event, which challenges entrants to design and manufacture a single-seat race car that is tested at Silverstone race track.

The aim is to create a high performance car in terms of acceleration, handling and braking, while also being reliable, easy to maintain and low in cost.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “We were pleased to be approached by the team at University College London this year as we have successfully worked with them on several occasions and have found them to be very professional, we hope to work with the students when they are out in the workplace”

“The competition is extremely prestigious and is backed by industry professionals. The aim is to help innovative engineers showcase their technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills and we were proud to be a part of finding the next generation of racing car designers.

“A lot is riding on the event for the participants, which is why it was so important we delivered the commissioned parts to a high spec, using the exact measurements.”

Ogle used selective laser sintering (SLS), which is a form of industrial 3D printing technology to create the pieces needed for the single-seat race car.

Glass filled nylon (PA3200) was chosen to add the extra strength and the temperature resistance required.

Using SLS is ideal because creating intricate and complex geometry of air intakes can be difficult to manufacture quickly using other methods.

Tim Baker from the University College London team said: “We approached Ogle because we know they are one of the leading prototyping companies with an excellent reputation for high quality work.

“Using 3D printing in motorsport is hugely beneficial because it can produce lightweight parts from complex and bespoke designs in short time frames.

“Our design required parts that had complex geometries and it was essential they fitted exactly. It was a dream come true to see our design, which we’ve worked so hard, come to life.”

This year the competition saw more than 130 university teams from 30 different countries take part.

A spokesman for the event said: “Our mission is to excite and encourage young people to take up a career in engineering. It seeks to challenge university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.”

This year, standards were very high and each entrant’s vehicle had to pass rigorous scrutinising tests to ensure it complied with the strict safety regulations.

Formula Student (FS) is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Matt White, who joined Ogle as Prototype Solutions Engineer earlier in the year has a Motorsports Degree from Coventry University and played a key role in Coventry’s Formula Student team.

MakerBot announced new 3D printing solutions that address the wider needs of professionals and educators. MakerBot believes its new solutions offer engineers and designers a faster and more effective way to develop ideas and offer educators a better way to integrate 3D printing in the classroom to teach creativity and problem solving.

The new MakerBot Print and Mobile applications are designed to allow professionals to easily integrate MakerBot into their workflow and help educators introduce their students to 3D printing. These applications help streamline the print preparation process, save time, and produce higher quality prints. The new MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ have been re-engineered and tested to provide improved performance—that means faster, easier, and more reliable printing with a bigger build volume. With the new MakerBot Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle, engineers can create more durable, high-impact strength prototypes and fixtures. For educators, MakerBot is also launching Thingiverse Education to discover 3D printing classroom content created by other educators.

“We have gone through a cultural shift here at MakerBot over the past year, where listening and understanding the needs of our customers are cornerstones of our company. As a result, we’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the wider needs of professionals and educators that has informed our product development process,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. “Our new solutions for professionals and educators are based on feedback addressing how we could accelerate and streamline the iterative design process and make teaching with a desktop 3D printer easier and more effective.”

MakerBot Print & Mobile

Integrating desktop 3D printing into your design workflow can be challenging and time consuming. That’s why MakerBot has developed connected 3D printing solutions that make the process easier. A new version of MakerBot Mobile includes a Guided Setup feature that walks the user through the entire 3D printer setup process step by step. Once you’re up and running, the new MakerBot Print software helps streamline the 3D printing experience for any workflow. Native CAD Support, for example, allows users to easily import common CAD files and assemblies. This new feature eliminates the need for STL files and can result in significant time savings by reducing the number of files the user needs to manage and mundane steps for each iteration. Users can now even organize 3D files and multiple build plates into projects and easily email project files as attachments to collaborate with others. Storing information as complete project files instead of stand-alone model files allows users to save the print settings and build plate layout of one or more designs as one file.

MakerBot Print also enhances the print preparation process, saving time and helping users achieve high quality prints. The new Auto Arrange feature automatically positions objects across multiple build plates to print them simultaneously or sequentially. With Dynamic Print Settings, users can change settings like resolution or thickness for each individual model on the build plate, saving time by printing models with varying print settings simultaneously. A new Print Preview option lets users review the Smart Extruder+’s path to make adjustments before printing a model. Users can either review each individual layer or play an animated video preview to see support material placement and validate that small features are printable.

MakerBot Print and the new MakerBot Mobile app support different office or classroom setups by building upon MakerBot’s remote monitoring and printing capabilities. Individual users and small to large organizations now have the flexibility to control and monitor multiple 3D printers throughout an office or school, in different buildings, or even different parts of the world through live camera feeds and print status updates. MakerBot Print and an updated version of MakerBot Mobile are available now.

MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+

The new MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ have been re-engineered and tested to provide improved performance—that means faster, easier, and more reliable printing with a bigger build volume. Both printers feature an improved gantry and Z-stage through stiffer materials and sturdier construction for consistent and predictable printing. MakerBot’s new 3D printers went through extensive printer and subsystem testing of 380,000+ hours across multiple facilities over the course of development to help ensure reliable, high quality performance. During this process, MakerBot worked closely with Stratasys to implement new, consistent procedures for enhanced print quality, product lifetime testing, and for validating test results.

The new MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ are both faster and quieter than their predecessors and feature larger build volumes for printing bigger models or more prints at one time. The MakerBot Replicator+ is approximately 30 percent faster, has a 25 percent larger build volume, and is 27 percent quieter than the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Desktop 3D Printer. The MakerBot Replicator Mini+ is approximately 10 percent faster, has a 28 percent larger build volume, and is 58 percent quieter than the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer. The MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ both come with the swappable MakerBot Smart Extruder+, which is designed and tested to provide improved performance over a longer period of time.

When it comes to 3D printing, designers and engineers put a high priority on predictability and how accurately a print resembles its digital model. In that regard, the new MakerBot Replicator+ and MakerBot Replicator Mini+ improve several aspects of print quality, including print precision, surface appearance, and reduced warping and curling. These print quality improvements are enabled by the re-engineered hardware, including the gantry, Z-Stage, build plate, and extruder carriage (Replicator+ only), in combination with fine-tuned firmware and a new slicing engine. The MakerBot Replicator+ also features a flexible build plate, making it easy to remove larger prints by simply bending the plate. The new Grip Build Surface included on both new printers ensures that prints adhere better without the use of blue tape, resulting in improved reliability and reduced warping and curling. Redesigned rafts and supports break away more easily for a cleaner print surface of printed parts.

The industrial design team at Canary, the fastest growing home security startup, has been using MakerBot 3D Printers for a while and recently had a chance to test MakerBot’s new solutions for professionals. "Using a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer helped us accelerate the development of the new Canary Flex by allowing us to prototype quickly and go through multiple iterations of the design” said James Krause, Director of Industrial Design at Canary. “We were enthusiastic to test the new MakerBot Replicator+ and right away we noticed the faster workflow, as well as huge improvements to print quality and speed."

The MakerBot Replicator+ has an MSRP of $2499 and the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ has a MSRP of $1299 and both are available now. MakerBot is offering the MakerBot Replicator+ at an introductory price of $1999 and the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ at $999 until October 31, 2016.

Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle

MakerBot is also launching a new Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle that is designed to allow professionals to create durable, high-impact strength prototypes and fixtures that save time and money in testing. The new bundle consists of three spools of MakerBot Tough PLA Filament in slate gray bundled with the MakerBot Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. MakerBot Tough PLA combines the best characteristics of PLA and ABS filament: It is as tough as ABS with similar tensile, compressive, and flexural strength and it prints as easily and reliably as PLA. It's also designed to flex more before breaking, similar to ABS. These qualities make it especially suitable for functional prototypes and prototyping jigs and fixtures with threaded and snap fits. MakerBot Tough PLA has been tested and optimized to print reliably and easily with the Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. The Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle has a MSRP of $379 and is available now.

"The new MakerBot Tough PLA is a workhorse for functional printing. We mainly use it for prototyping parts and jigs for product cycle testing,” said Mack Mor, Senior Product Engineer at OXO, who’s been testing MakerBot Tough PLA over the past months. “The flexibility is key for parts that don't break, even with thin features that would normally be troublesome. The interlayer adhesion is strong, but the raft is still super easy to remove. The material also slides well so it is good for snap fits."

To help engineers and designers take their prototypes to the next level, MakerBot is also releasing step-by-step guides that explain techniques such as gluing, sanding, painting, vacuum forming, brass inserts and silicon molding.

Thingiverse Education

Thingiverse Education is a new platform that allows educators to connect with each other to learn 3D printing best practices and exchange knowledge, already offering over 100 lesson plans created by other educators and vetted by MakerBot’s education and curriculum experts. Educators can filter lesson plans by subject or grade, and, in the spirit of Thingiverse, remix them to match specific learning goals. “We believe that Implementing 3D printing in the classroom can only be successful if the technology complements a teacher's goals for their students,” said Drew Lentz, MakerBot Learning Manager.

“With a new section of Thingiverse dedicated to educational content, teachers can engage in a rich community of educators to find lesson plans, resources, and to find more ways to use 3D Printing in the classroom than ever before.” Thingiverse Education will be available in the coming days.

Published in MakerBot

Workshops for Warriors (WFW), a nonprofit school assisting Veterans who are transitioning into civilian life through advanced manufacturing training and nationally recognized certification, held its summer graduation at its Barrio Logan-based educational facility last week.

The school honored its 43 graduates with a ceremony that included remarks by Workshops for Warriors’ Founder and CEO, Hernán Luis y Prado, two student speakers and comments by guest speaker, John Jones, Marine Corps Veteran and Development Officer for Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

“The ceremony was exceptionally memorable for a few reasons. First, Alex Funk became the school’s first Veteran to receive all 25 possible welding credentials. This is a significant accomplishment and really speaks to his drive and passion for the industry. These honors allow graduates to immediately integrate into large and small manufacturing organizations throughout the United States,” said Hernàn Luis y Prado, founder and CEO of Workshops for Warriors. “In addition, my longtime friend, John Jones, who was my inspiration behind starting the school, provided an unforgettable speech. It was without a doubt a special day to recognize the graduates hard work as they transition into a thriving industry.”

Each semester runs 16-weeks and offers students credentials from top industry organizations such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Mastercam University (computer-aided manufacturing), SolidWorks (computer-aided design) and the American Welding Society.

In 2008, Hernàn Luis y Prado founded the organization after 15 years of active duty service as a U.S. Navy officer with combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He recalls, “I saw more of my fellow service members die of suicide and drugs than die from bombs and bullets. I needed to change that.” Since 2011, WFW’s current total number of graduates after last week’s summer graduation comes to 321.


Founded in 2008, the organization offers classes in CNC machining, CAD/CAM programming and welding. Before Workshops for Warriors received its State license to operate as a school in January 2016, it trained more than 200 veterans and wounded warriors. Now approved by the State, the school is working to solve two systemic economic issues: rebuild the U.S. manufacturing industry one veteran at a time and offer every service member who honorably served their country the opportunity to obtain the training necessary toward a lucrative career in a field that is desperately in search of qualified, highly dedicated talent.

For more information, visit:

Published in Workshops for Warriors

FANUC America, a provider of CNC, robotics, and factory automation solutions, is expanding its CNC training program with additional course offerings and significant facility upgrades.

FANUC currently offers a wide range of training courses covering CNC maintenance, operations and programming, servo and laser maintenance, Ladder/PMC editing, FANUC Picture Development, G-code programming, custom macro programming, conversational programming and more.

FANUC training courses include hands on instruction and real-world troubleshooting and are taught by experienced professionals who have been trained at FANUC headquarters in Japan.

FANUC training program improvements include:

  • New online training courses including mill, lathe, and custom macro programming courses as well as general maintenance and integrator training
  • More than 50 new CNC systems were purchased for classroom training
  • New training facility in Auburn, WA (Seattle) and classroom upgrades at the Huntersville, NC (Charlotte) and Rochester Hills, MI (Detroit) facilities.
  • Machine tools with FANUC controls installed at several FANUC locations for use in select classes.

A complete course list and schedule is available at

Published in Fanuc

The ASSEMBLY Show will be showcasing robotics in manufacturing at the 2016 event, taking place Tuesday, October 25 - Thursday, October 27 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.  During the opening night Welcome Reception, high school students from FIRST Illinois Robotics programs will demonstrate the robots they have built, which are using technology applicable for assembly manufacturing. Proceeding the reception, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, there will be a Collaborative Robotics Workshop, featuring speakers from FANUC, ABB Robotics, Universal Robots and KUKA Robotics Corp.

"The ASSEMBLY Show is proud to be featuring the FIRST Illinois robotics teams at the 2016 event," said Tom Esposito, publisher of ASSEMBLY Magazine, sponsor of the event. "FIRST is a great program that encourages students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields and enhance their 21st century work-life skills and we welcome them to The ASSEMBLY Show. We are also pleased to be offering a focused workshop on the use of collaborative robotics in assembly manufacturing."

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

"The founder of FIRST, Dean Kamen, launched this program to 'transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders,'" said Dan Green, Executive Director, FIRST Illinois Robotics.  "Our students are excited to demonstrate the robots they have built and the technology they have learned to professionals in assembly manufacturing where robotics is making a big impact."

The demonstrations will take during The "Taste of Rosemont" Welcome Reception - on Tuesday, October 25 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. In addition to seeing the demonstrations, participants will sample local fare and get a sneak peek of the various exhibits, tools and displays.

In addition to welcoming FIRST Robotics, the ASSEMBLY Show will also offer a workshop focused on Collaborative Robotics, one of the hottest segment of the robotics industry. Many engineers are intrigued by the potential of next-generation machines equipped with state-of-the-art sensor technology that allows robots to operate side-by-side with people. However, the technology is clouded by several myths and misperceptions. In this workshop, attendees will learn what this technology can and cannot do, and how manufacturers are using the technology now.

Industry professionals are invited to register for The ASSEMBLY Show for free to see new technology and products, meet with vendors and suppliers who can answer on-the-spot questions and interact directly with working equipment and machinery.

Published in BNP Media

Tooling U-SME has established a work-based learning model to help more manufacturers and educators build successful apprenticeship programs tailored to meet specific job needs at their companies. The Apprenticeship Acceleration Framework defines specific knowledge and skill requirements that align with common apprenticeship job functions. This level of detail allows apprentices to show competence in these roles through a more accelerated process.

By using this model apprentices will not only complete educational hours, but they will also demonstrate specific skills to complete on-the-job requirements, which is in contrast to just counting the training hours worked that lead to journeyman status. The displaying of skills promotes a more efficient and effective apprenticeship program.

The Apprenticeship Acceleration Framework model was created out of a growing desire to increase the number of apprenticeship programs in America. By the end of 2015, there were nearly 448,000 registered apprentices in the U.S.; more than 13,500 of these individuals were active in manufacturing apprenticeship programs, and over 52,500 graduated from the U.S. apprenticeship system. After President Obama announced plans to double the number of U.S. apprentices to 750,000, the U.S. Department of Labor subsequently awarded $175 million to 46 grantees, through its American Apprenticeship Initiative, to develop innovative, high-quality registered apprenticeship programs. The primary purpose is to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in industries as diverse as healthcare, IT and advanced manufacturing over the next five years.

“Traditionally, apprenticeship programs have been constructed through the completion of educational hours combined with on-the-job training hours. Unfortunately, the system has always lacked an industry-wide standard, leaving companies with the task of doing the heavy lifting to carry out the program design, implementation and management,” says John Hindman, director of learning and performance improvement, Tooling U-SME. “With the dwindling number of skilled workers, and an effort to rebuild apprenticeship programs across the country, we have been presented with an opportunity to modernize the apprenticeship model.”

There are currently more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled, and companies are scrambling to find workers with the right skills to perform essential job functions. By establishing apprenticeship programs based on industry-wide standards, American employers that sponsor apprenticeship programs can more quickly build a pipeline of skilled workers, boost retention, reduce recruiting costs and improve productivity.

Tooling U-SME’s model ties traditional apprenticeship initiatives with training programs that identify specific knowledge and skills required throughout the duration of an individual’s apprenticeship. The competencies are stackable and customizable, so manufacturing companies and educators can take the models and adapt them to requirements that will align with their business needs and processes.

“With these models, Tooling U-SME creates a more standardized method of validating an apprentice’s skills over time,” says Hindman. “Some of the initial models developed include CNC operators, maintenance technicians and additive manufacturing technicians; these models will provide a roadmap for the successful development of apprentices within every organization.”

“The roadmap aligns to the Department of Labor’s requirements for related training instruction hours and on-the-job training objectives,” adds Hindman.

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

The National office of the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), Indianapolis, IN, recently announced the recipients of its 2016 Scholarship Awards Program. AMBA’s National Scholarship Program to date has awarded over $263,000 nationally since the program’s inception in 1991. The annual Scholarship Program continues to demonstrate AMBA’s commitment to the industry, education and offering valuable member benefits.

Each year, the AMBA awards scholarships to the employees or dependents of employees of AMBA member companies. The Scholarship Program is designed to help facilitate education in moldmaking in the US.

This scholarship’s priority is to assist students who desire to pursue a career in:

  • Mold design, CAD/CAM programming for machine tools, machine tool skills or moldmaking
  • Plastics industry manufacturing (including plastics engineering, plastic part design or plastics processing technicians)
  • Other related areas of continued training/education.

The 2016 AMBA National Scholarship Program awarded $1,000 to the following recipients (including their respective AMBA member companies):

  • Paxton Corey, attending University of Iowa (M.S.I. Mold Builders)
  • Peter Fritz, attending Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (Pro Mold & Die)
  • Allen Johanson, attending Elgin Community College (Elba Tool Company, Inc.)
  • Cody Smits, attending Ferris State University (CS Tool & Engineering, Inc.)
  • James Worst, attending Grand Rapids Community College (Paragon D&E).

The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) is an organization that has been dedicated exclusively to the US Mold Manufacturing industry for over 40 years. AMBA member companies serve original equipment manufacturers in every industry including automotive, medical, electronics/electrical, toys, recreation and sporting goods, building and construction, lawn and garden, consumer and industrial. AMBA also has members that provide services and/or materials directly related to the mold building industry.

For more information, visit:

Published in AMBA

A new project initiated by Materialise China aims to bring innovation and development to the classrooms in western China.

In cooperation with the Chinese charity organization Adream and TEACH, a provider of educational 3D printing courses, Materialise set up the Dream Bus, where Materialise volunteers are able to give classes to children and let their imaginations turn into reality.

As the school children in the western part of China are more deprived than the urban East, school children there often have less opportunities. The Dream Bus gives them the opportunity to discover technology and also other useful topics. The bus, which is a fully equipped, high-tech classroom, with projectors, tablets and 3D desktop printers, and it will stop in 14 sites throughout six provinces in China.

The schools that have been visited already have received a “Dreamcenter”, which describes a colourful and fully-equipped classroom, donated by Adream.

The classes given to the children teach many useful topics including how to deal with money to how to buy a train ticket, which is very contrary form their usual daily school life. It is information that is completely different from what they learn in school, but will prepare them to be independent, inventive adults in the future.

It is through the innovative and creative lesson content given through the 3D printing classes in particular, where children of different ages can explore the magic of technology.

The 3D printing classes are run by Materialise volunteers, who give classes and choose a topic to inspire and support the imagination of the children. Working with a software program called “Cubeworld”, they are given the opportunity to design objects on tablets, and the designs are subsequently 3d printed with 3D printers provided by TEACH.

The project has proved very popular among the students and has received consistently positive feedback. As a consequence, Materialise plans to continue and even extend the program in the future. The mission statement of Materialise proudly states it wishes to create a better and healthier world, and this project is seen as one of the many steps taken to contribute to society with the power of technology and innovation.

Published in Materialise

XYZprinting announced the company’s first education-focused 3D printer, the da Vinci miniMaker, a beginner-friendly 3D printer designed for STEM and STEAM education. Making hands-on learning as easy as clicking print, the new da Vinci miniMaker enables educators and parents to engage young learners in real-life applications of 3D printing to develop collaboration and problem-solving skills in STEAM and STEM subjects, spurring creativity and interactive learning.

"We’re excited to continue to provide accessible solutions that advance and integrate 3D printing technology into the educational system across grades K-12 and beyond,” said Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting and New Kinpo Group. “The da Vinci miniMaker will help encourage, expand, and shape the cognitive skills and abilities of the next generation of engineers, designers, and creators.”

Not an ordinary STEM toy, the da Vinci miniMaker, builds on the company’s lauded da Vinci 3D printer product line, with educational creativity and fun at the forefront.

The da Vinci miniMaker features:

  • Auto-calibration: The da Vinci miniMaker uses an intuitive auto-calibration system that results in the best possible prints in the classroom or at home.
  • Small Printer, Big Projects: Don’t be fooled by the smaller, lightweight design, the da Vinci miniMaker has a robust build size of 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9.”
  • Eco-friendly and Safe: The da Vinci miniMaker only prints with XYZprinting’s bio-degradable, non-toxic PLA filament. This filament has gone through various tests to ensure that it is DEHP-free and heavy metal-free for user safety.

Parents, teachers, and students with a da Vinci product, including the new da Vinci miniMaker, also have access to XYZprinting’s “Educational Ecosystem,” which includes a breadth of 3D printing-based curricula and corresponding projects to begin incorporating 3D printing into their home or classroom immediately.  The Educational Ecosystem includes XYZmaker, XYZprinting STEAM, and the XYZ 3D Gallery giving teachers and students quick, easy, and free access to everything they need to design, create, and learn in the classroom or at home. XYZprinting STEAM, a free 3D printing curriculum exchange platform for all K-12 grades, and XYZmaker, an intuitive 3D modeling application for young users, allow 3D printing to be seamlessly incorporated into the classroom. The XYZ 3D Gallery gives users have access to more than 4,500 free 3D models across nine categories, including everything from educational items and art designs to toys and games.

For more information, visit:

Published in XYZ Printing

SME and SkillsUSA, two organizations dedicated to finding solutions for the U.S. skills gap, have announced a high school membership partnership to inspire and engage students and educators, to ultimately fill the manufacturing workforce pipeline.

This partnership between SME and SkillsUSA will immediately establish a pilot program to 100 SkillsUSA chapters, offering SME membership to all affiliated educators and students. With successful completion of this pilot in the fall of 2016, SME and SkillsUSA hope to provide this opportunity to all 17,000+ SkillsUSA chapters. SME’s high school membership provides various activities to educate students on career opportunities in manufacturing, including a mentorship program, scholarship opportunities, competitions and local SME chapter events.

“SME high school members – students and educators alike – receive hands-on and virtual access to resources and information related to manufacturing,” said Jeff Krause, SME chief executive officer. “SME and SkillsUSA have worked together on various initiatives over many years, including most recently launching the Additive Manufacturing Contest of SkillsUSA. This is yet another way that we can combine forces and empower the next generation to make a difference in their lives.”

There are currently more than 600,000 jobs available in manufacturing, with the expectation that number could grow to two million by 2025 because of an aging workforce and new technologies that create more jobs.

“SkillsUSA and SME are driven by similar missions – we are both dedicated to providing skills gap solutions and filling talent pipelines,” said Timothy Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “By partnering, we can truly make an impact on the manufacturing industry by engaging educators and students, to drive interest in career options and high-tech possibilities.”

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

3D Hubs launched The Definitive Guide to 3D printing with the help of its 30,000 Hubs, educating professionals about the technology in an easily digestible format.

The Definitive Guide to 3D Printing was created as a starting point for those looking to find out more about 3D printing while acting as a point of reference for those in the know. It includes the humble beginnings of the first 3D printer all the way up to explaining how the most advanced technologies work through videos, examples prints and easy to understand illustrations.

3D Hubs worked with a selection of their 30,000 Hubs around the world to create the videos, images and knowledge base to help make the definitive guide contain the most accurate information possible.

Making the guide go beyond just information overload was important so we offer a plethora of resources on how to begin designing. Included is a top tips section, so whether you’re an industrial designer or drone enthusiast you’ll be provided with valuable advice on preparing and creating your model for printing.

3D Hubs is world’s largest network of local 3D printing services. Thanks to its local nature, 3D Hubs is the fastest and most affordable 3D printing solution for product designers and engineers that do prototyping and small series production. Today, the network consists of over 30,000 3D printing locations.

For more information, visit:

Published in 3D Hubs

The 11th International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing is all about AM academic and industry experts getting together to share their knowledge and ideas. A setting is provided for both new and experienced users of AM to keep in touch and stay up to date with the latest developments in AM and to enhance commercial success and explore new avenues of research.

Listen to both sides of the story: the successes and challenges of leading technology adopters giving a balanced view of the industry, cutting right through the hype. Find out about current state-of-the-art research and leading industry applications as each carefully selected speaker addresses different issues facing the evolving AM world.

Preceding the main conference on Tuesday July 12th will be the UK AM Research and Innovation day. Throughout this day, highlights of the best of UK Additive Manufacturing Research and Innovation taking place at UK Universities and Innovation Centres will be presented.

UK based research groups with significant AM activity will give technical overview presentations detailing their current and future research work with the intention of showcasing both the breadth and depth of the work that is currently going on in the UK.

The parallel exhibition, to which our conference delegates will have exclusive access, features a select number of organizations whose technology, analysis, expertise and products continue to help drive development in Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing and wider manufacturing industries. It will be open from 12:30 on July 12th until the end of the event.

The event is organized on behalf of the world renowned Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG), based at the University of Nottingham, in partnership with Added Scientific Ltd, which provides technical services and training in the areas of materials, process and design to enable business identify and realise the benefits of 3D Printing.

The conference was started in 2006 by Professor Richard Hague, now head of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) at Nottingham University. Since 2006 the conference has grown from less than 90 delegates to over 250 delegates, coming from 18 countries. The conference has an excellent reputation, with over 50% of all delegates being repeat visitors. The event attracts delegates from the aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, fashion, retail, materials and defense sectors along with academics involved in materials, lasers, software development and design.

For more information or to register, visit:

Granta Design announced guest speakers and topics for a wide-ranging series of web seminars related to materials information for engineering enterprises and university-level educators. Webinars over the next two months will offer insights into how enterprises can better manage and use vital materials information, and provide inspirational ideas to enhance the teaching of materials in the engineering curriculum.

Join Boeing and Granta on May 24 for ‘Experiences in restricted substance risk management’, and find out how manufacturing enterprises are meeting the challenges posed by restricted substances at every level, from executives concerned with corporate liability, to engineers making practical materials choices.

On May 31, Senvol will speak on ‘Selecting and comparing industrial Additive Manufacturing Machines & Materials with Senvol Database’ – the database is the first and most comprehensive for industrial additive manufacturing machines and materials, and will be available through Granta software. Guest speakers from Matériautech Network (from France), Force Technology (from Denmark), and Continuum Blue (from UK) will join us for other webinars.

Materials educators can discover how to teach transferable skills that will be useful in industry, such as how to select the most suitable manufacturing process. This is highly dependent on the materials choice, economics, the quality you want to achieve, and what the process does, and these key factors will all be explored in the ‘Streamlined Process Selection Case Studies’ webinar on May 19.

The webinars in English, French and German, provide an accessible forum to learn from Granta experts and other leaders in the field, and they include an interactive Q&A session.

The full webinar program is:

  • Apr 28, Estimating part cost and predicting properties of hybrid materials (for Materials Educators)
  • May 4, Appréhender et maîtriser le Multi-Sourcing matériaux – avec un représantant de Matériautech Network (French language)
  • May 11, Werkstoffinformationen, CAE-Anwendungen und Prozesse unterstützen (German language)
  • May 18, Minimizing risk when selecting or changing materials – with guest speaker from Continuum Blue
  • May 19, Verbesserung der Produkt-Profitabilität durch Werkstoffsubstitution (German language)
  • May 19, Streamlined Process Selection Case Studies (for Materials Educators)
  • May 24, Experiences in restricted substance risk management – with guest speaker from Boeing
  • May 31, Selecting and comparing industrial Additive Manufacturing Machines & Materials with Senvol Database – with guest speaker from Senvol
  • June 2, Materials data at your fingertips
  • June 2, Introduction to Materials – Service Teaching (for Materials Educators)
  • June 8, Bio-based materials and composites – with guest speaker from Force Technology
  • June 16, Material Intelligence for PLM and CAD

For more information, visit:

Published in Granta Design

XYZprinting STEAM, an online curriculum exchange program emphasizing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, continues to enable users to create. Most recently, Kevin Lee, an Aerospace Engineering student at San Diego State University, has made three versions of his quadcopters available for viewing on XYZprinting STEAM.

Coming from one of California’s top research schools, Lee has utilized 3D printing to create four variations of the quadcopter from scratch. In addition to these design projects, Lee also co-founded SDSU’s premiere 3D printing club, 3D4E, which allows students to learn more about the applications of 3D printing. By sharing the designs of his quadcopters on XYZprinting STEAM, he hopes to inspire others to pursue 3D printing and perhaps turn a hobby into a satisfying career.

“I have always been fascinated by military helicopters and I wanted to fly for the Army, but due to health issues I couldn’t complete the application process. So instead of flying helicopters, I learned how to design them.” said Kevin Lee, undergraduate student at SDSU.

Last year, Kevin flew out to the Barnes & Noble headquarters in New York City as a panelist, leading presentations for XYZprinting and sharing the benefits of its STEAM curriculum.

The three versions of his quadcopters are available on XYZprinting STEAM, ranging from a basic flight quadcopter to a camera equipped version allowing users to stream flight video to their computers.

XYZprinting STEAM is an online curriculum exchange program from the consumer-based 3D printer manufacturer from XYZprinting, Inc. It is suited for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) educators to incorporate 3D printing into their classroom. This program gives teachers the necessary tools to engage their students in practical real-life applications of 3D printing, as well as develop their critical thinking, collaborative, and problem-solving skills.

For more information, visit:

Published in XYZ Printing

FANUC America Corporation has released the new FANUC CNC Simulator, bringing the world’s most popular CNC control to the classroom and provides students with exposure to FANUC CNC controls without the need for a full mill or lathe.

The FANUC CNC Simulator is based on the FANUC Series 0i - MODEL F platform and can be operated in either milling or turning configurations. Students can program the simulator as a 3-axis mill or a 2-axis/1-spindle turning system. The simulators are portable and require only a standard wall outlet for power.

The CNC Simulator is a complete FANUC CNC control with a 10.4” LCD monitor and a QWERTY keyboard, so students will experience the look, feel and layout of the control as they navigate and program a fully functioning CNC. Students can transfer the programs to the machines using the built-in Ethernet connections or standard Flash ATA or USB interface.   

The FANUC CNC Simulator comes loaded with FANUC MANUAL GUIDE i conversational programming interface, which allows users to graphically generate programs that are simulated in 3-D prior to being converted back to conventional NC programs and used on machine tools. MANUAL GUIDE i simplifies programming and enhances productivity.  By learning process-oriented conversational programming students can focus on machine operations instead of just G-code, which leads to faster, more efficient operations.

FANUC is committed to providing certification programs for CNC, robotics and iRVision while applying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The FANUC CNC Simulator is a key component of the FANUC Certified CNC Education program. Qualifying educational institutions can earn FANUC Certification for their training programs, giving their students an advantage in the marketplace. 

For more information, visit:

Published in Fanuc

What are the The Realities of 3D Printing in the Built Environment? How does this impact one of the most important industries in our society?

For the crucial answers to these questions, BuiltWorlds embraced the next generation members of our community. In a joint venture with Northwestern University’s Mechanical Engineering school, we have united for a crash course into how the current two main challenges facing 3D Printing in the built environment can be overcome: methodology and structural integrity. Along with a panel of industry experts, we’ll examine the endless spools of filament surrounding present and future uses for 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Presenters Include:

  • James Wolff, CEO, D-Shape Enterprises - They boast the largest 3D printer using concrete in the world and aim to revolutionize how the buildings get built.
  • Dr. Behrok Khosnevis, Founder, Contour Crafting - Khosnevis’ computerized construction technology won the grand prize among 1000+ globally competing technologies in the 2014 NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future design contest. Applications of this technology include commercial construction, affordable housing, disaster relief and more.
  • Maged Guergis, Designer, SOM - Maged played a prominent role in the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AIME1.0) project, a joint project between SOM, DOE, and Oak Ridge National Lab. Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed by SOM to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, which was developed by the DOE.


5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

BuiltWorlds Media
1260 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL

For more information or to register, visit:

Published in BuiltWorlds

Emuge has recently donated hundreds of high performance taps, end mills and other rotary cutting tools to Quinsigamond Community College of Worcester, MA. The tool donation, valued at more than $100,000, will be used to support the college’s ambitious new machining technology program that was recently formed.

QCC is expanding and updating its Manufacturing Technology Center, a multi-million dollar facility housing a range of technological equipment on their main Worcester campus. This center provides students with hands-on learning experiences in today’s advanced manufacturing technologies. The center boasts new CNC machining centers, metrology equipment and a wide array of tools and software, to enable the manufacturing and inspection of real world parts and components. The Manufacturing Technology Center is designed to complement the college’s STEM programming in the soon to be opened QuEST Center (Quinsigamond Engineering, Science and Technology Center).

“We are thrilled to have received this very generous donation of tools from Emuge,” said Dr. Gail Carberry, President of QCC. “We are especially pleased that Emuge reached out to us regarding the donation at a time when we are actively building and implementing expanded programming in manufacturing and engineering technologies. The new initiative is designed to equip our students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to fill the rapidly growing gap in the manufacturing workforce and help them secure careers in advanced manufacturing. The tools will be a huge plus for the program.”

“We are please to support QCC’s manufacturing education program by collaborating with not only tool donations, but also offering our knowledge and expertise in today’s advanced precision manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, defense, medical and automotive,” said Mr. Bob Hellinger, President of Emuge Corp. “We are very willing to support QCC’s efforts, share our knowledge, our nearby West Boylston technology center and our high quality tools. Hopefully we can also offer recruitment opportunities wherever possible for QCC students, especially as we expand our manufacturing capabilities in our West Boylston facility. Keeping an eye on our future, it is certainly in our interest to acquire skilled manufacturing talent. The industry is in dire need of advanced manufacturing skills. To address this, we are willing and eager to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with QCC,” added Hellinger.

QCC was established in 1963 to provide access to higher education to residents of Central Massachusetts. Since its founding, enrollment has grown from 300 to over 13,000 full and part-time day, evening and online students. QCC has over 100 associate degree and certificate career options in Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Human Services. The College also offers a wide variety of non-credit courses, workshops, and seminars through its Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education.

Emuge Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1,500+ employee German company EMUGE-Werk Richard Glimpel GmbH & Co. KG (Lauf, Germany) that has been the product technology and performance leader in their field for nearly 100 years. The company manufactures an extensive line of taps, thread mills, drills, end mills, toolholders, clamping devices and other rotary cutting tools, over 100,000 items sold through distributors worldwide.  Emuge also offers end-user technical support through a network of in-the-field engineers and in-house product specialists, all with extensive tooling and application experience.

Over 10,000 types of cutting tools and accessories are stocked in the company’s U.S. and Canadian Headquarters located in West Boylston, MA, U.S.A. The 21,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility also serves as a technology center with a machining and tooling demonstration showroom and classroom.

For more information, visit:

Published in Emuge

The MTConnect Student Challenge is extending the deadlines for both its Ideation and Application competitions. The new deadline for the ideas competition is March 15, 2016; the new deadline to submit applications is July 15, 2016.

MTConnect is an open, XML- and HTTP-based communications standard that works as the building block of the Industrial Internet of Things for manufacturing. The MTConnect Student Challenge an innovation competition that taps into students’ creativity and technical skills through asking them to create and develop ideas and applications that utilize MTConnect, which enables communication between and data collection from manufacturing equipment and devices.

The challenge is open to all U.S.-based college students at any level of study – graduate or undergraduate, university or community college.

The goal of the MTConnect Student Challenge is to improve manufacturing intelligence through student-created ideas and applications. As the manufacturing industry has increasingly moved toward the digital enterprise, small and medium-sized manufacturers have struggled to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by this technological revolution. MTConnect Student Challenge submissions will be judged on their ingenuity, ease of deployment, impact on industry, and overall quality. Students also benefit through their participation by potentially connecting with future employers, and also coming away with a project that demonstrates their knowledge and skill and can be included in a professional portfolio.

The MTConnect Student Challenge encompasses two distinct competitions:


Students are tasked with creating an idea for using MTConnect and writing a five-page paper that explains the idea. Students are encouraged to interview a manufacturer to learn about their specific issues, but it is not a requirement. The submission requires a five-page paper to give a detailed explanation about the idea. Students are welcome to submit previously completed classwork that could be applicable to the use of MTConnect. Winners will be invited to attend the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, April 19-21, 2016.

Full rules and details can be found at


Ideas become reality in this competition, where contestants will be required to develop a working software application that utilizes MTConnect. Entrants will need to submit a written summary of the application, a video demonstrating the application in action, and an icon that represents the application. As with the Idea Creation competition, students can submit non-commercial projects previously completed, provided they utilize data in the MTConnect standard. Winners will be invited to attend IMTS-The International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, September 12-17, 2016.

Full rules and details can be found at

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).

Published in AMT

High school and postsecondary students and educators will have the opportunity to experience manufacturing hands-on during the upcoming SOUTH-TEC manufacturing event, taking place October 27-29 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The event hosts more than 400 industry-leading companies and addresses trends and issues important to the southeast region to improve production processes, technologies and capabilities. Day three will feature SME’s Bright Minds program that includes a “Manufacturing Playground,” industry keynote speakers, young professional Career Pathway chats and an exclusive tour of participating exhibitors on the show floor.

Bright Minds is a program developed by SME to reinforce the value of manufacturing education, providing hands-on learning experiences for high school and postsecondary students with support from educators, industry and SME members.

“Education is critical to the growth of U.S. manufacturing,” said Cathy Kowalewicz, SOUTH-TEC event manager at SME. “We’ve incorporated some unique education and mentoring programs into SOUTH-TEC so that students gain a true sense of what a career in manufacturing requires and provides, as well as the chance to connect with industry professionals that may assist them in career choices.”

Students attending SOUTH-TEC can engage with educators from technical and community colleges from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as professionals from companies including program partners Mastercam and Stratasys, about manufacturing career paths, and valuable curriculum and skills that would be beneficial in their career goals. Keynote speakers, presentations and panels focused on workforce development include:

  • Cultivating Growth in Manufacturing; Brian Summers, vice president, Mastercam
  • Additive Manufacturing – Building Careers of the Future; Sig Behrens, general manager of education, Stratasys
  • Career Pathways; Brian Flores, senior manager for branding education, Sandvik Coromant USA

The Manufacturing Playground at SOUTH-TEC gives students and educators the opportunity to learn and observe how diverse technologies can be used collaboratively to create a promising final product. Both a CNC Lathe and a 3D printer will be in operation producing precision parts for a motorcycle to be built live on the event floor.

“Stratasys is proud to be a sponsor of Bright Minds for the fifth year now. This program provides young students the opportunity to learn about 3D printing and its many capabilities,” said Terry Hoppe, director of Applications Engineering, Stratasys. “We see a tremendous opportunity to bridge the gap between education and industry though the various additive manufacturing applications these students will learn.”

Through the Bright Minds Passport Tour, students and educators will have the opportunity to experience new, innovative technology like advanced robotics and animation.

“Workforce development is such a huge part of ensuring our industry will continue to grow and evolve, especially in this region. Programs like this help shape and mold the skills and knowledge of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Dick Motley, Southeastern U.S. regional director, FANUC.

SOUTH-TEC is free for students, educators and SME members.

For more information or to register, visit:

Published in SME

With great emphasis on education, training and strengthening the U.S. manufacturing workforce, Seco Tools, LLC has donated almost half a million dollars in metalworking tools to training centers, community colleges, technical programs and high schools throughout the Midwest and Pennsylvania. The selection of tools included a variety of new and unused high quality solid-carbide, high-speed steel (HSS) and cobalt end mills used for milling operations.

Seco is dedicated to closing the skills gap and ensuring the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow is well trained. Collaborating with and supporting learning institutions that specialize in hands-on shop training can aid in filling the growing number of jobs being vacated by many individuals retiring from the workforce. Plus, the training programs can retrain existing workers on technological advances that help to further overall manufacturing productivity.

“Throughout the year, we perform audits of our warehouse stock to clear out discontinued items, over-produced specials and other products that cannot or are unlikely to be sold in the future,” said Dale Higgins, technical support specialist at Seco. “In the past, we have recycled these tools to recoup a portion of our costs, but this year we decided that giving the entire $412,035 worth of tooling to schools that are training the future workforce is really more valuable to us and to our industry.”

One recipient of Seco’s donation, the Cleveland Industrial Training Center, is a CNC training facility located within an actual manufacturing facility in Cleveland with a second facility in Akron. The centers provide concentrated CNC training that prepares 180 graduates each year with the skills they need to program and run machines and produce accurate parts. The program, in its 22nd year, boasts an extremely high job placement rate.

“We often get donations, but certainly not of this quantity and quality,” explained Tim Duffy, president of Cleveland Industrial Training Center when asked about the significance of this gift. “The scope and breadth of what Seco donated will take care of us for years to come for certain categories of tools.”

In addition to the Cleveland Industrial Training Center, the following schools also received tool donations from Seco:

  • Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan
  • Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana
  • Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry in Hudson, Michigan
  • Capital Area Career Center in Mason, Michigan
  • Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois
  • Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Illinois
  • Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Warren Lincoln High School in Warren, Michigan
  • Romeo Engineering & Technology Center in Washington Township, Michigan

Scott R. Siebers, machine tool instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, and Guy Hart, instructor at Romeo Engineering and Technical Center, also pointed out how valuable the donations are to their programs. Both instructors are grateful for the high-quality cutters that would otherwise have been unobtainable due to budget constraints. They also assured that students will put the tooling to good use as they learn about modern carbide tooling and machining processes.

For more information, visit:

Published in Seco Tools

XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and Google announced the winners of the 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge, also considered the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” It is an international competition that inspires the next generation of space explorers and innovators by inviting kids ages 8-17 to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.

Next month, the winning teams will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan to meet the official teams competing for a $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a privately funded robot on the moon.

For the first time since the inception of MOONBOTS in 2010, the majority of the winning teams’ members are female — breaking stereotypes in the typically male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The 2015 MOONBOTS winning teams, representing three countries are:

  • Team GalacTECHs (Tustin, Calif.) comprised of two girls and two boys ages 8-11, who imagined a future where it’s common practice for people to vacation at a resort on the moon.
  • Linked Lunas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) comprised of twin sisters Hadley and Delaney, age 9. Their mission is based on a historical tale and scientific theory that hits close to home – that the earth once had “twin” moons that collided and merged into one.
  • Mecaliks (Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico) comprised of three girls ages 9-12, who were inspired by Mayan cultural beliefs that time is measured by lunar phases.
  • Moonshot (Brooklyn, N.Y. and Naples, Italy) comprised of two boy cousins, ages 10 and 12, who live across the world from each other but share a similar interest in the moon and the way it brings people together – just as it does in their family.

“In addition to showing ingenuity and innovation in their robotic building and programming, all four grand prize winners were creative and imaginative in the way they interpreted their moon ‘tales,’” said Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “While each entry was unique, they were all incredibly engaging and will provide inspiration for kids all over the world.”

The winning teams will travel to Japan in October to meet up with the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams who are gathering for an annual Team Summit in Tokyo.

“By inspiring and encouraging today’s youth, MOONBOTS is paving the way for the next generation of coders, innovators, space explorers and dreamers,” said Yasemin Denari Southworth, brand marketing manager at Google. “We are proud to build both boys’ and girls’ confidence by supporting their imagination and creativity in a game of skill that’s collaborative and educational. By doing so, we hope to eliminate some environmental and social barriers that can block participation and progress in STEM, especially among young girls.”

The student competition, which began in April, attracted 235 teams from 29 countries who entered phase one by submitting a written or video entry about what inspires them about the moon. Teams are comprised of 2-4 members (ages 8-17) and one team captain at least 18 years old.A panel of judges selected 30 teams to qualify for phase two, each of which was provided one of three platform systems (LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO Meccanoid G15 KS) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission based on the moon tale they submitted in phase one. In addition, they were asked provide a demonstration to the judges via live webcast and contribute to STEM education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has challenged thousands of young people from around the world. In addition to XPRIZE and Google, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, Cogmation Robotics, VEX Robotics Inc., Spin-Master Ltd., the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (RECF), GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter Incorporated and Dexter Industries.

For more information, visit:

Published in XPRIZE

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), a leading aerospace and defense manufacturer of manned and unmanned aircraft, satellites, electronics, robotics and other systems, celebrated Manufacturing Day this week at its facilities across the country. Twenty Northrop Grumman sites held activities designed to draw attention to the outstanding career opportunities in manufacturing and to showcase the company's expansive capabilities.

Over the next decade it is estimated that nearly 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will be needed and 2 million of those positions are expected to go unfilled due to manufacturers' inability to find talent with the required skills, according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting LLP. Manufacturing Day, an annual national event held on the first Friday in October, is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers, and improve the public perception of manufacturing in America.

Northrop Grumman was among hundreds of manufacturers across the nation that hosted students, employees, job seekers, and other local community members at open houses. Some of the activities included:

  • Tours for middle school, high school and college students of space foundry/manufacturing facilities
  • Numerous appreciation events for manufacturing and production employees
  • A manufacturing demonstration for a high school robotics team
  • A fashion show for manufacturing employees
  • Media tours highlighting the company's impact to local communities, focus on environmentally conscious manufacturing, and its role in defense manufacturing

At 12 Northrop Grumman facilities nationwide, employees assisted science, technology, engineering and math students from area high schools with a prosthetic hand assembly project. Traditional prosthetic hands can cost thousands of dollars, whereas the student-constructed devices cost $30-40 and were made using advanced, additive manufacturing. The hands were donated to Enabling the Future, a nonprofit that specializes in providing prosthetics to children in need around the globe.

Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, California site recently received the Silver level Zero Waste certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, becoming the first aerospace production and manufacturing facility in the U.S. to receive this honor. The Palmdale site, which produces F-35 center fuselages was voted Assembly Plant of the Year in 2013 by Assembly Magazine.

For more information, visit:

Published in Northrop Grumman

Florida International University (FIU) and MakerBot will be holding a grand opening of the new CARTA Innovation Lab at the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) Miami Beach Urban Studios on September 29, 2015. The FIU Innovation Lab incorporates a MakerBot Innovation Center, a large-scale 3D printing installation designed to empower universities and organizations to innovate faster, collaborate better, and compete more effectively. FIU is the first university in the United States to house a MakerBot Innovation Center in a college focused on design and the arts where students, faculty, and local entrepreneurs will work on creative projects and explore the intersection of art and technology. Grand opening festivities will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, September 29, at FIU's Miami Beach Urban Studios, with speeches from FIU President Mark Rosenberg and MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom.

"The College of Architecture + The Arts is the first arts college in the nation to work with MakerBot to embrace 3D printing at a large scale," said Brian Schriner, dean of FIU's College of Architecture + The Arts. "This new creative space will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by exploring the intersection of arts, design, and technology. The CARTA Innovation Lab is a major milestone that will help establish FIU as a national destination for innovative teaching, research, entrepreneurism, and creativity."

Miami's startup scene has seen enormous growth over the last few years, but the city has few established makerspaces where entrepreneurs can experiment and build. The CARTA Innovation Lab will help fill this gap, providing the next generation of Miami talent with a space to realize their ideas and inviting the community. The 3D printing lab will be part of the Miami Beach Urban Studios, which provide expansive space for design and fine arts students, practice, and performance spaces for music and theatre students, and expansive gallery/exhibition spaces and classroom space for use by the entire College. The location is an ideal base for the study in arts, design, communication, and entrepreneurship, and for exposure to the wealth of arts organizations and design firms located in Miami Beach.

The CARTA Innovation Lab features an open layout to encourage collaboration and will be made available to the community. It will bring together students from various disciplines with local entrepreneurs and artists to work on creative projects, develop new products, and conduct research. The lab will support a range of activities, from dual-enrollment programs for local high-school students to for-credit classes for FIU students and start-up programs for recent graduates.

"Desktop 3D printing is changing the way we think, work, and create things, and FIU is taking the lead in unlocking the creative potential of this transformative technology to art students," noted Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. "By bringing in a large-scale 3D printing center and providing access to 3D printers to students at an early stage, FIU can create an atmosphere of collaboration and accelerate the creative process like never before."

According to John Stuart, AIA, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and the executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios, "FIU students already have ideas of how to utilize the lab, ranging from architecture students who want to use MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers to reimagine urban landscapes and showcase models, to art students who are designing 3D printed musical instruments.'' With collaborators from other disciplines, students in the lab will also explore the design and 3D printing of objects that address a variety of issues from sea level rise, world potable water shortages, aging in place, health, prosthetics, and mobility. Composer-in-Residence, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, has even begun working on a new composition in which 3D printers will join the world-renowned FIU School of Music's ensemble-in-residence Amernet String Quartet in a production of a quartet with 3D printer soloists that produce sound and relevant objects.

Support for the CARTA Innovation Lab is a part of the Knight Foundation's efforts to invest in Miami's emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build the community while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years, Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

The CARTA Innovation Lab includes 30 MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, 1 MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer, 1 MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer, a large supply of MakerBot PLA Filament, and 5 MakerBot Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanners.

For more information, visit:

Published in MakerBot

NASA is giving university and college students an opportunity to be part of the agency’s journey to Mars with the Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.

NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD), managed by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) are seeking innovative ideas for generating lift using inflatable spacecraft heat shields or hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD) technology.

"NASA is currently developing and flight testing HIADs -- a new class of relatively lightweight deployable aeroshells that could safely deliver more than 22 tons to the surface of Mars," said Steve Gaddis, GCD manager at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. "A crewed spacecraft landing on Mars would need to weigh between 15 and 30 tons."

The NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover is the heaviest payload ever landed on the Red Planet -- weighing in at only one ton. To slow a vehicle carrying a significantly heavier payload through the thin Martian atmosphere and safely land it on the surface is a significant challenge. NASA is addressing this challenge through the development of large aeroshells that can provide enough aerodynamic drag to decelerate and deliver larger payloads. HIAD technology is a leading idea because these kinds of aeroshells can also generate lift, which would allow the agency to potentially do different kinds of missions.

Interested teams of three to five undergraduate and/or graduate students are asked to submit white papers describing their concepts by November 15th. Concepts may employ new approaches such as shape morphing and pneumatic actuation to dynamically alter the HIAD inflatable structure.

Selected teams will continue in the competition by submitting in the spring of 2016 full technical papers on the concept. Up to four teams will present their concepts to a panel of NASA judges at the BIG Idea Forum at Langley in April 2016.

Each finalist team will receive a $6,000 stipend to assist with full participation in the forum. BIG Idea Challenge winners will receive offers of paid internships with the GCD team at Langley, where they can potentially work toward a flight test of their concept.

For more information, visit:

Published in NASA

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) $4.9 million to expand its model apprenticeship program nationwide.

The National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program at RCBI will broaden its existing innovative apprenticeships and promote advanced manufacturing pre-apprenticeships for underrepresented groups such as women, transitioning military personnel and disadvantaged youth. It will provide standardized, industry-endorsed, online instruction and on-the-job learning for companies in multiple states. The RCBI program will serve at least 1,000 apprentices and 415 pre-apprentices across the United States.

This effort will make apprenticeships more affordable to employers and more accessible to employees and individuals considering careers in manufacturing.

Through the five-year initiative, RCBI and its partners will deliver apprenticeship training nationwide in core advanced manufacturing areas such as manual and computer-controlled machining while they create new registered apprenticeships in additive manufacturing (better known as 3D Printing), composites and robotics. RCBI will continue to work with a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, robotics, defense and related industries.

“This award recognizes a unique approach to apprenticeship building in West Virginia – praised by the DOL – that has the potential to be replicated across the nation and to address the growing skills gap in manufacturing,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO.

RCBI’s apprenticeship training model focuses on advanced manufacturing, enabling workers to earn a wage while improving their job skills. This collaborative model leverages the unique expertise and resources of multiple public and private entities from across the nation, including RCBI; Marshall University Research Corp.; the DOL; the National Institute for Metalworking Skills; ToolingU-SME; America Makes; General Electric, Aurora Flight Sciences, Swanson Industries and other private industry partners; workforce development agencies; career centers; and community and technical college partners. 

In the past five years, RCBI has trained more than 3,000 workers, many through apprenticeships.

RCBI and its partners established a model apprenticeship program at Mohawk Flooring in Holden, Mingo County, using standards approved by the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship. Through this ongoing effort, Mohawk employees earn while they learn, improving their technical skills while working toward associate degrees.

“Congratulations to RCBI for securing this funding,” said Marshall University Interim President Gary White. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to extend RCBI’s important services across the country, training hundreds of people for the high-tech jobs of the future.”

A national study reinforces the need for additional skilled manufacturing workers in the coming decade because of retiring Baby Boomers and anticipated growth in the sector.

To address this critical shortage, the U.S. Department of Labor pledged millions of dollars to expand registered apprenticeship programs in high-skilled, high-growth industries such as health care, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. The American Apprenticeship Initiative is expected to serve as a catalyst to increase the use of apprenticeships to meet employer needs in these sectors.

“Training programs like the ones this grant will support at RCBI are a critical part of building the highly trained workforce we are working hard to create in West Virginia,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. “Advanced manufacturing is growing exponentially across the country and in West Virginia, and I’m glad we will be able to provide more employers with people who have the skills required for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Operating for more than 25 years as West Virginia’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, RCBI encourages job creation, economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting manufacturing technology. RCBI provides local access to leading-edge equipment, specialized training and business development assistance for everyone from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies so they can remain at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly global economy.

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Published in RCBI

Cleaning Technologies Group (CTG) is proud to announce that it has started a cooperative education program (co-op program) at its CTG Asia division with the Joint Co-op Institute (JCI) – a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Chongqing University. The JCI students are all Chinese nationals who are studying a UC engineering curriculum being taught entirely in English by both UC and CQU professors. This program enables students to gain practical experience to complement their university education and better prepare them to transition into the workforce.

CTG Asia recently hired Zhao Bi Han who goes by the English name Ivy. Ivy is a freshman at JCI in Chongqing studying in the Mechanical Engineering Program. Her desire to design machines made CTG Asia an ideal place to start her Co-op career. Another factor in her decision is the location of CTG headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Ivy will finish the last years of her studies at the University of Cincinnati and is expected to receive degrees from both universities.

Cleaning Technologies Group has utilized the co-op programs at local universities for decades. Barney Bosse, CEO of CTG participated in the University of Cincinnati Co-op Program in the 1990’s and is a mechanical engineering graduate of the university.“Co-op students are a great source of future employees at CTG and, while teaching the students about the various aspects of an engineering business, the company has the benefit of new hires being instantly productive after graduation.” The CTG engineering co-op program exposes the students to several different areas: the technical center where processes are developed and validated, the engineering department where the machines are designed and modeled in Solidworks, and finally to estimating and sales where the application principles are taught while also learning about price development. CTG Asia will mirror this approach to maximize the student growth and potential.

Bosse continues, “We are excited about this opportunity to work with Chongqing University and continue our long relationship with the University of Cincinnati in providing students work experience that will enable them to start successful careers.”

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Local Motors and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas have partnered to create a research and development program that will create new technologies for automobiles. UNLV’s new Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL) will work with Local Motors to create autonomous systems for cars.

UNLV is now a part of the Local Motors LOCO Program. Short for Local Motors Co-Created, the LOCO University Vehicle Program advances the automotive education and research initiatives of our university partner programs in the cutting-edge fields of 3D printing, vehicle autonomy and more. The LOCO program provides university students and faculty with the projects, vehicles, and co-creation platform needed to quickly develop the next generation of vehicle technology. Partner universities engage in the LOCO program as a way to attract future students and donors, as well as help facilitate tech transfer into commercial value.

“This partnership with UNLV is an example of how Local Motors is using the power of co-creation to advance vehicle technology,” said Corey Clothier, Local Motors lead for automated vehicle development. “We will begin selling the world’s first 3D-printed car next year, and we’re excited for UNLV to be a piece of automotive history.”

Local Motors recently delivered its 3D-printed LOCO vehicle to UNLV. The team from DASL, headed by Paul Oh, plans to equip the first vehicle with autonomy sensory equipment that will allow its robot, DRC-Hubo, to drive the vehicle.

“Local Motors’ vision and realization of microfactories is truly exciting and DASL is thrilled to be an active partner in this vision,” Oh said. “Microfactories combined with cloud-computing, wireless networking and connectivity yield bold innovations for inspiring wonder and empowering creativity.”

Local Motors plans on outfitting the UNLV DASL team with iterations of its highway-ready 3D-printed car during the next year.

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Published in Local Motors

As thousands of kids across the nation start the new school year, more youth will have an opportunity to learn hands-on about 3D printing technology during the after-school hours thanks to a new partnership between Polar 3D and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

Polar 3D, which launched its 3D printer at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2015, will donate 3D printers to Boys & Girls Clubs around the country to help drive BGCA's overall science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and innovation strategy. Polar 3D will build 3D printing labs in Clubs to support innovation, engagement and ignite passions in kids and teens. In addition to the installation of the 3D printing labs, Polar 3D will also create a hands-on guide to help Club staff effectively instruct youth on the use of the printers and the Polar Cloud, an online social platform that promotes collaboration and sharing in the 3D printing community. The first three 3D printing labs will be at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (D.C.), Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Portland (Oregon).

Polar 3D's partnership with BGCA supports the company's effort to inspire young minds to think like entrepreneurs by introducing and expanding the use of 3D printers.

"There is a vast opportunity gap for underrepresented kids and teens in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and math," said Kimberly Boyd, national vice president of Program, Training & Youth Development Services at BGCA. "Thanks to partners like Polar 3D, we are able to provide fun, hands-on learning experiences that develop important innovation and problem solving skills and set our youth on the path to great futures."

The brainchild of co-founders William Steele and Ed Estes, a former Microsoft executive and a former software company owner, respectively, Polar 3D was founded in September 2013. "We built this printer and its supportive Polar Cloud social platform not to change how entrepreneurs think, but rather to inspire students to think like entrepreneurs. We want students to go to the Cloud to see what they can do," says Steele. "Just imagine classrooms where students can bring objects out of the computer screen and into their own hands then refine their designs all while gaining a better understanding of the creation process," says Estes.

"We are so proud to be partnering with BGCA and this is just the beginning," says Greg LaLonde, CEO of Polar 3D. "We want all the Clubs and all their members to have the opportunity to access and experience 3D printing. With the continued support of BGCA, the Polar 3D community and our corporate sponsors, we can make that happen."

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

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Two separate University of Pittsburgh research projects to improve design development for structures in in additive manufacturing were among nine contracts funded by America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The two projects, directed by faculty in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, will receive more than $1.7 million in America Makes' Project Call #3.

To date, Swanson School faculty have been awarded more than $2.3 million in contracts toward additive manufacturing research from America Makes, the National Science Foundation, and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania.

Principal investigator for "Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications" is Albert To, PhD , associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, in conjunction with Aerotech, ANSYS, EOS of North America, ExOne, Honeywell, Marcus Machinery, Materials Sciences Corporation, RTI International Metals (Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products), United Technologies Research Center, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. This $961,112 contract is in support of an extension of the research previously awarded to Dr. To by America Makes.

"AM technologies are capable of producing very complex geometries and topologies, tremendously expanding the limited design space allowed by traditional manufacturing methods. However, existing CAD/CAE software packages to date have not taken full advantage of this enormous design freedom," Dr. To explained. "We plan to create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, thereby helping industry minimize design time, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development."

M. Ravi Shankar, PhD, associate professor of industrial engineering, is principal investigator of "Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks." Collaborators on the $805,966 contract include ITAMCO, Johnson & Johnson, and the University of Notre Dame.

"Support structures play two important roles in additive manufacturing - holding a part in place, and dissipating heat during manufacturing. However, these structures are very simple and few rules exist for designing them," Dr. Shankar said. "We want to codify the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to inform and then automatically recommend the optimal part orientation and the designs for optimized supports. Also, by better controlling the design, we can more effectively draw away the heat during manufacturing and minimize distortion."

Led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes' Project Call #3 for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects provided up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with $11 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19 million. The Institute's third project call, which was released in February 2015, was focused on five technical additive manufacturing topic areas-design, material, process, value chain, and genome-each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

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An SME-designed Additive Manufacturing Contest was a key component of the 51st annual Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. 6,000 students from across the nation who had already won state-level contests competed and gained enhanced trade, technical and leadership skills during the SkillsUSA Conference.

Providing students with insights into additive manufacturing and hands-on experience using today’s latest 3D printing technology and software, the competition marked the first time an additive manufacturing experience was included in the national event.

SME created the additive manufacturing contest to attract students to the new, exciting, emerging technologies and tools involved. These technologies are already very relevant to industry and companies are looking for a workforce with additive manufacturing/3D printing experience and ability.

In the national competition, student teams were first asked to use three-dimensional CAD software to design a car model meeting contest specifications, including 3D print time, size and material usage. Car models were then printed in ABS material on a Stratasys 3D printer.

Teams were tested on their knowledge of 3D printing with a written exam and participated in a one-hour Quick Challenge: designing an iPhone case for a celebrity client.

Additive manufacturing/3D printing has become a critical component for STEM-related programs and curricula in the education system.

Pam Hurt, workforce development industry manager at SME, suggests educators use 3D printing as a tool to help students visualize their ideas. “It gives the student the ability to design a part, see the printed part, and if they aren’t happy with their results, make the necessary improvements and try again,” she said.

The demand for additive manufacturing engineers and technicians has increased well beyond the supply of qualified entry-level applicants. “SME is working with industry and educators to make sure we’re all working toward the same end-goal: an educated and motivated student,” said Hurt.

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Published in SME

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered a new way to improve human and robot safety in manufacturing scenarios by developing a method for robots to project their next action into the 3D world and onto any moving object.

“We can now use any item in our world as the ‘display screen’ instead of a projection screen or monitor,” says Heni Ben Amor, research scientist in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. “The robot’s intention is projected onto something in the 3D world, and its intended action continues to follow the object wherever that moves as long as necessary.”

The discovery, born from two algorithms and a spare car door, is ideal for manufacturing scenarios in which both humans and robots assemble together. Instead of controlling the robot with a tablet or from a distant computer monitor, the human worker can safely stand at the robot’s side to inspect precision, quickly make adjustments to its work, or move out of the way as the robot and human take turns assembling an object. Knowing exactly where and what task a robot will do next can help workers avoid injury.

“The goal of this research was to get information out of the virtual space inside the computer and into the real physical space that we inhabit,” Ben Amor adds. “As a result of that, we can increase safety and lead to an intuitive interaction between humans and robots.”

The discovery was developed over a four-month period by Ben Amor and Rasmus Andersen, a visiting Ph.D. student from Aalborg University in Denmark. The team realized that, by combining existing research available at Georgia Tech’s Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) with new algorithms, plus personal experience with auto manufacturers, they could make “intention projection” possible.

They first perfected algorithms that would allow a robot to detect and track 3D objects, beginning with previous research from Georgia Tech and Aalborg University that was further developed. They next developed a second set of entirely new algorithms that can display information onto a 3D object in a geometrically correct way. Tying these two pieces together allows a robot to perceive an object, then identify where on that object to project information and act, then continuously project that information as the object moves, rotates or adapts. Andersen led the coding.

IRIM has contributed previous research to BMW, Daimler AG, and Peugeot. The recent discovery was inspired by what Ben Amor had observed during earlier work with Peugeot in Paris and from Andersen's previous work on interaction with mobile robots. The group next plans to formally publish their research.

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Published in Georgia Tech

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research and Dassault Systemes will partner on an advanced manufacturing center on the Innovation Campus.

The 3DExperience Center, which will be located within the Experiential Engineering Building, will focus on enabling advanced product development and manufacturing of next generation manufacturing materials and technologies. The center is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The center will employ students and up to eight staff from Dassault Systemes, a global company serving 190,000 customers in 12 industries and 140 countries. The center will be available to industry and for university research and coursework.

"The whole learning model of classroom learning, practicing in a lab environment and performing production work with one of the industry partners is embodied in the 3DExperience Center," said Jeff Smith, director, Ideas Lab, aerospace and defense industry, Dassault Systemes. "Students will be able to engage in the future of advanced product development and manufacturing."

The 3DExperience Center will focus on enabling advanced product development and manufacturing, next generation manufacturing materials and technologies using Dassault Systemes' 3DExperience platform and brand applications, including:

  • Development of new engineered materials
  • Simulation and optimization of materials, additive manufacturing processes and systems
  • Multi-Robotic Advanced Manufacturing
  • Certification of the end-to-end process

"Dassault Systemes is an essential partner in WSU's Innovation Campus, a world-class center where researchers, students and industry come together to experience their ideas," said John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer and NIAR executive director. "The 3DExperience Center provides the capability to go from the concept, to a full experience of the idea, to the realization of seeing that idea being developed and manufactured. It will be a core enabler of additive manufacturing in aerospace as well as other industries."

Additive manufacturing promises companies the ability to design any shape without restriction, giving the opportunity to create a paradigm shift in the industry. Manufacturers can reduce waste by up to 90 percent and eliminate mistakes that impact quality and cost.

"Additive manufacturing has high potential for aerospace and other industries and goes far beyond just 3D printing. It requires an understanding of new materials down to the molecular level, how those materials perform under any scenario, how they can be expediently and cost-effectively manufactured and how each piece of the ultimate system can be certified," said Michel Tellier, vice president, aerospace and defense industry, Dassault Systemes. "The center will leverage the 3DExperience platform's immersive and robotic applications and Dassault Systemes' expertise in materials and simulation. Tomorrow's materials will push the evolution of airplane design, production and operation into a new era."

Funding for the laboratory equipment was provided by a $1.9 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant awarded in 2014. It is being configured and tested in NIAR's Robotics and Automation Lab at the National Center for Aviation Training.

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Published in NIAR

TCT Show + Personalize, the UK’s 3D technologies showcase, is delighted to announce that Inspired Minds (formerly Bright Minds) will return for 2015 on the back of a very successful 2014 edition.

TCT remains committed to inspiring the next generation, giving over 300 schoolchildren the opportunity to get real hands-on experience at this years two day 3D printing spectacular event.

The 2014 edition saw many students take part in interactive courses designed to complement their existing STEM curriculum right at the heart of the event floor. With the generous donation of equipment from 3D Systems Corporation and the expert tuition of Black Country Atelier (BCA) the students had opportunity to learn about 3D printing in a hands-on fashion before heading out to the expansive exhibition to look more closely at a selection of over 200 exhibitors and their wares.  After a successful student programme in 2013, the classroom was expanded in 2014 and the range of technologies covered increased to include 3D scanning, a haptic based 3D mouse and the new Cube and CubePro printers from 3D Systems.

This year’s programme, developed by BCA, will encourage pupils to apply real world design and manufacture thinking into their work using a range of technologies that reflect the importance of an integrated set of tools in the classroom and an ecosystem that includes not only technology, but teacher training and the new curriculum.

Duncan Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Rapid News Communications Group commented: “The Inspired Minds initiative is central to the TCT mission of helping our community assess and adopt 3D technologies. Educating the next generations is important not only for the students but for the future health of the industry as a whole. 3D technologies are becoming more widespread we must ensure that those entering the workforce are sufficiently well trained — and our  valued partners 3D Systems and Black Country Atelier share in that philosophy.”

Jing Lu, CEO of Black Country Atelier, a leading provider of Additive Manufacture (AM) and Smart Product Design curricula, added:"We are delighted to be invited back to inspire Bright Minds 2015. This year, we are extending our bookable school area with a separate "drop-in" zone, enabling educators to experience our accredited AM courses. As AM grows in industrial applicability, education must equip future designers and engineers with skills in these technologies. Through our training, BCA enables the 21st Century manufacturing team to deliver products of the future"

Rajeev Kulkarni, Vice President and Chief Product Officer, 3DS commented: "From engineering to fashion to medicine, 3D printing technologies are the foundation for many of the careers of tomorrow. We are proud that our educational ecosystem and partnership with TCT Inspired Minds and BCA is helping foster a digital literacy that helps students think, create and communicate in 3D in the UK and beyond."

The programme is designed for students in Secondary School education in the UK. Each session will last approximately two hours and will also give participants entry to TCT Show + Personalize. Industry led tours of the TCT Show + Personalize can also be arranged.

Schools within the UK wishing to participate should contact Jing Lu at BCA to register their interest and discuss how they can get involved. The places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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Professor Iain Todd, Director of the Mercury Centre, has been appointed The University of Sheffield and GKN Aerospace Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) research chair in additive manufacturing.

Supported by GKN Aerospace, the University and the Royal Academy of Engineering, for the next five years Prof Todd will focus on harnessing and developing the extraordinary potential of additive manufacturing (AM) for aerospace and other high value industrial sectors.

The role will have three fundamental aims: to assist in the industrialization of the current state-of-the-art technology as GKN moves towards production; to develop the required technology to enable the integration of materials and processes, extending its application in the short term; to create entirely innovative processes and materials that will carry industry well beyond what is currently possible.

Russ Dunn, Senior Vice President Engineering & Technology, explains: “AM technologies promise a paradigm shift in engineering design and materials. We will be able to create previously impossible or totally uneconomical shapes, with little or no material wastage, and in the longer term we will be able to develop completely new materials and structures fully optimized for the role they perform.  This new chair will build on GKN’s existing developments in additive manufacturing and will sit at the heart of work to ensure UK industry continues to be a pioneering force in this global revolution in engineering.”

Professor Iain Todd says “I’m delighted and honored to be appointed to this prestigious role and look forward to working with GKN Aerospace and the Royal Academy of Engineering in promoting, researching and helping to drive this hugely exciting and disruptive manufacturing technology forwards. This is a very exciting time for advanced manufacturing and materials research in the UK. My role will be to strengthen the link between industry and academia in these fields and to transfer the engineering and scientific breakthroughs at the University level to industrial practice helping to drive productivity and competitiveness.

Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering Research and Secondments Committee, says: “We are delighted to support this Chair as part of the University of Sheffield’s ongoing and productive collaboration with GKN. Additive manufacturing is an important area for research and development, which has enormous potential to improve industrial processes and UK productivity in the future.”

Professor Todd is recognized as a leading academic researcher in the fields of novel processing and alloys. He has led research into additive manufacturing at the University of Sheffield since its commencement in 2006 and has been a driving force in the growth of the world-leading manufacturing research facility, The Mercury Centre. The current University of Sheffield AM research portfolio includes work on the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) supported, £15M Horizon Programme, led by GKN Aerospace, as well as collaborative research with organizations such as the Culham Centre for Fusion Engineering and CERN.

The University, GKN Aerospace and the Royal Academy of Engineering will make a combined investment worth £1m to support the chair over the five years, with the GKN Aerospace investment including funding for an additional 10 PhD students to support Professor Todd and the team of over 20 senior research staff already operating at the university.

The University has an established relationship with GKN Aerospace, most recently through the Horizon AM programme. They also support PhD and EngD programmes and provide undergraduate student placements.

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Published in The Mercury Centre

Traditional robots are made of components and rigid materials like you might see on an automotive assembly line – metal and hydraulic parts, harshly rigid, and extremely strong. But away from the assembly line, for robots to harmoniously assist humans in close–range tasks scientists are designing new classes of soft–bodied robots. Yet one of the challenges is integrating soft materials with requisite rigid components that power and control the robot's body. At the interface of these materials, stresses concentrate and structural integrity can be compromised, which often results in mechanical failure.

But now, by understanding how organisms solve this problem by assembling their bodies in a way that produces a gradual transitioning from hard to soft parts, a team of Wyss Institute researchers and their collaborators have been able to use a novel 3d printing strategy to construct entire robots in a single build that incorporate this biodesign principle. The strategy permits construction of highly complex and robust structures that can't be achieved using conventional nuts and bolts manufacturing. A proof–of–concept soft–bodied autonomous jumping robot prototype was 3D printed layer upon layer to ease the transition from its rigid core components to a soft outer exterior using a series of nine sequential material gradients.

"We leveraged additive manufacturing to holistically create, in one uninterrupted 3D printing session, a single body fabricated with nine sequential layers of material, increasing in stiffness from rigid to soft towards the outer body,” said the study's co–senior author Robert Wood, Ph.D, who is a Core Faculty member and co–leader of the Bioinspired Robotics Platform at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab. 'By employing a gradient material strategy, we have greatly reduced stress concentrations typically found at the interfaces of soft and rigid components which has resulted in an extremely durable robot."

With the expertise of study co–author and Wyss Institute Senior Research Scientist James Weaver, Ph.D., who is a leader in high–resolution, multi–material 3D printing, the team was able to 3D print the jumping robot's body in one single 3D printing session. Usually, 3D printing is only used to fabricate parts of robots, and is only very recently being used to print entire functional robots. And this jumping robot is the first entire robot to ever be 3D printed using a gradient rigid–to–soft layering strategy.

The autonomous robot is powered – without the use of wires or tethers – by an explosive actuator on its body that harnesses the combustion energy of butane and oxygen. It utilizes three tilting pneumatic legs to control the direction of its jumps, and its soft, squishy exterior reduces the risk of damage upon landings, makes it safer for humans to operate in close proximity, and increases the robot's overall lifespan. It was developed based on previous combustion–based robots designed by co–senior author George Whitesides, Ph.D., who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member and the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University.

"Traditional molding–based manufacturing would be impractical to achieve a functionally–graded robot, you would need a new mold every time you change the robot’s design. 3D printing manufacturing is ideal for fabricating the complex and layered body exhibited by our jumping robot," said Nicholas Bartlett, a co–first author on the study and a graduate researcher in bioinspired robotics at the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS.

As compared to traditional mold manufacturing, which uses fixed molds, the nature of 3D printing facilitates rapid design iterations with utmost ease, allowing faster prototyping throughout development.

"This new breakthrough demonstrates the power of combining insights into nature's innovations with the most advanced man–made technological advances – in this case 3D printing technologies – when trying to overcome technical limitations that currently hold back a field," said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "This ability to fabricate unitary soft robots composed of gradient materials that emulate natural stiffness gradients of living structures paves the way for mass fabrication of robots that can integrate seamlessly with people, whether in our homes, at work or in operating rooms in the future."

Former Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Michael Tolley, Ph.D., currently Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of University of California, San Diego, is a co–first author on the study. In addition, former Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS Postdoctoral Fellow Bobak Mosadegh, Ph.D., currently Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, is a co–author; Johannes T.B. Overvelde, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard SEAS, is a co–author; and Katia Bertoldi, Ph.D., who is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Harvard SEAS, is a co–senior author.

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Images provided by Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

Published in Harvard

CNC Software’s newly appointed president, Meghan Summers West, will be heading to California Polytechnic State University July 27-30, to deliver a keynote address focused on manufacturing. During her presentation at the 2015 National HTEC Conference, West will focus on the need to “Acquaint, Convince and Excite (ACE) the Next Generation of Manufacturing.”

“The need for manufacturing jobs over the next few years will be high,” West said, “but formal programs that combine on-the-job learning with classroom education is dropping. This creates an obvious skills gap that needs to be addressed.”

CNC Educators Training Conference

The CNC Educators Training Conference is about sharing and profiling best CNC education practices, program building and innovation, ways to attract students, and developing employment opportunities for students with industry and association partnerships. CNC Software’s dedicated educational division will be on hand to provide training and educational presentations during this year’s event. The educational division was created to address the current and future needs of the manufacturing industry through a concerted focus on engaging and training tomorrow’s manufacturing leaders. By learning Mastercam, students are better prepared to enter the workforce and secure employment in a wide range of industries and roles.

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Published in Mastercam

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) announced the availability of the new Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U course, marking the first time the company has shared its portfolio of curricula resources through iTunes U. Developed by educators and subject matter experts across the globe, the Autodesk Design Academy provides hundreds of standards-aligned class projects to support design-based disciplines in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) while using Autodesk’s professional-grade 3D design, engineering and entertainment software used in industry, helping students develop 21st century skills and prepare for future careers.

iTunes U is the best way to bring a classroom together on iPad, helping educators build lessons with amazing content, collect and grade student work and stay connected with their class.

A key component of the Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U course is learning materials about the use of Autodesk Fusion 360, which brings CAD, CAM and CAE together in the cloud. It’s an integrated, connected, and accessible platform built for the new ways products are being designed and made.

Autodesk also launches the Autodesk Design Academy Multi-Touch book, which includes learning materials about Autodesk SketchBook Express, software that brings digital art and concept sketching to life. Both the iTunes U course and Multi-Touch book will be available for free on iPad this fall.

“Getting our curricula and learning resources to millions of educators for free through iTunes U and Multi-Touch books is a fantastic opportunity to empower students with the tools that will help them to imagine, design and create a better world,” said Randy Swearer, vice president, Education, Autodesk. “The new Autodesk Design Academy iTunes U course helps us to bring best-in-class resources to more schools, establishing a future pipeline of designers, architects and engineers.”

In December 2014, Autodesk announced a multi-million dollar commitment to make available free access to its 3D design software and creativity applications to schools, educators and students around the globe to support future global economies and drive innovation.

“Autodesk software is used heavily in the engineering industry, and I want my students to know it well so they can jump right into a job without the employer needing to train them,” said Jennifer Hohne, educator, Heritage Hills High School, Lincoln City, Indiana.

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Published in Autodesk

Waterjet systems manufacturer Jet Edge, Inc. recently helped the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project (UMNSVP) by waterjetting several fiberglass composite chassis components for the team’s new car, “Eos.”

St. Michael-based Jet Edge is one of several Minnesota companies helping the student solar car team design and manufacture its two-person Cruiser Class car that will compete in the 3-day Formula Sun Grand Prix track race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in July and the 3000 km (1877 mile) World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.

The 40-member student-run team has been working on Eos for a year and a half and plans to unveil it sometime in early July, said team engineer Jacob Herbers. Until then, all design improvements are being kept under wraps.

Eos is the UMNSVP’s 12th car since the project’s inception in 1990.  The project has raced numerous times in both the American Solar Challenge and the World Solar Challenge. Over the years, the project’s teams have placed either first or second 15 times and have travelled to Canada, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan. The project has given students invaluable real world experience as they are responsible for designing, funding, building, testing, and racing each vehicle.  It also has helped advance solar technology by serving as an innovation test bed, and has helped advance electric motor technologies, paving the way for today's successful electric car companies.

The project has benefited from the tremendous support of Twin Cities businesses, noted Herbers, who recently completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.

“There are hundreds of different parts in the car, including the carbon composite outer shell, the carbon and fiberglass composite chassis panels, aluminum and steel mechanical components, solar cells, electric motors and controllers, lithium-ion batteries, electrical wiring, etc.,” he explained. “Our project would be impossible without the help of local manufacturers, who have helped us with layups, laser-cutting, tube bending, CNC milling and lathing, heat-treating, soldering and waterjet cutting.”

Herbers explained that the car’s chassis components and other parts are cut from as light of material as possible to help the car achieve faster speeds. The team’s previous car topped out at 80 miles per hour.

“The finished weight is estimated to be 500 pounds,” he said. “Every added pound of weight on the car would cause us to have to drive slower in the race.

Jet Edge’s role in the project was to cut 14 parts from a 0.53” thick composite material that consisted of a layer of fiberglass on either side of 0.5" thick aramid honeycomb core. The waterjet manufacturer cut the parts in its St. Michael test lab, using its latest EDGE X-5® 5-axis waterjet cutting system.

Prior to cutting the parts, Jet Edge’s R&D engineer Michael Wheeler and Machinist Brian Wallace worked with the team to create DXF files from 3D files supplied by the team. They then used IGEMS waterjet CAD/CAM/nesting software to produce the complicated bevels and to create the CNC programs. While the parts were already nested by the team, Wallace fine-tuned the nesting using IGEMS to save material.

“We cut the parts at 78,000 psi using a 0.010/0.030 orifice/nozzle combination,” said Wallace. “We used 0.4 pounds per minute of 80 grit garnet abrasive. We cut the holes at 10 inches per minute and the external shapes at 60 inches per minute. We adjusted the speed down appropriately for the bevels cuts. We only had one sheet of material to work with, so we utilized our nesting software to get the most parts out of that sheet. It took about 30 minutes to cut all 14 parts.”

“This was first time I’ve cut a honeycombed composite material with the 5-axis,” Wallace said. “It worked perfect. We probably could have cut the part without abrasive, but we didn’t have a lot of material to experiment with, so I decided to use abrasive. The material wasn’t hard, but with the honeycomb and the bevels, you’re cutting through open areas that interrupt the waterjet, and you are cutting through thicker and thinner material as it bevels.”

To Herbers’ knowledge, the team has always used waterjet to cut its composite components.

“It is very precise and ensures a good fit when we assemble the chassis panels,” he said.

Herbers encouraged other students to get involved in the Solar Vehicle Project. The UMNSVP is open to all University of Minnesota students, regardless of their area of study, he noted. Members can have as much or as little involvement as they want, but everyone works on designing and manufacturing a part of the car and more experienced members hold leadership positions.

“It is very interesting to visit with local manufacturers and see their processes,” said Herbers, who is pursuing a career that will allow him to use his knowledge to save energy and protect the environment. “I've learned a lot about how to design parts for manufacturability, and have gotten to see firsthand how parts of different materials get made, which are things that mostly aren't taught in school, and will definitely help prepare me for a career in mechanical engineering.”

For more information, visit:

Published in Jet Edge

The submission period opened today for the MTConnect Student Challenge, marking the official start of the competition for student ideas and applications utilizing MTConnect. The idea creation competition is open for submissions through September 18, 2015, while the application competition is accepting submissions through January 31, 2016.

In addition to cash prizes for winning submissions, the competition offers many benefits for participating students. It is ideal as a thesis, internship, or capstone project, and students are also provided with the opportunity to network with companies as a means to develop their professional contacts. The competition is open to enrolled college students, and those studying IT, software, mechanical, or electrical engineering are especially encouraged to apply.

MTConnect is an open source, XML and HTTP based communications standard that helps foster improved connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices, allowing for data collection and monitoring. It is a key enabler for allowing manufacturers to take advantage of digital manufacturing to optimize processes and functions on the shop floor. The Student Challenge stems from a prior successful competition that solicited ideas and applications from industry professionals and the general public.

“Manufacturers in all industries are looking to leverage the opportunities offered by big data and the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of the MTConnect Institute and President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “The MTConnect Student Challenge is an ideal competition to bring forth student-led innovation for real-world manufacturing solutions. We feel that students have the kind of creative thinking and ideas that are critical to advancing our industry, and we look forward to finding the next visionaries who can generate new approaches to digital manufacturing.”

The MTConnect Student Challenge encompasses two competitions: Idea Creation and Application Development.

MTConnect Student Challenge – Idea Creation

For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. The Submission period opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available at:

MTConnect Student Challenge – Application Development

For the Application development competition, students will be required: to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations – improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, etc. The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. The submission period is June 11, 2015, through January 31, 2016. Winners will be selected and announced on April 20, 2016, at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, TX.

Full rules and submission details are available at:

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free standard that fosters greater interoperability between devices and software applications. By establishing an open and extensible channel of communication between devices, equipment, and systems, MTConnect enables applications aimed at providing more efficient operations, improved production optimization, and increased productivity.

Published in AMT

The organizers of the 10th International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing, taking place on July 7-9, 2015, in Nottingham, UK, have now opened online registrations for the event.

Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing are becoming a mainstream topic in the popular press, with great examples of medical implants, aerospace components, toys and consumer goods being reported widely by media channels including the BBC, the Economist and the New Scientist. The International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing has firmly established itself as the one of the world’s leading conferences and networking opportunities dedicated to this exciting manufacturing technology, with outstanding speakers, technology users and vendors all coming together under one roof in July each year.

Hosted by the ‘Internationally leading’ Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) at Nottingham University, the conference attracts over 300 delegates from around the world representing some of the world’s most innovative companies and brands, who assemble for 3-days of knowledge transfer and networking.

The conference is aimed at industrialists, entrepreneurs, academics and researchers with an interest in AM & 3DP technologies, materials, software and business applications. An AM/3DP technology exhibition will run in parallel to the conference, providing a valuable networking opportunity for vendors. The event will also include one full day of presentations focusing on scientific advances in AM on July 7th. This day brings together cutting edge research activity from across UK universities with presentations outlining projects focused on early stage research underpinning the science behind Additive Manufacturing. All projects are funded by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing.

Speakers Include:

  • Burghardt Klöden - IFAM - Germany
  • Chris Tuck - University of Nottingham - UK
  • Daan Kersten - Additive Industries bv - The Netherlands
  • Horst Exner - University of Applied Sciences - Germany
  • James Gardiner - Laing O'Rourke - AUSTRALIA
  • Jim Zunino - US Army Research Lab - USA
  • Johannes Glasschröder - iwb Anwenderzentrum Augsburg - GERMANY
  • Marcel Slot - Océ-Technologies BV - The Netherlands
  • Richard Leach - University of Nottingham - UK
  • Salomé Galjaard - Arup - The Netherlands
  • Sharona Cohen - Orbotech Ltd - ISRAEL
  • Wayne King - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - USA
  • Willemijn Elkhuizen - Delft Uni of Technology - The Netherlands

July 7th Presentations Include:

  • Alicia Kim - University of Bath
  • Andrew Moore - Heriot-Watt University
  • Ezra Feilden-Irving - Imperial College London
  • Graham Martin - University of Cambridge
  • James Dowden - University of Nottingham
  • James Sprittles - The University of Warwick
  • Kate Black - University of Liverpool
  • Matthew Benning - Newcastle University
  • Peter Birkin - University of Southampton
  • Wayne Hayes - University of Reading

The conference was started in 2006 by Professor Richard Hague, now head of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) at Nottingham University. Since 2006 the conference has grown from less than 90 delegates to over 300 delegates in 2014, coming from 18 countries. The conference has an excellent reputation, with over 50% of all delegates being repeat visitors. The conference attracts delegates from the aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, fashion, retail, materials and defense sectors along with academics involved in materials, lasers, software development and design.

PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) announced it has launched the PTC IoT Academic Program to address the growing concern of an IOT talent shortage by providing students with an investigative learning experience and hands on exposure to the ThingWorx® IoT application development platform.

A recent study published by the World Bank estimates that over the next 10 years there will be two million unfilled Information and Communication Technology-related jobs globally. In addition, over 95% of companies say they will be using the IoT in some form within the next three years. This requires educational institutions to better prepare students for employment by these companies.

The PTC IoT Academic Program consists of the ThingWorx application development platform in a PTC-hosted environment where students and educators can build their own IoT apps. Users gain access to step-by-step educational content and ThingWorx training from PTC University with curricular that will help them quickly learn the platform as well as a community web presence to share knowledge and support. The PTC IoT Academic Program provides exposure to the Internet of Things and to an application development platform that students may not get in the regular classroom. The program also helps prepare students to meet the needs of employers interested in building smart, connected products and systems.

"The manufacturing movement around IoT platforms and devices has the potential to revolutionize the way products are built and maintained throughout the world,” said Dr. Nathan Hartman, Director of the Purdue University Product Lifecycle Management Center of Excellence. “Connected devices driven by model-based product representations can efficiently and proactively leverage the supply chain capacity in specific industrial sectors. Teaching the principles and the technology surrounding IoT tools and platforms will help prepare the next generation technical workforce for that environment, with the potential to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive."

“IoT is one of the most revolutionary and exciting technology trends of this lifetime,” said John Stuart, senior vice president global education, PTC. “Companies and educators alike are trying to understand how the IoT can be taught and implemented, and we’re working closely with our corporate customers, market partners and educators to ensure students from all disciplines are better prepared to meet the needs of today’s IoT world.”

Published in PTC

Smalley Steel Ring Company, a designer and manufacturer of retaining rings and wave springs, has donated an OMAX 2652 to the College of Lake County (CLC) in Grayslake, Illinois. The abrasive waterjet machining center is the college’s first and broadens the CNC/Machine Tool Trades Department’s ability to offer the waterjet technology skills sought by many employers recruiting the CLC graduates, including Smalley.

Waterjet machining is one of the fastest growing machining processes in manufacturing today. Its ease-of-use and ability to cut almost anything while maintaining high precision make it suitable for a large array of operators from short-run job shops and R & D facilities to large corporations engaging in full-scale production.

The OMAX 2652 JetMachining® Center, which was installed at CLC in mid April, is a mid-sized cantilever-style waterjet machine, with a table size of 5' 9" x 2' 6" and capable of tolerances up to ±0.001" (±0.025 mm). With a completely sealed and protected ball screw drive system, this robust and reliable machine is perfect for cutting projects with smaller dimensions but needing high precision. It comes standard with an OMAX MAXJET® 5i Nozzle.

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college offering a wide range of academic program choices to meet students’ educational needs including an associate degree in Applied Science and two certificate options in CNC Programming. Jeff Hines, department chairman over CNC Programming at CLC plans to integrate the machine into several courses including fabrication, wire EDM, and welding beginning in the fall of 2015.

Tim Doran, owner at Tristate Machinery, Inc., the OMAX distributor for Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, is a member of the career advisory committee for manufacturing at the College of Lake County and helped bring his customer, Smalley, and the college together. Career advisory committees, which include representatives of small business, large corporations, labor unions, faculty, secondary education instructors, recent graduates of the programs and even high-performing current students, help ensure that curriculum meets workforce needs by providing valuable feedback to instructors.

“Jeff Hines and the advisory committee have such a unique vision for how to bring together the best tools and technology that will truly help students develop the skills today’s manufacturers want and need,” Doran explained. “With the addition of this machine, CLC is one of the only schools with a waterjet machining center in its classroom setting, which gives these students a huge advantage.”

Smalley also donated several accessories with the machine including a Variable Speed Solids Removal System and a Tilt-A-Jet® accessory. Through the machine’s Intelli-MAX control software, the Tilt-A-Jet automatically calculates and adjusts the angle of the nozzle to accurately remove the natural taper from the finished part by transferring it to the scrap part of the material—all while maintaining extremely high cutting speeds.

Smalley, which also donates to CLC for a scholarship, uses OMAX abrasive waterjet technology to manufacture equipment used in the production of its products, including retaining rings and wave springs. With a No Tooling Cost manufacturing process, Smalley can also create prototypes and small to large runs of custom parts as an affordable alternative if the ring a customer needs is not available. The OMAX 2652 was the company’s first waterjet. Smalley replaced the machine with a new OMAX 55100 JetMachining Center, giving the company two of the same models on its shop floor.

Jeff Hines, department chairman for the CNC programming program at CLC added, “We are very grateful for this very generous donation by Smalley. The addition of waterjet technology to our program will give students a stronger skills and training portfolio when they complete their degrees that now includes a basic understanding of waterjet and how to safely operate the machine.”

“We are thrilled to help College of Lake County continue to educate the next generation of tool and die makers and machinists,” said Michael Greenhill, president of Smalley. “Our partnership with the college is a win-win situation. Students and instructors at the college now have access to this advanced technology, and we hope that some of the well-trained students might become future employees of Smalley.”

Published in OMAX

The Plastics Industry Trade Association joined the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) Plastics Engineering Department to launch the UMass Lowell Plastics Sustainability Research Lab. SPI has been instrumental in procuring equipment for the comprehensive industry-university collaborative laboratory that will be used for studying plastics recycling and sustainability.

“The willingness of SPI member companies to contribute to the UMass Lowell Plastics Sustainability Research Lab is testament to the industry’s support of education and the future of the plastics manufacturing industry,” said William R. Carteaux, SPI president and CEO.

“Because of the lab, students who study at UMass Lowell, one of the nation’s top programs for plastics engineering students, will not only receive a world-class education in prime plastics, but will become versed in the technologies and processes related to recycled plastics. UMass Lowell’s effort to add the lab to its curriculum and research capabilities demonstrates that the university is truly ahead of the curve in plastics engineering education and sustainability,” Carteaux said. “I hope this success encourages other member companies to consider similar partnerships with our nations educational system.”

Robert Malloy, chairman of the UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Department, echoed Carteaux’s statement adding that industry partnerships are critical to plastics engineering programs.

“As educators, we rely on industry to provide advice and guidance to help ensure that our program remains relevant and produces the necessary supply of trained plastics engineers. We could not do this effectively without the generous support of the plastics industry,” Malloy said.

So far, SPI members have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in state-of-the-art recycled materials handling and reprocessing equipment and instrumentation. The effort to secure the necessary equipment critical for plastics recycling is ongoing. Member companies interested in participating should contact David Palmer at 202-974-5527.

Jim Holbrook, president of the ACS Group, stated that although he is relatively new to the plastics industry, he is a strong proponent of recycling and sustainability. Holbrook said, “ACS Group is a leader in the auxiliaries market for plastics processing equipment and is very pleased to be able to donate five different pieces of equipment for the Sustainability Research Lab at UMass Lowell, both for the advancement of the state of the art in plastics recycling technology and for the training of the next generation of plastics industry leaders.”

In addition to the ACS Group, which donated $40,000 in equipment under its AEC, Cumberland, Sterling and Carver brands, other companies that donated equipment include Bay Plastics Machinery, Hi-Tech, Davis-Standard, Dynisco, Thermo Scientific.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."

After being displayed during NPE in the first-ever Zero Waste Zone, all equipment was shipped to UMass Lowell and will be installed for use after the lab renovations are complete. Those interested in sponsoring recycling research should contact Bob Malloy at UMass Lowell at 978-934-3435.

For more information, visit:

Published in SPI

College students with an interest in bringing together software and hardware solutions to improve manufacturing operations now have an opportunity to leverage their creativity and innovative know-how through the MTConnect Student Challenge, a competition that invites submissions for both ideas and applications utilizing the MTConnect standard.

Announced at the [MC]2 Conference in Chicago, the MTConnect Student Challenge is offering a total of $33,000 in cash prizes for winning submissions. MTConnect is an open-source, XML-based communications standard that fosters connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices. This Challenge builds on the success of previous competitions that sought submissions from industry professionals related to the use of MTConnect. The MTConnect Student Challenge is open to community college and university students at the undergraduate and graduate level and may be of particular interest to students who are studying manufacturing-related fields; electrical, mechanical or industrial engineering; as well as software engineering and IT-related studies.

“The MTConnect Student Challenge seeks to engage the higher education community to promote innovative thinking and ideas, and ultimately to enable manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs for the defense manufacturing industry,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of the MTConnect Institute and President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “It is our collective hope that the MTConnect Student Challenge will inspire a broader base of software and system architects; build a new, skilled workforce by increasing students’ awareness of advanced manufacturing technologies; and develop MTConnect applications that can easily be adopted by manufacturers of all sizes.”

MTConnect Student Challenge – Idea Creation

For the Ideation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. Submission opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available at

MTConnect Student Challenge – Application Development

For the Application competition, students will be required to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations – improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, etc. The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. Submission opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on January 31, 2016. Winners will be announced April 20, 2016, at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Full rules and submission details are available at

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

Published in AMT

UL LLC, a global safety science organization, and the University of Louisville are launching a 3D printing training facility called the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (UL AMCC). It is set to open in fall 2015 adjacent to the university campus.

Developed for established additive manufacturing technical and business professionals, the end-to-end training center will be a hub for advancing manufacturing knowledge and workforce expertise.

Specifically, the UL AMCC will offer hands-on training in additive manufacturing for metals and curriculum covering design set up, design corrections, machine set up, part production, post-processing and parts inspection, testing and validation. The training will allow professionals to understand how to produce metal parts and emerging materials through additive manufacturing, establish safety systems, identify hazards from materials and machines and manufacture parts with safety built into designs.

“Applying the University of Louisville’s deep and practical research expertise in metals and manufacturing education with UL’s rich history in safety science will bridge the workforce development gap and empower professionals with cutting-edge training in this advanced technology,” said UL CEO Keith Williams. “Through the UL AMCC, UL is committed to meeting ever-evolving safety and quality needs and accelerating knowledge transfers within the 3D printing industry.”

“We’re excited about our partnership with UL,” said University of Louisville President James Ramsey. “This is another collaboration with a world-class company that will help us build our reputation as THE university for advanced manufacturing, training and moving research to the marketplace.”

The UL AMCC will join UofL’s global advanced manufacturing campus, the Institute for Product Realization (IPR), and collaborate and share knowledge with other corporate residents, including GE and Local Motors’ FirstBuild.

“As an integral part of the IPR, the UL AMCC will provide engineers and manufacturers with a melting pot of valuable information and resources and provide a direct connection from our academic research and UL’s certification and safety expertise to practical 3D printing applications,” said Neville Pinto, dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering at UofL.

As additive manufacturing technologies rapidly evolve, UL AMCC will update course curriculum and introduce new content every six to 12 months. Looking forward, UL will develop a formal workforce additive manufacturing certification program during 2016 to help designers, engineers and operators expand from traditional manufacturing techniques into additive manufacturing techniques.

“We anticipate the UL AMCC will expand over time to take on additional innovations to advance manufacturing,” said Simin Zhou, vice president of Digital Manufacturing Technologies at UL. “As additive manufacturing gets deeper and more integrated into production lines, the training center will evolve real time to arm workforces with the most up-to-date knowledge and best practices.”

For more information, visit:

Published in UL

Highway1, the PCH accelerator program for hardware startups, began accepting applications to its fall 2015 hardware accelerator program. Set to start in August of this year, Highway1 is searching for up to 15 of the best hardware startups from around the world to join the fall program. Forty-five hardware startups have participated in the program to date.

“The rush of applications pouring into the program from around the world recharges us for every class,” said Highway1 VP Brady Forrest. “Experienced, passionate teams, who already have a working prototype and are ready to refine their technology for production thrive at Highway1. We work hands-on with the teams and we invest in their success.”

Highway1 benefits from PCH’s experience designing custom product solutions for the world’s best brands. Startups gain access to an extensive network of mentors, a unique classroom curriculum and new lab and office space. The curriculum is an intense, four-month immersion into how to scale a hardware business, which includes product design and engineering support, supply chain management, manufacturing and logistics, marketing and retail. Selected startups also embark on a 10-day trip to Shenzhen, China, to learn first-hand about building a global manufacturing and supply chain network.

“We are looking for dedicated entrepreneurs who want to build a company, not just one product,” said PCH Founder and CEO Liam Casey. “We help put our hardware startups in the best possible position for investment. As we can see from recent successful crowd funding campaigns, there is a tremendous amount of consumer excitement about hardware tech right now. Our goal is to make hardware investing as appealing to Venture Capital and Angel Investors as investing in software.”

Program participants work out of Highway1’s new 10,000-square-foot home. Located at the PCH Innovation Hub in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, the new facility features state-of-the-art prototyping and electrical engineering labs available 24/7, including a CNC mill, 3D printers and a spectrum analyzer, among other specialized equipment.

Highway1 invests $50,000 of seed money into each company in exchange for a 4–7 percent equity stake. At the end of the four-month program, graduates pitch their concepts and show their working prototype to investors, industry leaders, and media at an invitation only Demo Day event. Highway1 alumni are granted long-term access to the accelerator’s prototyping facilities after finishing the program.

Highway1 is the ideal accelerator program for hardware startups looking to scale. Most join Highway1 with a strong, technically savvy team, working prototype and seed funding. The Spring 2015 class of 11 companies joined Highway1 already having raised a cumulative $4 million. More than 275 companies applied to the Spring 2015 class, the largest number of applicants for a single semester in the history of the program.

Since its inception in 2013, Highway1 has accepted 45 hardware companies spanning the Internet of Things (IoT) product spectrum, ranging from connected home, to health care, to wearable fashion to robotics. In total, graduating companies have raised more than $50 million, including companies such as Drop, Ringly, Podo and Navdy.

Highway1 recruits top hardware startups from around the world, with companies relocating from countries such as Australia, India, the Netherlands and Ireland to participate in the immersive, four month program.

Highway1 will be the subject of an upcoming docu-series TV show, The Bazillion Dollar Club. Set to air on the Syfy Channel in the fall of 2015, the show follows three Highway1 startup companies from the Spring 2015 Highway1 class, as well as three companies currently enrolled in the 500 Startups accelerator program.

Interested companies can visit to apply to the fall 2015 Highway1 program. The application period ends May 29, 2015.

Published in PCH

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is proud to announce its plans to open its first America Makes Satellite Center on the campus of the Institute’s Platinum-level member, The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), in conjunction with UTEP’s renowned W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation.

Kevin Creehan, Ph.D., America Makes Deputy Director of Technology Transition, made the announcement on the first day of presentations at the America Makes Spring 2015 Program Review and Members Meeting, which was held on April 14-16, at the Williamson College of Business Administration Conference Center at Youngstown State University (YSU). In attendance for the announcement were UTEP’s Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., P.E., Director and Founder of the Keck Center and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Eric MacDonald, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Director of the Keck Center.

During his remarks, Dr. Creehan said, “Real-world technology transition takes place because of the activities and pursuits that collaborative and symbiotic relationships provide. With this new America Makes Satellite Center model, we are able to expand our current regional, industrial and technological footprint while further maximizing the reach and capabilities of the satellite through enhanced collaboration. We are proud to name America Makes member, The University of Texas at El Paso, as the site for the first America Makes Satellite Center.”

To ensure the long-term success of an expansion, America Makes decided to roll out the strategy as a pilot program, similar to the Institute’s own founding as the pilot Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure. A short list of potential members for consideration for an America Makes Satellite Center was generated and compared to America Makes’ prerequisites and operational requirements. After internal and external vetting and an on-site evaluation, UTEP with its acclaimed W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation was ultimately selected as the pilot America Makes Satellite Center.

“This expansion strategy to establish our first Satellite Center at UTEP marks a new level of national reach for America Makes,” said Ralph Resnick, America Makes Founding Director and NCDMM President and Executive Director. “It also capitalizes on the synergies between America Makes and UTEP’s Keck Center as both of our organizations are dedicated to accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing and 3-D printing technologies to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.”

“This new relationship is beneficial for both America Makes and UTEP,” said Keck Center Director Ryan Wicker, Ph.D. “UTEP brings an armada of state-of-the-art equipment, cutting edge research, education and workforce training to the partnership, and UTEP stands to benefit from the national and international spotlight on America Makes. NCDMM, the parent organization, has a broad base of defense and industrial partners that will afford UTEP dramatic new opportunities.”

UTEP President Diana Natalicio enthusiastically described the new relationship as “a testament to the preeminence of research underway at UTEP. Exciting new technologies developed on this campus are attracting the attention of the nation and the world.”

Ed Morris, America Makes Director and NCDMM Vice President, added, “On behalf of all of us at America Makes, we are excited to make this announcement as it demonstrates the strength and the success of the collaboration model that America Makes was founded upon. We envision that the America Makes Satellite Center at UTEP’s Keck Center will be the first of many in a future, expansive network of Satellite Centers throughout the country. We look forward to working closely with UTEP and the Keck Center to get the America Makes Satellite Center up and running.”

With more than $80 million in annual research spending, UTEP is dedicated to becoming the first national research university serving a 21st century student demographic. The University’s outstanding record of receiving extremely competitive grant awards reflects the quality of UTEP’s faculty and their sustained commitment to excellence while also maintaining an academic environment dedicated to addressing the educational needs of students.

Founded in 2001 as part of a $1 million grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation, UTEP’s Keck Center is a lab like no other. Led by Director and Founder Dr. Wicker, the Keck Center features a 13,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility with more than 50 additive manufacturing machines and more than 50 involved faculty, staff, students and researchers with multiple successful national and international collaborations. The lab showcases a unique blend of additive manufacturing equipment and facilities to perform fundamental research, allowing for trailblazing discoveries to be made in limitless arenas of science including 3-D printed electronics, airplanes and satellite components, human augmentation, biomedical implants and future energy systems.

Currently, UTEP’s Keck Center is leading an America Makes member team, comprised of the University of New Mexico, Youngstown State University, the Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., rp+m, Inc., and Stratasys, Inc., on a $2.2 million award grant to further 3-D printing technologies for rapid manufacturing of aerospace systems.

For more information, visit:

Published in America Makes

In continuing the mission to promote awareness and adoption of 3D printing technologies, the Singapore International 3D Printing Competitions are back for another successful run in 2015!

The inaugural competitions in 2013 received a total of 30 entries from 7 countries for an open category on the themes of Abacus and Fashion. In 2014, the participation of the competitions was expanded to include 2 additional categories for students (junior colleges and below and tertiary level). The competitions in 2014 saw an almost 3-fold increase of 86 entries for the two themes of jewellery and architecture.

This year's competitions celebrate the past with the themes of vintage toys and a look to the future by seeking a functional logo design for Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP). The competitions run until April 24, 2015.

Similar to 2014, there will be 2 themes and 3 categories:


a. Functional logo for the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP)

3D Printing is a disruptive technology which brings about potential prospects on the new way of manufacturing. With increasing worldwide interest and attention in 3D printing, it is crucial for Singapore to capitalise on its current strengths and intensify efforts in this area to enhance its competitive edge in the manufacturing industry. With the tagline of “Printing the World and beyond”, the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) aspires to be the world’s leading research institute in 3D Printing to achieve prominent and outstanding breakthroughs in the research and development of innovative 3D printing technologies, processes and materials.

In this competition, we seek innovative and futuristic functional logo designs for the new Centre, which showcase and bring out the marvels and immense potential of 3D Printing

b. Vintage toys

Before the rise of the computer and digital age, children of the world have been playing with traditional toys, from simple blocks of wood to tracks of train, jigsaw puzzles to mechanical robots. And not forgetting the toys which were based on the interesting cultures from different parts of the world.

In the current technology age where tech-savvy children bury their heads in iPads and games consoles, a new challenge comes on how we can use 3D Printing to reinvent our traditional and vintage toys to draw children (even adults) back to appreciating and playing these functional toys which have been around for years. In this competition, we seek designs adapted from vintage toys, with new creative and engineering elements injected but at the same time retaining the unique cultural and historical significance of the toys.

Categories, Eligibility & Prizes

Open category
All, regardless of age, gender, nationality etc.
Top prize of $10000

Singapore school student category
Students from Singapore primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges.
Top prize of $5000

Singapore tertiary student category
Students from Singapore polytechnics and universities.
Top prize of $5000

For more information, visit:

SME announced Brian Glowiak as the new director for the SME Education Foundation. Glowiak will be responsible for overall day-to-day leadership and strategic direction of the Foundation.  The SME Education Foundation prepares and supports the next generation of manufacturing professionals through scholarships, grants and student programs, including the Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education.

“Brian brings a wealth of nonprofit and charitable giving experience to SME and the SME Education Foundation,” said Jeffrey Krause, SME chief executive officer. “His extensive experience working within a foundation and his connections to the nonprofit industry position him to be an asset to SME and our efforts to support today and tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce.”

Glowiak joins SME from the FCA Foundation (formerly The Chrysler Foundation), where he served as vice president, as well as the director of Civic Relations and Community Engagement for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He has a bachelor’s degree in management from Oakland University and a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law.

“This is a great opportunity and I am excited to join the SME Education Foundation and to help lead its innovative efforts to develop a skilled future workforce,” said Glowiak. “Manufacturing is essential to the global economy and the SME Education Foundation plays an integral role in ensuring there is a pipeline of skilled and passionate workers."

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors.

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

MakerBot, a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, is now taking applications for its 2015 MakerBot Summer Intern Program. Since the company’s founding just six years ago, MakerBot has helped define the desktop 3D printing category and has grown from just three employees in 2009 to more than 600 employees today.

MakerBot is offering opportunities this summer for passionate, driven, talented college students to gain valuable work experience in the exciting and challenging environment of one of New York’s fastest-growing tech companies. Internship positions include engineering, manufacturing, production, customer support, sales, marketing, public relations, software and business development.

MakerBot internships are paid positions. As part of the internship experience, participants will attend special lectures and participate in programs on 3D printing within their area of expertise, as well as interact with senior leadership. The program begins with an orientation on June 15, 2015, and concludes on August 14, 2015. Previous MakerBot interns have gone on to work at other top technology companies, as well as come back to work at MakerBot.

“MakerBot has had a robust internship program since finding and mentoring young talent is an integral part of our company culture,” said Jenny Lawton, CEO of MakerBot. “At MakerBot, interns aren’t just observers; they get to work on real projects and gain valuable experience that we believe will help them kick-start their careers. We see 3D printing as a tool that is necessary to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, and our interns get the unique opportunity to experience and learn about the fast-growing 3D printing market firsthand.”

For more information or to apply, visit:

Published in MakerBot

The next decade is expected to bring a potential shortfall of machinists, welders, industrial-machinery mechanics and industrial engineers; and SME’s HOUSTEX 2015 is taking action to tackle worker shortages. HOUSTEX, which takes place from Feb. 24 to 26 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, will host a Student Summit for Houston-area high schools on the event’s final day, Feb. 26, to highlight manufacturing career opportunities and showcase the high-tech workforce needs.

Presented by the SME Education Foundation, in partnership with members from SME’s Houston Chapter 29, the Student Summit will provide students access to new innovations in manufacturing technology and the opportunity to engage with industry experts. The Summit will highlight the transformation manufacturing is going through and show students the exciting and challenging jobs available today.

“The Student Summit is an excellent platform for the next-generation workforce to meet the region’s many manufacturing companies that are actively looking to engage the students of today to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Pam Hurt, senior manager, SME Education Foundation. “There are so many career opportunities in manufacturing right now, with a vital need to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years. These students will be able to network with industry experts who can help them take their STEM education and put it into practice with rewarding careers in manufacturing.”

Manufacturing is especially important for the region. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston has been ranked number one nationally for eight consecutive years in industrial employment and manufacturing currently employs more than a quarter million people in the region.

Students will also have the opportunity to tour the show floor to see, listen and touch all that HOUSTEX has to offer. Students and HOUSTEX attendees will be surrounded by 105,000 square-feet of new technologies, major manufacturers and more than 90 new product introductions.

The Student Summit will conclude with students competing in a virtual wind turbine challenge. They will be able to pick their wind turbine’s blade length, height, angle and number of blades, watch as it is 3D printed and test its revolutions per minute (RPM). The winning students will receive a wind turbine test stand for their school valued at over $600.

Houston area high schools and local manufacturers that would like to learn more about this educational opportunity or get involved in the HOUSTEX 2015 Student Summit can contact SME’s Moria Menke.

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announced that it is accepting applications for two scholarships for additive manufacturing and 3D printing education and professional development at its annual conference. The scholarships have been established in the memory of Guy Bourdeau and Randy Stevens, two longtime supports of the users group that were passionate about knowledge sharing in the additive manufacturing industry.

Mark Barfoot, AMUG president said, “The AMUG Conference is a unique experience where information is freely exchanged to promote education, training and knowledge that helps individuals get the most from additive manufacturing. Through these scholarships, we can offer that experience to a student and an educator that might otherwise be unable to attend.”

Barfoot continued, “These scholarships embody Guy’s and Randy’s spirit and passion for additive manufacturing, and they continue the legacy of two giving gentlemen.” Barfoot noted that the scholarships will be awarded to those that demonstrate the same qualities.

The Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship, founded by Guy's wife, Renee Bourdeau, is awarded annually to one college student, enrolled in any major, who can demonstrate an emphasis on additive manufacturing and its integration in his/her professional field. This scholarship allows the student to attend the AMUG Conference to absorb the vast amount of shared knowledge and develop industry contacts.

Kaiyi Jiang, the 2014 recipient of the Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship, said, “AMUG 2014 was an unforgettable experience in my life. I felt that I was plugged into a powerful source and enriched by new knowledge every day. I've never felt more welcomed and invited to join in activities and conversations.”

The Randy Stevens Scholarship, founded by Randy's employer, In'Tech Industries, is awarded annually to one professor/teacher that emphasizes or focuses on additive manufacturing. The scholarship will be awarded to an individual that inspires others to pursue additive manufacturing in their continuing education and professional endeavors.

Both scholarships cover travel, lodging, meals and conference registration fees. Applications are being accepted until February 27, 2015.

For eligibility requirements and applications, visit:

Published in AMUG

Mohawk College has officially opened Ontario’s first Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre in Canada’s manufacturing heartland.

Engineering Technology students and faculty are already working with 43 industry, education and government partners on applied research projects.  Digital images are turned into three-dimensional prototypes and parts made out of titanium, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel, bronze and other metals.

The $2 million centre received $720,000 in funding from both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund, with additional support from industry partners. Mohawk is one of only three postsecondary education institutions in Canada with the capacity to manufacture metal parts for industry.

Additive manufacturing joins digital health and smart grid technologies as Mohawk’s three areas for applied research.

Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre

  • The Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre serves as a test lab for advanced manufacturers and a living lab for Mohawk’s Engineering Technology students.
  • Only three colleges and universities in Canada have 3D printers that can produce metal parts. Mohawk’s centre is the only one of its kind in Ontario.
  • The $2 million Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre received matching $720,000 grants from both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund, with additional funding from industry partners and the college.
  • The centre features two advanced printers that turn digital images into three dimensional models, prototypes, tooling and production parts made out of titanium, aluminium, nickel, stainless steel, bronze and other metals. The centre also has plastic printers for creating preliminary designs.
  • Mohawk is already working with 43 advanced manufacturers and government and education partners on applied research projects that:
    • Test the feasibility of making existing products using additive manufacturing.
    • Improve the designs of existing products and reduce costs.
    • Design new products that cannot be manufacturing using conventional processes.
    • Develop and test new materials to manufacture products using additive manufacturing.
  • In addition to the Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre, Mohawk also conducts applied projects with industry, education and government partners at the Mohawk eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) and the Applied Research Centre in Energy.
  • More than 4,500 students are enrolled in Mohawk’s Faculty of Engineering Technology program and the collaborative Bachelor of Technology degree program in partnership with McMaster University. Applied research capstone projects are incorporated into the students’ curriculum and co-op work terms.

For more information, visit:

Published in Mohawk College

The SME Education Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the 2015-16 academic year. The wide variety of scholarships offered provide financial support to students pursuing careers in manufacturing, manufacturing technology or closely related fields of study. The deadline to submit an application is Febuary 1, 2015.

“For more than 30 years the SME Education Foundation has worked with partners and organizations to develop and fund its various scholarship programs that have had a strong impact on thousands of students and manufacturing professionals,” said Brian Ruestow, president of the SME Education Foundation. “The scholarships provide dedicated and deserving students with the extra funding needed to complete their studies and successfully transition from academia into the workforce.”

The SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors or undergraduate students related to SME members. To be eligible for this scholarship, the family member applying must pursue a degree in manufacturing engineering, manufacturing engineering technology or a closely related engineering field of study at an accredited college or university in the U.S. or Canada. This endowed scholarship can award up to $70,000 to the winning student.

The SME Education Foundation also offers more than 50 scholarships for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing careers in engineering, manufacturing or a closely related field of study.

Students applying for these scholarships can learn about previous winners who have shared their personal success stories. Interested students can apply for the scholarships online.

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors.

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

Fulfilling its promise to expand access to its professional design software in education, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) has made its industry-leading design, engineering and entertainment software free* to students, instructors and academic institutions worldwide.

Through this action, more than 680 million students and educators from over 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools in 188 countries can take advantage of free access to Autodesk’s professional software and services for use in classrooms, labs, and at home.

“The way we make things is changing rapidly, and we need a workforce ready to design for new manufacturing and construction techniques. By providing free professional design tools to students, faculty members and academic institutions around the world, we’re helping get industry ready for the next phase,” said Carl Bass, CEO, Autodesk.

Following its announcement of free software for academic institutions in the United States earlier this year as part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, Autodesk has gradually expanded free access to its leading design software to academic institutions across Asia Pacific and Europe. The leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software is also helping schools move to the cloud by providing academic institutions with its full suite of next generation cloud-based design products, cloud services such as the A360 collaboration platform, as well as maintenance subscription for free.

From students as young as 13 years old leveraging Fusion 360 to conceptualize and 3D print prosthetic devices, to college teams developing environmentally sustainable homes using BIM 360 Glue, young talent are pushing the boundaries of design and innovation both inside and outside of the classroom using the same design software used by professionals every day.

“Our students are using Fusion 360 to design an Energy Scooter which we are bringing to market via Kickstarter, and they’re only in 8th grade! If we can help more classroom teachers incorporate learning through design in their curriculum, and technologies that engage students in problem-solving through engineering, students will see how math and science are springboards to careers as future innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Karen Kaun, Founder of Makeosity.

To facilitate the integration of design tools into curricula, Autodesk also offers free project-based learning content and resources including the Digital STEAM Workshop and Design Academy.

“Closing the digital gap in education starts by providing European schools with common access to the same advanced technology being used by industry professionals today. Autodesk’s pledge to provide our schools, students and teachers with free access to its professional 3D design software will enable educators to introduce design thinking into our classrooms; equip digital natives with the design tools to learn to solve real-world challenges in new creative ways; and prepare the next-generation workforce with the 21st century skills to meet industry demands and advance our economies,” said Neelie Kroes, former vice-president of the European Commission.

* Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services may only be used for educational purposes and are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service.

For more information, visit:

Published in Autodesk

Wichita State University has been awarded a nearly $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to purchase laboratory equipment for the experiential engineering building, the first planned building on the Innovation Campus.

The funding will be used to purchase equipment for a state-of-the-art laboratory to allow manufacturers, entrepreneurs and designers to simulate and perform multi-robotic additive manufacturing, allowing them to test production process before committing to large-scale capital investments.

"This laboratory is one of dozens of elements we are bringing to Innovation Campus to ensure that WSU student and faculty researchers and the community have access to the most advanced tools for learning and economic development," said Wichita State President John Bardo. "We are thrilled that Wichita is identified as a leader in the resurgence of American manufacturing."

The lab will consist of two elements:

1) a large-scale virtual reality environment for assessing the feasibility of implementing additive manufacturing
2) multi-robotic additive manufacturing system for developing prototypes.

Additive manufacturing is also referred to as 3D printing, a technology that is gaining the interest of many large scale manufacturers as a way to increase production and decrease cost.

John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer, said equipment and software purchased with the EDA grant will help secure Wichita State's role as a leading university-based research center for advanced manufacturing.

"The laboratory will test the feasibility of using additive manufacturing technology in the manufacturing process – to verify that the newly designed production process is producible, scalable, processable, affordable and maintainable," said Tomblin.

The equipment will also be used to train students and existing and new workforce on simulation and additive manufacturing technology.

The equipment will be installed in the Experiential Engineering building as soon as it is complete. Until then, it will be housed within Wichita State laboratories at the National Center for Aviation Training.

Groundbreaking for the experiential engineering building is planned for February. The building will replace the Wheatshocker Apartments building and is expected to encompass 180,000 square feet. It will include an experiential learning environment, innovation laboratories and an incubator space.

The grant is the first one resulting from the federal government's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), announced in May.

The equipment selected for the experiential engineering building addresses all four priorities identified by the IMCP task force. Those priorities are:

  • Prototyping facilities with equipment and supporting services that integrate design optimization software including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), cutting technologies, and machining (development, testing, evaluation and certification)
  • Materials-based development, testing and evaluation to support prototyping
  • Process improvements at both the prototyping and manufacturing stages
  • Flexible automation

For more information, visit:

The University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is one step closer to becoming an international destination for student entrepreneurs, innovators and “makers” today as it breaks ground on the Lassonde Studios. The five-floor, 148,000-square-foot building will merge more than 400 student residences with a 20,000-square-foot “garage” open for any student to attend events, build prototypes, launch companies and more.

“This is a new type of building focused on experiential learning,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. “The Lassonde Studios is the culmination of more than a decade of growth and achievement. We are already a nationally-ranked university for entrepreneurship. This remarkable building will make a great program even better and allow us reach many more students.”

The Lassonde Studios will open to students in fall 2016.

In conjunction with the groundbreaking, the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute released new details about the building, including living options (modular pod, loft and traditional), elaborate architectural renderings and amenities in the “garage.”

The Lassonde Studios is designed to be as innovative as the students and activities that will be inside. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is working with an internationally-recognized architectural and design team to create a space that will define a new type of university environment and inspire entrepreneurs for decades to come. Partner companies include EDA Architects (Salt Lake City), Cannon Design (global) and ARUP (global). Gramoll Construction (Salt Lake City) is the general contractor.

“Everything about this building has been unique and different, even our design process,” said Mehrdad Yazdani, of Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design and the lead designer for the Lassonde Studios. “We started by challenging our assumptions about student housing and exploring the boundaries between where students live and work. The result is an entirely new campus building typology.”

The heart of the Lassonde Studios will be the “garage” on the first floor. It will be a mostly open space with moveable furniture to accommodate a wide range of activities. It will feature co-working space, private offices for startup companies, cafe, lounge space, and a prototyping area with 3D printers, sewing machines, hand tools, laser cutter and more. Any student at the University of Utah will be welcome to use the “garage.” It will function like a student union for entrepreneurs and innovators.

“We want to accelerate the time it takes for students to see their ideas become a reality, and we want to give them a place where they can meet and form interdisciplinary teams,” said Taylor Randall, Dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “The University of Utah already has a vibrant community for entrepreneurship. The Lassonde Studios will galvanize that community, and it will give every student the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

The four floors above the “garage” will provide three types of housing as well as additional co-working, study and “maker” space. The living options include:

  • Moveable “living pods” – Designers invented this type of housing exclusively for the Lassonde Studios. The pods will be 7-by-7 foot, private living areas with beds, shelving and storage. The pods will be moveable within a larger, multi-use suite. Each suite will contain bathrooms, a kitchen and community “maker” space.

  • Loft rooms – Groups of students will be able to live together in a large, open space where they share creative space and a kitchen. These rooms will provide students with an urban lifestyle in the middle of campus.

  • Single and Double rooms – Students can choose standard rooms for individuals or to share with one other person. Groups of these single and double rooms will share creative space and kitchens.

The Lassonde Studios is made possible through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, a successful entrepreneur and MBA alumnus of the David Eccles School of Business. In addition to founding what is now the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute with a $13 million donation, he gave $12 million more to build the Lassonde Studios and support the activities inside. The remainder of the building costs will be paid for by other donations and rents from those living there. No taxpayer money is being used.

“Pierre Lassonde has a vision to make the University of Utah the best place in the country to study entrepreneurship,” D’Ambrosio said, “and the Lassonde Studios is helping make that dream come true.”

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally-ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides engagement opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include graduate seminars, business plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background.

For more information, visit:

Published in University of Utah

Stratasys is now accepting submissions to the 11th annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge.

Open to students worldwide, this annual 3D printing challenge invites students in engineering, design and art or architecture to create a new product that improves how a task is accomplished or to redesign an existing product. Entries should be mechanically sound, realistic and achievable, and are judged based on:

  • Sound mechanical design and part integrity
  • Compelling description (written and/or video)
  • Design creativity
  • Product usefulness
  • Aesthetics (art or architecture category)

Individual students or two-person teams are required to create designs using 3D CAD software and to submit their design files in .STL format to Stratasys online, along with a written description and/or a 30-second video explaining the value and benefit of the Extreme Redesign model. The deadline to submit entries is Feb. 11, 2015. Categories include:

  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle and high school)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college or post-secondary)
  • Art or architecture (any grade level)

New this year, the first-place student winner in the post-secondary category will win a trip to a 3D printing/additive manufacturing conference in 2015 (location to be determined). First-place winners in every category will receive $2,500 (US dollars) scholarships, and the instructor of the first-place student will receive a demo 3D printer for a limited time to use in the classroom. Second and third place winners will receive $1,000 (US dollars) scholarships. The top-10 entries in each category will receive a Stratasys apparel item (value up to $50) and regional semi-finalists will receive a 3D printed model of their design. Each person who enters will receive an official Extreme Redesign T-shirt.

For more information, visit:

Published in Stratasys

America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machinery. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and make almost anything, and the applications to space exploration will help our astronauts to be less reliant on materials from Earth as they explore farther out into the solar system.

NASA in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, has issued a series of "Future Engineers" 3D Space Challenges for students focused on solving real-world space exploration problems. Students will become the creators and innovators of tomorrow by using 3D modeling software to submit their designs and have the opportunity for their design to be printed on the first 3D printer aboard the International Space Station. The winning student will watch from NASA’s Payload Operations Center with the mission control team as the item is printed in space.

The Design a Space Tool Challenge is the first in series of challenges where students in grades K-12 will create and submit a digital 3D model of a tool that they think astronauts need in space. Future Engineers is a multi-year education initiative that consists of 3D Space Challenges and curriculum videos on the site that parents and educators can use to get kids designing today.

NASA’s 3D Printing in Zero-G ISS Technology Demonstration will demonstrate the capability of utilizing a Made In Space 3D printer for in-space additive manufacturing technology. This is the first step toward realizing an additive manufacturing, print-on-demand “machine shop” for long-duration missions and sustaining human exploration of other planets, where there is extremely limited ability and availability of Earth-based logistics support. If an astronaut tool breaks, future space pioneers won’t be able to go to the local hardware store to purchase a replacement, but with 3D printing they will be able to create their own replacement or create tools we’ve never seen before. For NASA as well as the Maker community, 3D printing provides end-to-end product development.

NASA and the ASME Foundation will work together to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts by highlighting student’s 3D designs submissions in Maker Community Challenge Showcases and in on online open hardware design repository.

For more information, visit:

Published in NASA

The SME Education Foundation, which is committed to supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists, recently awarded scholarships to 250 students in the U.S. and Canada. These awards included $105,000 for the annual SME Education Foundation Family and Director’s Scholarships and $556,000 in other scholarships.

“We received a record amount of applications this year and are pleased to be able to provide financial support to these students who are pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing,” said Pamela Hurt, senior manager, SME Education Foundation. “Scholarship programs like this are essential to providing ongoing support and resources to these students so they are able to pursue an education and drive the future of manufacturing.”

The SME Education Foundation Family Scholarships are awarded to relatives of SME members; these students are pursuing degrees in manufacturing engineering or closely related fields. The Foundation awarded three students the scholarships this year.

  • Zachary Loeb received a $70,000 four-year scholarship and plans to attend the Florida Institute of Technology to pursue a degree in engineering.

  • Twin brothers Andrew and Jonathan Peuchen both received $10,000, one-year scholarships and plan to attend LeTourneau University to pursue degrees in mechanical engineering.

Additionally, the Foundation awarded three Francis J. Sehn Director’s Scholarships. These were given to students who are full-time undergraduate students enrolled in a manufacturing or related field. This scholarship is supported through personal gifts made by both members of SME and the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors, Foundation Emeriti and SME past presidents. Each Director’s Scholarship is $5,000. The winners of the Francis J. Sehn Director’s Scholarships were:

  • Heather Goka, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

  • Jay Fleishchman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Evan Ratliff, The Ohio State University

The remaining 244 scholarships ranged from $1,000 to $8,000 and were awarded based on various criteria including; state of residence, SME Chapter participation and involvement in extra-curricular activities. Key scholarship programs include the Joseph P. Novek Outstanding Student Leader Award, the E. Wayne Kay Scholarship and Future Leaders of Manufacturing Scholarship. In total, the SME Education Foundation awarded $661,000 for the 2014/2015 academic year.

To learn more about the SME Education Foundation, to apply for a scholarship or to make a donation to support the future manufacturing workforce, visit:

Published in SME

The fall 2014 application window for the Dr. Sherrie Ford Manufacturing as a Career Path Scholarship will come to a close on June 13, 2014. The scholarship, a key component of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence's (AME) educational outreach efforts, offers assistance for individuals hoping to pursue a career in manufacturing.

The scholarship, sponsored by the AME Institute and Kronos, is designed for individuals who are currently graduating from high school or who have prior work experience and have decided to pursue a college education. Fifteen $1,500 scholarships will be awarded this academic year, and a $500 signing bonus will be awarded to recipients who successfully complete their academic program and proceed to land a position in a manufacturing industry.

Dr. Sherrie Ford was both a consultant in the field of change and lean manufacturing and the head of one of the largest women-owned businesses in the United States, Power Partners—a transformer manufacturing plant that was scheduled for closure in 2003 before Ford and business partner Steve Hollis stepped in. Her impact on the manufacturing world set an example for the next generation of manufacturing professionals that this scholarship strives to honor.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence. AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of volunteers who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared learning experience. Through engaging workshops, plant tours, webinars, summits and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new continuous improvement strategies and best practices. AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments and improve the skills, competitiveness and overall success of their organizations. Join AME in leading the “Renaissance of Manufacturing in North America."

For more information, visit:

Published in AME

In the future, knee and bone implants customised to fit individual patients could be easily made using 3D printers.

Medical devices and tissue printing are among the key research areas that Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is ramping up on with the launch of its new $30 million 3D printing centre.

The NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre (NAMC) was officially launched by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development.

At the launch, NTU also signed a $5 million joint laboratory agreement with SLM Solutions, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 3D printers.

Named SLM Solutions@NAMC, the lab aims to develop next-generation 3D printers which can print much larger parts than today’s printers and new types of materials. It will also develop platforms that can print multiple materials in one single build.

NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said additive manufacturing is a revolutionary technology that is changing the face of innovation and that NTU is well placed to excel in the fast growing field.

“Although we are a young university, NTU is already leading with two decades of research and development in this field,” Prof Andersson said.

“Our new additive manufacturing centre not only aims to collaborate with industry to develop innovative, practical solutions but also brings together the best talents in the field. The new centre is outfitted with the latest 3D printing machines, such as laser-aided machines for printing metal parts for industry and bio-printers which are able to print real human tissue,” he said.

NTU’s new additive manufacturing centre aims to keep Singapore at the forefront of 3D printing technologies and is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

In conjunction with NAMC’s official launch, NTU also opened Singapore’s 1st International Conference on Progress in Additive Manufacturing, which will see more than a hundred scientific papers from over 20 countries being shared and presented among academics and industry players.

For more information, visit:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $9 million to new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance across industries.

The grants, awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations, are the first conferred by NIST's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. They range from $378,900 to $540,000 for a period of up to two years.

The funded projects will identify and rank research and development goals, define workforce needs, and initiate other steps toward speeding technology development and transfer and improving manufacturing capabilities. Project collaborations span a wide variety of industries and technologies, from flexible-electronics manufacturing to biomanufacturing and from pulp-and-paper manufacturing to forming and joining technologies.

"The AMTech awards provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals, and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there," said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector—one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S."

Technology roadmapping is a key component of all funded projects. Each consortium will engage manufacturers of all sizes, university researchers, trade associations and other stakeholders in an interactive process to identify and prioritize research projects that reduce shared barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

In conjunction with developing technology roadmaps, the projects will undertake related tasks such as defining challenges specific to building robust domestic supply chains and establishing skill-set requirements for an advanced manufacturing workforce.

Established in 2013, the AMTech program aims to catalyze partnerships between U.S. industry, academia, and government that will support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of U.S. industry. A specific objective is to enable new—or to strengthen existing—industry-led technology consortia for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing.

On July 24, 2013, the program announced its inaugural competition for planning grants. It received 82 applications seeking a total of $37.4 million in funding. Of the 19 consortia that received grants, 11 are new efforts that will be launched with AMTech funding. Applications for these projects included letters of commitment from companies and other prospective partners.

For more information, visit:

Published in NIST

MIT Professional Education has added Additive Manufacturing: From 3D Printing to the Factory Floor to their Short Programs offerings. Designed for US and international manufacturing and design engineers, science, and architect professionals who seek the MIT experience in a condensed timeframe, the course will focus on a comprehensive overview of additive manufacturing spanning from fundamentals to applications and technology trends.

Enrollment is now open to qualifying professionals from the U.S. and abroad through the MIT Professional Education website.

The course will be held July 21 – 25 on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. and will be taught by John Hart, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mitsui Career Development Chair at MIT.

“Additive manufacturing covers many application areas including aerospace components, electronics, medical devices, architectural designs, and consumer products,” said Hart. “Participants will take part in lab sessions that will provide a hands-on experience with a variety of state-of-the-art desktop 3D printers.”

“Our Short Programs courses give professionals from around the world the opportunity to learn from MIT faculty who are leaders in their field,” said Anna M. Mahr, director of Short Programs at MIT Professional Education. “They then take home valuable skills and working knowledge that can be applied directly to their work.”

MIT Professional Education provides a variety of education and professional training programs for science, engineering, and technology professionals worldwide. MIT Short Programs offer professionals more than 40 industry focused two to five-day sessions, taking place primarily in the summer on their campus in Cambridge, Mass. Participants learn from leading MIT faculty and gain crucial knowledge to help fuel their careers or enhance their companies in a collaborative academic setting. Upon completion, participants receive an MIT Professional Education certificate of completion, continuing education units, and access to MIT Professional Education’s expansive professional alumni network.

In addition to Additive Manufacturing: From 3D Printing to the Factory Floor, new Short Programs for summer 2014 include Beyond Smart Cities; Engineering Leadership for Mid-Career Professionals; and Understanding and Predicting Technological Innovation: New Data and Theory.

MIT Professional Education also offers national and international professionals the capability to take Short Programs courses abroad, regular MIT academic courses offered through the Advanced Study Program, online courses, or customize an educational experience for a group of employees at a company site. Students are drawn from across the U.S. and around the world, and about 30 percent are international.

For 65 years MIT Professional Education has been providing those professionals engaged in engineering, science and technology worldwide, a gateway to renowned MIT research, knowledge and expertise through advanced education programs designed specifically for working professionals.

For more information, visit:

Altair recently released the HyperWorks 12.0 Student Edition, making it the most comprehensive computer-aided engineering (CAE) suite available to aspiring structural and mechanical engineers.  The software is free, and extensive learning resources designed especially for students may be found on the Altair Academic Training Center.  In addition, Altair provides students on-demand interactive support through the moderated Academic Support Forum.

The addition of solidThinking Inspire for intuitive concept generation is an enabler for simulation-based design that incorporates topology optimization, while solidThinking Evolve offers classic industrial design sketching and modeling functionality for the exploration of design alternatives.

“We are thrilled to include solidThinking Inspire and solidThinking Evolve in the Altair HyperWorks 12.0 Student Edition. The concept generation included in the easy-to-use solidThinking Inspire software is perfectly suited for young engineers and will help them create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily.  Using Inspire, students can design products and parts lighter, stronger, and faster,” said Chad Zamler, marketing manager for solidThinking, Inc., an Altair company.

Multi-body dynamics has been included with the addition of MotionSolve.  RADIOSS is a premier crash and impact simulation solver, while AcuSolve is a leading general-purpose computational fluid dynamics solver based on the finite element method.  HyperStudy will enable students to run what-if scenarios, correlate test data, optimize difficult multi-disciplinary design problems, and assess design reliability and robustness.  Finally, HyperMath offers a powerful and flexible programming language with comprehensive math and utility libraries, while HyperCrash provides a robust pre-processing environment specifically designed to automate the creation of high-fidelity models for crash analysis and safety evaluation.

“The addition of multi-body dynamics, computational fluid dynamics, impact simulation, and optimization-based conceptual design is really exciting,” said Matthias Goelke, Director, Academic Markets at Altair.  “We wanted to build on the success of the previous student edition, which was immediately adopted by engineering students and faculty members all over the world,” he continues.  “This is proof that demand for simulation expertise is increasing in the marketplace, and whatever we can do to increase the availability and utility of our commercial products to students will help them succeed in their future engineering careers.”

The HyperWorks Student Edition also includes access to core HyperWorks commercial technologies that support the complete CAE workflow process for various solution types and applications. These include modeling/pre-processing, linear and non-linear analysis, topology optimization, composites simulation and optimization, results visualization/post-processing, data analysis and plotting, and collaboration tools.

“This program truly demonstrates Altair’s commitment to enhancing students’ learning experience outside the classroom so that they can reinforce their engineering knowledge and classroom instruction,” said Dr. Wei Chen, Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design at Northwestern University.

For more information, visit:

Published in Altair

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)’s scholarship funding arm, AME Institute, and Kronos Incorporated announced a new scholarship for students interested in manufacturing careers through the Dr. Sherrie Ford Manufacturing as a Career Path 2014-2015 Scholarship Program.

News Facts

  • Scholarships will be awarded to 15 U.S.-based student applicants entering an accredited college or trade school in the next academic year, beginning in the fall semester.

  • Each recipient will receive a financial scholarship and an additional signing bonus will be offered to those recipients who complete their programs and enter the manufacturing workforce. Eligible applicants include individuals who are currently graduating from high school or those with prior work experience who are seeking a college education.

  • The first 300 applications will be considered for the upcoming fall term. Applications are now being accepted and are due June 13, 2014.

  • The most pressing workforce challenge facing U.S. manufacturers today is a mounting skills gap - with a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers – a trend anticipated to worsen in the next three to five years. Nearly six hundred thousand manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because of this skills gap.

  • The AME Institute and Kronos recognize the critical role that the workforce plays in a manufacturer’s ability to be productive, innovative, and globally competitive. By offering this scholarship, the AME Institute and Kronos are contributing to the development of the U.S. manufacturing workforce of the future.

Supporting Quotes

  • Paul G. Kuchuris, Jr., president, The Association for Manufacturing Excellence “Nearly 80 percent of manufacturers in the U.S. are facing a shortage of skilled labor. In conjunction with the AME Institute and Kronos, we are excited to offer this scholarship that supports and promotes manufacturing as a career path.”

  • Charlie DeWitt, vice president, business development, Kronos “Kronos helps thousands of manufacturers around the world to optimize their workforce. We look forward to working with the AME Institute to inspire the manufacturing workforce of the future.”

For complete scholarship requirements and application guidelines, visit:

Published in AME

In just five years, MakerBot has helped define and become a leader within the desktop 3D printing industry. Now MakerBot is on a mission to bring 3D printing to everyone! With a workforce that is rapidly expanding, growing from just three employees in 2009, to 40 in 2011, 160 in 2012, and now more than 450 in 2014, MakerBot has opportunities this summer to bring in passionate, driven, talented interns to work with the company.

The 2014 MakerBot Summer Internship Program is a great opportunity to get exposure to the exciting and challenging environment of one of New York's fastest-growing tech companies. Internship positions range from engineering, manufacturing, production, customer support, sales, marketing, public relations, software and business development. College and grad-level students interested in applying for a summer internship position should visit the makerbot careers page.

MakerBot internship positions are paid positions. As part of the internship experience, participants will attend special lectures and participate in programs on 3D printing within their area of expertise, as well as interact with senior leadership. Internships begin with an orientation on May 27, 2014, and a second session on June 2, 2014, and the program concludes on August 15, 2014. Previous MakerBot interns have gone on to attend MIT, work at Google and other technology companies, as well as come back to work at MakerBot.

"MakerBot is a big believer in supporting and mentoring young talent," commented Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. "We've have had a robust internship program since our founding and have enjoyed having a lot of young talented interns and employees that have helped shape our company. My background as a teacher and as a CEO provides a unique perspective for how real-world experience is beneficial for helping create our future engineers and programmers. When you expose young, creative, kids to 3D printing, you encourage them to look at the world through ‘MakerBot eyes' and see the world differently."

For more information or to apply, visit:

Published in MakerBot

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology is proud to announce that Vince Bertram, President and CEO, Project Lead The Way, will deliver the keynote address on Monday, September 8, the opening day of the Smartforce Student Summit at the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Project Lead The Way is the nation's leading provider of K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs.

IMTS is the largest industrial trade show in the Americas, drawing more than 100,000 visitors and featuring 1,900 exhibitors. The Smartforce Student Summit is held in conjunction with IMTS and gives students a first-hand, interactive view of manufacturing technology, in addition to promoting careers in the industry.

“The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS is a great way to introduce young people to the exciting innovations in manufacturing technology,” said Greg Jones, Vice President, Smartforce Development, AMT. “We want students, as well as parents and educators, to understand that today’s manufacturing industry is vastly different than 20 years ago. The program will emphasize the importance of STEM education in pursuing high-value careers in today’s high-tech manufacturing facilities.”

“Asking Vince Bertram to kick off the Smartforce Student Summit seemed like a natural fit and AMT is honored that he has agreed to take part,” Jones said.

Project Lead The Way reaches more than 600,000 students in over 5,000 schools nationwide. Its five programs of study offer a different approach to learning and teaching, empowering students to identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning.

“I am thrilled to participate in the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS,” Bertram says. “Promoting and encouraging students to pursue outstanding career opportunities, especially those in the high-tech, high-demand world of manufacturing fits very well with the mission of Project Lead The Way, to prepare students for the global economy.”

Bertram will present a keynote address titled “Building America’s Future: Students, STEM, and the Global Economy,” discussing the role of STEM education in equipping students with the skills and experiences that will prepare them for success in their education and careers.

The Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS will be held from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., September 8-13, 2014 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

For more information, visit:

Published in AMT

DARPA defines its research portfolio within a framework that puts the Agency's enduring mission in the context of tomorrow's environment for national security and technology. An integral part of this strategy includes establishing and sustaining a pipeline of talented scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who are motivated to pursue high risk, high payoff fundamental research in disciplines that are critical to maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military.

DARPA's Young Faculty Awards (YFA) program addresses this need by funding the work of promising researchers and pairing them with DARPA program managers. This pairing provides YFA researchers with mentoring and networking opportunities as well as exposure to DoD technology needs and the overall research and development process. The 2014 YFA solicitation includes technical topic areas in the physical sciences, engineering, materials, mathematics, biology, computing, informatics and manufacturing disciplines that are relevant to the research interests of DARPA's Defense Sciences and Microsystems Technology Offices.

"YFA offers promising junior faculty members and their peers at nonprofit research institutions the chance to do potentially revolutionary work much earlier in their careers than they otherwise could," said William Casebeer, DARPA program manager for the 2014 class. "By expanding the list of research topics this year from 13 to 18 - our largest portfolio since the program started in 2006 - we hope to attract even more creative proposals that could lead to future breakthroughs on critical defense challenges. The growth reflects how successful past awardees have been in supporting DARPA's mission."

Eligible applicants must be employed in U.S. institutions of higher learning and within five years of appointment to a tenure-track position, or hold equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions.

Researchers selected for YFA grants receive up to $500,000 in funding over a 24-month period. As many as four of the most exceptional performers may be selected to receive up to another $500,000 over an additional year under a DARPA Director's Fellowship.

DARPA is, for the first time, permitting proposers to form partnerships with subcontractors. The subcontractor relationship cannot exceed 30 percent of the total grant value. In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of proposed research plans, this change is designed to provide young investigators with the opportunity to manage a multidisciplinary team and gain a better understanding of the work performed by a DARPA program manager.

"The YFA program represents a strategic investment in fundamental research and professional development of the next generation of scientists and engineers focused on defense and national security issues," said Mari Maeda, director of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office. "It also benefits the young researchers and their institutions by engaging them in valuable, high-risk, high-impact research, providing a mentoring relationship with a DARPA program manager, expanding channels for future ideas to flow, and, now, exposing them to the rigors of managing a multidisciplinary team."

The list of technical topic areas for 2014 includes:

  • Optimizing Supervision for Improved Autonomy
  • Neurobiological Mechanisms of Social Media Processing
  • Next-generation Neural Sensing for Brain-Machine Interfaces
  • Mathematical and Computational Methods to Identify and Characterize Logical and Causal Relations in Information
  • Time-Dependent Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • Long-range Detection of Special Nuclear Materials
  • Alternate Fusion Concepts
  • New Materials and Devices for Monitoring and Modulating Local Physiology
  • Methods and Theory for Fundamental Circuit-Level Understanding of the Human Brain
  • Hierarchically Complex Materials that Respond and Adapt
  • Disruptive Materials Processing
  • Disruptive Computing Architectures
  • Appliqué Antenna Elements for Platform Integration
  • Modeling Phonon Generation and Transport in the Near Junction Region of Wide-Bandgap Transistors
  • Advanced Automation and Microfluidic Technologies for Engineering Biology
  • Energy Recovery in Post-CMOS Technologies
  • Thin Film Transistors for High-performance RF and Power Electronics
  • Neural-inspired Computer Engineering

For more information, visit:

Published in DARPA

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) recently joined more than 45 partners to kick-off the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge. The theme of this year’s challenge, “Unmanned Aircraft System Challenge: Precision Agriculture,” was announced in Washington, DC.   A $50,000 scholarship from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will be provided to each student on the national winning team.

Shared Value is a corporate social responsibility initiative at PTC where the company gets involved with programs like the Real World Design Challenge in order to build stronger communities which can result in a better workforce for other companies that require engineers.  These programs make science and technology exciting for participants, encourages interest in these fields, and helps build excitement for the engineers of the future.

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides more than 5,000 high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. PTC and its partners, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Aerospace States Association, are focused on transforming and enhancing STEM education in the American educational system by providing science, engineering and learning resources that allow students and teachers to address an actual challenge confronting one of the nation's most important industries.

Students that participate in the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge will focus on the design and implementation of an Unmanned Aircraft System to support precision agriculture, specifically to monitor and assess crop conditions to achieve increased yield.  Teams will employ a systems engineering design and integration approach to identify, compare, analyze, demonstrate and defend the most appropriate component combinations, subsystem designs, operational methods and business case to support the challenge scenario.

“This competition offers a broad base of resources and expertise from business, government and academia to help students apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems being faced in the workplace,” said John Stuart, senior vice president, global academic program, PTC.  “Teams are encouraged to think like engineers and scientists while also developing the problem solving skills they will use in their careers.  PTC is proud to be part of the Real World Design Challenge.”

The winning teams from the participating states will be notified in April and will receive an all- expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event in November 2014.

PTC provides commercial-grade product development software, including PTC Creo® 3D product design software, PTC Windchill® product lifecycle management software and PTC Mathcad® engineering calculation software, to teams participating in the Real World Design Challenge. PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America who are participants in the competition or program management for the competition.

The deadline for teams to register for the Real World Design Challenge is December 20, 2013.  The solution submissions are due March 31, 2014.

For more information or to register a team, visit:

Published in PTC

The UMKC Foundation is pleased to announce a $5 million pledge from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support a new Free Enterprise Center on UMKC’s Volker Campus.

The $14.8 million product development hub — to be used by entrepreneurs, local industry, and high school and college students — is a shot in the arm for entrepreneurship and economic development efforts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“We are all in awe when we see what has happened, when we look around the campus and realize the burst of money and energy and enthusiasm and construction — and forward-thinking improvements — that have taken place in these past few years,” said Betsey Solberg, chair of the UMKC Foundation. “Much of the credit for ensuring that the changes on this campus were just about perfect goes to Leo Morton, the man who is so passionate about the potential of UMKC that he runs a sprint and a marathon at the same time, ensuring that the vision we all share for this university is being accomplished.”

A multi-disciplinary initiative, the center will provide a platform for invention, research and education with a wide range of partners, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, MRIGlobal and Metropolitan Community College.

The facility will assist entrepreneurs, educators, researchers and industry in the production of prototype devices, manufacturing processes and end products. It is intended to act as a catalyst for entrepreneurs, educators, mentors and collaborators for economic development through product design, innovative education and state-of-the-art research.

The new building will provide the critically needed space to accommodate the rapid growth of two of UMKC’s fastest-growing academic units: the School of Computing and Engineering and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The two schools are already collaborating on new initiatives that link technology and management in new and innovative ways.

The Free Enterprise Center will include laboratory space, rapid prototyping equipment, educational/collaborative space and business/technology transfer advisors who will serve the students, faculty and researchers from both schools, as well as local industries, entrepreneurs, artists and K-12 students.

The KC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Alliance within the School of Computing and Engineering is reaching more than 13,000 middle and high school students in the Kansas City region. This center would provide the KC STEM Alliance space to work with high school students on projects that involve robotics, manufacturing, material science and engineering design.

UMKC Enactus students, who compete in entrepreneurial challenges, will work with these students on the entrepreneurial and business aspects of technology and manufactured products and projects.

The facility also will be used as a laboratory, incubator and prototyping center for all students within the School of Computing and Engineering and all entrepreneurship students within the Bloch School of Management.

For more information, visit:

Published in University of Missouri

Students from universities across the globe will recommend ways to improve the products consumers use every day—from sporting goods to automotive components—as they participate in the Altair International Simulation-Driven Design Challenge over the next four months. They will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and travel to any of several countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Sponsored by Altair and employing HyperWorks, the competition asks students to re-design or re-engineer an everyday object of their choice to improve its ergonomics, weight, durability, functionality, manufacturability and/or sustainability. They will use HyperWorks simulation tools in seeking to develop designs that are better and more innovative than the original.

“Altair has conducted similar local contests in such regions as India, China and Korea, but this is Altair’s first worldwide competition of this type,” said Altair Business Development Director of Academic Markets Dr. Matthias Goelke. “Student winners and all others who have entered locally are eligible for the international challenge, as are students in countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany where this competition is new. Students anywhere can submit a project they have developed in their classes, in a previous Altair competition or as part of an entirely different course of study. Our objective is ultimately to incorporate this competition into university curricula.”

The contest is open to college and university students globally who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Applicants may submit entries as individuals or as two-person teams, with an optional mentor. Entries must be received by Jan. 31, 2014 and may be submitted online.

Students are not expected to spend the four months between now and the deadline working on their projects. The redesign may take only a few weeks or a few days; the deadline has been set to allow students ample opportunity to work on projects in their spare time or as part of university coursework.

The winning individual or team will be invited to present their project at an Altair Technology Conference of their choice in the U.S., Europe, India, China, Malaysia, Korea or Japan. Altair will award the student(s) free admission to the conference, airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals. Additionally, each member of the winning team will receive a cash award of $2,000 USD.

Second prize is $2,000 USD, to be divided equally among team members, and third prize is $1,000 USD to be split by the team. Each of the top 20 entrants also will receive an e-book reader from Altair. The top three entries will be published in a special edition of Concept to Reality, Altair’s magazine for the engineering community. Entrants retain all rights to their work beyond allowing Altair to publicize their projects.

Students should complete the free registration, which requires a brief summary (up to 250 words) of the intended scope of work. Altair will review the proposed projects and provide accepted entrants with the ability to download the full commercial version of HyperWorks, giving them a three-month license for academic use. Submissions should include the digital design files, a case study summarizing the entrant’s work, a tutorial showing the methodology and reasoning used, and an optional video of up to five minutes explaining or demonstrating the project.

Judges will evaluate the projects on a number of criteria, including 1) innovation, creativity, sustainability, social impact and technical relevance of the study; 2) analysis, accuracy and methods in using HyperWorks; 3) case study content; and 4) effectiveness of the tutorial, including an online live presentation to the judges for the top 20 finalists. Winners will be announced on April 11, 2014.

For more information or to register, visit:

Published in Altair

A group of engineering students at the University of California, San Diego tested a 3D-printed rocket engine made out of laser sintered metal at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry testing site in the Mojave Desert.

To build the engine, students used a proprietary design that they developed. The engine was primarily financed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and was printed by Illinois-based GPI Prototype and Manufacturing Services using direct metal laser sintering. This is the first time a university has produced a 3D printed liquid fueled metal rocket engine, according to the students, who are members of the UC San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

“We’ve all been working so hard, putting countless hours to ensure that it all works,” said Deepak Atyam, the organization’s president. “If all goes well, we would be the first entity outside of NASA to have tested a liquid fueled rocket motor in its entirety. We hope to see all of our hard work come to fruition.”

The engine was designed to power the third stage of a rocket carrying several NanoSat-style satellites with a mass of less than a few pounds each. The engine is about 6 to 7 inches long and weighs about 10 lbs. It is designed to generate 200 lbs of thrust and is made of cobalt and chromium, a high-grade alloy. It runs on kerosene and liquid oxygen and cost $6,800 to manufacture, including $5,000 from NASA. The rest was raised by students through barbeque sales and other student-run fundraisers.

A 3D printed metal rocket engine would dramatically cut costs for launches, said Forman Williams, a professor of aerospace engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, who is the students’ advisor. Williams admits that he was skeptical at first as the design of liquid-propellant rockets is very complex and detailed, but the students surprised him.

For more information, visit:

Valeo is inviting engineering students to take part in the global Valeo Innovation Challenge. The goal is to design equipment that, between now and 2030, will make the car more intelligent and intuitive.

For the initial selection rounds, engineering students are to develop bold, revolutionary solutions for the society of tomorrow and, as a team, submit a project in English. The 20 shortlisted teams will then be asked to create a model in the format of their choice (physical mock-up, application or other). Each team will be given €5,000 to put their idea into practice and build a functioning demonstrator. The three finalist teams will present their projects to the Challenge jury of Valeo experts and external partners, chaired by Valeo CEO Jacques Aschenbroich, at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The winning team will take home a €100,000 prize.

With this Innovation Challenge, Valeo is demonstrating once again that R&D is a Group priority, guiding teams who are innovating each day to invent the automobiles of tomorrow.

Most of Valeo’s research and development programs are focused on the design of technologies that reduce vehicle CO2 emissions. The company ranks among the leading patent filers in France and dedicates nearly 10% of its original equipment sales to innovation. With close to 9,000 researchers in 20 research centers and 35 development centers around the world, Valeo has developed an array of innovative products and technologies that represent more than 30% of its order intake.

The Group plans to hire some 1,000 engineers and technicians a year over the next three years, including 400 in France.

Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for the automotive industry, mainly for CO2 emissions reduction. Valeo ranks among the world's top automotive suppliers. The Group has 123 plants, 20 research centers, 35 development centers, 12 distribution platforms and employs 73,300 people in 28 countries worldwide. In 2012, Valeo generated sales of €11.8 billion and invested €1 billion in research and development.

For more information, visit:

Published in Valeo

RoboNation is gearing up for a larger, more competitive, global event that is entering the field of student robotics competitions, U.S. Navy officials announced Aug. 14.

The Maritime RobotX Challenge is co-sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation and Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, which is hosting the inaugural event.

The new competition—announced at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington, D.C.—will take place Oct. 20–26, 2014, in Singapore and is scheduled to occur every two years.

Three teams each from five countries—the United States, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea—will battle for $100,000 in prize money. The student teams will be chosen using a competitive selection model; teams may be from multiple schools, as collaboration among institutions is encouraged to foster innovation and raise the level of competition.

“For the Department of the Navy to continue to develop future capabilities, we need a pipeline of young people interested in subject areas like robotics and autonomy,” said Kelly Cooper, a program officer in ONR’s Sea Warfare and Weapons department. “This competition serves as a catalyst for autonomous vehicle development that can ultimately lead to operational unmanned systems.”

The participating countries are from the Pacific region, mirroring the U.S. military’s increasing focus on this area and the Navy’s direction to expand its presence there in the coming years, as stated in the [Chief of Naval Operations’] Navigation Plan 2014–2018.

“ONR Global has an office in Singapore, and it’s a natural fit for the first challenge to be hosted by such a strong United States partner in the Pacific,” Cooper said.

For the Pacific-based Maritime RobotX, each team will receive an unpowered version of the 16-foot Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel (WAM-V), as well as a grant to build a battery-powered propulsion system and sensors. In the future, the goal is to enable the launch of micro-air vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles from the modular WAM-V platform to demonstrate multi-domain, autonomous platform interoperability.

“We’re essentially jump-starting the students’ awareness of naval architecture by giving them a platform that they’ll need to know intimately,” said Daryl Davidson, AUVSI Foundation executive director. “Their understanding of the platform is critical to the vessel’s performance and success.”

Teams will have to successfully complete a series of tasks to demonstrate navigation and control; obstacle detection and avoidance; docking and target identification; underwater search for an acoustic source; and observation, identification and reporting of a specified target.

As with other competitions sponsored by ONR and the AUVSI Foundation, Maritime RobotX uses realistic scenarios that allow students a hands-on opportunity to develop their skills in systems engineering, as well as collaborate with the engineers and organizations developing autonomous surface vehicle technologies.

To learn more about the competition, go to:

Published in Navy

Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) has published a report: Additive Manufacturing Turning Mind into Matter -- Industry Evaluation and Recommendations.

According to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Sierra College CACT, the Additive Manufacturing white paper was produced as a guide for the College’s business services and educational programs as well as a resource for entrepreneurs and educators. “The ability to convert designs into products using 3D printers is transforming our world,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

Additive Manufacturing is the ability to generate three-dimensional models that need no machining or tooling. In the 3D printer, material builds up layer by layer until the desired shape is achieved, instead of cutting away material as is done in machining. Computer 3D models are sliced into layers and the software directs the printer pattern as it builds the part from the bottom up. Products can be designed in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software or 3D scanners can be used to create designs from existing objects.

For over seven years, Sierra College has produced 3D prototypes for entrepreneurs, inventors, businesses and students. “Now that the price is dropping, more people have access to 3D Printing technology but the choices of equipment can be overwhelming,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “The CACT Additive Manufacturing report by Neal de Beer can be a resource for schools and companies interested in exploring the technology and purchasing printers to use at home or at work.”

According to De Beer, the Additive Manufacturing industry is advancing rapidly. “The most significant change is that many new, less expensive printers using new materials have become available in the last year and design software has become more accessible,” said De Beer.

The white paper describes how this new cutting edge technology is already being adopted and used in electronics, consumer products, motor vehicle, medical and aerospace industries. At every phase of the manufacturing cycle, companies can use objects made with 3D printers as presentation aids for new products, functional models, patterns for tooling and direct part production.

In the Medical industry, De Beer explains that Additive Manufacturing is being quickly adopted. “Models can be made from patient scans and used to plan surgeries and make implants,” said De Beer.

“Additive Manufacturing is likely to significantly change plastic manufacturing because better molds with cooling channels that conform to the shape of parts can be made directly in tool steels using Additive Manufacturing,” said De Beer. “This allows more even and faster cooling of the plastic in the mold. The result is improved quality and shorter cycle times for faster production.”

In addition, De Beer says researchers are making advances that include printing foods, biological cell structures and even electronic components. The Additive Manufacturing report describes how this cutting edge technology is being adapted and used by businesses. With Additive Manufacturing spurring innovation in fashion, architecture, modeling and a wide range of manufacturing processes, educators are eager to incorporate 3D Printers into classrooms.

“When students can hold the products that they have created in their own hands, it changes the way they think about design and sparks their enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers,” said De Beer.

Sierra College CACT placed a 3D printer in the college design lab several years ago as well as smaller models at Rocklin, Oakmont, Nevada Union and Del Oro high schools, explained Pepper-Kittredge.

“Students become more engaged when their ideas can be produced in a form that they can see and touch,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “At Rocklin High School, for instance, students designed trophies for NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition. Students need exposure to 3D printing to prepare them for growing career paths in advanced manufacturing.”

The Additive Manufacturing Turning Mind into Matter -- Industry Evaluation and Recommendations Report is intended to help both businesses and educators learn more about emerging Additive Manufacturing technologies and can be found at the Sierra College CACT Training website.

The report by Dr. Neal de Beer is available at:

Published in Sierra College

FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, announced an expanded education program that will be held alongside the 2013 show in Chicago on November 18-21. The lineup will feature more than 100 valuable educational sessions, including 64 new courses that have never been offered at previous FABTECH events. Each session will offer unique insights from top industry experts on today’s hottest topics in manufacturing.

FABTECH is expected to attract more than 35,000 manufacturers to McCormick Place in Chicago. Over three days, attendees will view a record 1,500 exhibits, including live equipment demonstrations, on more than 550,000 net square feet of floor space. Simultaneously, the education program’s technical, operational, economic, and managerial sessions will offer participants the opportunity to discover solutions to advance their careers and their businesses.

“This year’s education program line-up is truly outstanding,” said John Catalano, the show’s co-manager.  “This is the most comprehensive program FABTECH has ever offered, providing a valuable learning experience for attendees in all aspects of metal forming and fabricating. In addition to incorporating 64 new sessions ranging from ‘Trends and Advances in Laser Technology’ to ‘What’s Your Company Worth,’ we have also added new workshops that address lean manufacturing, workforce development and press brake operation skills. We also expanded the number of learning tracks this year to include two new tracks: Job Shop Solutions and Automation & Robotics.”

Education sessions are offered for attendees with a range of experience levels—from those new to the industry to those in need of a refresher to veteran attendees with years of experience who are seeking more in-depth training. Topics discussed will focus on practical solutions attendees can use right away to increase profits, improve production and achieve higher levels of product quality.

For more information, visit:

Published in SME

The Chicago Public Library is opening the CPL Innovation Lab at the Harold Washington Library Center. Already used by a variety of industries from retail to banking to universities, innovation labs offer organizations a place to test new ideas for services, programs and products. The third floor space at the Chicago Public Library will allow CPL to quickly experiment with new ideas and approaches in order to be more customer focused and able to adapt to the community’s changing needs.

The first innovation experiment in the space is the Maker Lab, part of the growing movement of hands-on, collaborative learning environments in which people come together to share knowledge and resources to design, create and build items. CPL is the first large urban library to experiment with a maker space. Made possible with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Maker Lab will be open to the public from July 8 through December 31, 2013. While a number of maker spaces exist in Chicago, this will be the first free maker space open to the public.

Created in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry, the Library’s Maker Lab offers the public an introduction to technology and equipment which are enabling new forms of personal manufacturing and business opportunities. After the six month run, the Library will evaluate the project to determine the fit with the Library’s mission and the ability to bring the project, or elements of it, to a wider audience in the neighborhood branches.

The Lab will offer access to a variety of software such as Trimble Sketchup, Inkscape, Meshlab, Makercam and equipment including three 3D Printers, two laser cutters, as well as a milling machine and vinyl cutter.

In addition to Open Lab hours during which patrons can work with staff members to master new software and create personal projects, a variety of programs and workshops will be offered throughout the seven day schedule of the Maker Lab. Family workshops will be offered every Sunday afternoon to foster invention, creation and exploration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), the focus of this year’s Summer Learning Challenge.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer Chicagoans the opportunity to learn firsthand new technologies and skills used in today’s manufacturing at the library,” said Commissioner Brian Bannon. “The Maker Lab is the first of several ideas we plan to test over the next few years in the Innovation Lab, as we focus on expanding access to 21st century ideas and information to our communities.”

In developing the space and the programs, the Chicago Public Library created an advisory board comprised of City Colleges of Chicago, Northwestern University Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia College Chicago, Westport Public Library, Arts Alliance Illinois, San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum, New York Public Library, Ann Arbor District Library, Pumping Station: One and FreeGeek Chicago. All these organizations lent advice to the process as well as programming elements.

The Chicago Public Library continues to encourage lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology. Through its 79 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.

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Published in Chicago Public Library

Dassault Systèmes unveiled the new 2013-2014 SolidWorks Education Edition. This latest version includes new functionalities to simplify complex design tasks, enable students to create models easier and faster, and provide wider connectivity to expand collaboration between users.

Teaching guides and lessons are also available to provide educators with additional support for developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. In addition, qualified schools are given SolidWorks Student Edition licenses at no charge for use by their students. Schools with a SolidWorks Education subscription can also administer the Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) exam to their students. More than 6,400 students were certified in the last year alone and the recognition is considered a major asset in a job search because it effectively validates student expertise to prospective employers.

Dassault Systèmes provides an array of support tools to ensure design projects are successfully executed. Students now have access to My.SolidWorks, to help them increase their professional skill set and gain insight and expertise from the SolidWorks Community.

“Technical skills are critically important for career development in the 21st century and we felt it was crucial to provide students with services and technology in the classroom that would prepare them for the real world,” explains Kieran Flannery, a teacher at Castletroy College in Limerick and a regional development officer for t4 Technology Subjects Support Service. “The Irish Department of Education and Skills searched for an educational tool to execute its mission and turned to SolidWorks. Through its ease of use and support capabilities, SolidWorks Education program is enhancing teaching and learning, and in a short period of time has already dramatically improved technology education in Ireland.”

The new education edition includes the following enhancements:

  • SolidWorks Plastics - provides students the insight to predict and avoid manufacturing defects during the earliest stages of plastics part and injection mold design.
  • SolidWorks Simulation Premium - makes it possible to easily subject designs to the same conditions that they’ll experience in the real world.
  • SolidWorks Flow Simulation - takes the complexity out of flow designs by allowing students to visualize fluid flow and compare analysis results between multiple design configurations.
  • SolidWorks Sustainability - evaluates the financial and environmental impact of a design decision during the development process.

SolidWorks’ newest product, SolidWorks Electrical, is also part of this version. SolidWorks Electrical enables students in engineering, robotics, and other disciplines to create electrical projects starting with 2D system schematics and ending with 3D routing and cabling interconnecting components.

“Preparing future designers and engineers with high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is a core part of our 3DEXPERIENCE strategy,” said Philippe Forestier, Executive Vice President, Global Affairs & Communities, Dassault Systèmes. “More than 25,000 secondary schools and universities worldwide rely on the SolidWorks Education Edition to engage the next generation. We look forward to seeing how these students leverage the applications to make a difference in the world, addressing global challenges like sustainability, clean water and air.”

“We are passionate about providing our community of designers and engineers at every level with the means to expand their abilities through formal training, certification and informal connections with other users,” said Bertrand Sicot, CEO, SolidWorks, Dassault Systèmes. “The latest release of SolidWorks Education Edition helps prepare the next generation of design leaders for their future successes with the tools to allow them to immediately contribute.”

For more information, visit:

Published in SolidWorks

Eleven teams from across the country and around the globe are preparing to compete for $1.5 million during NASA's 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge, June 5-7 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Teams will demonstrate a robot that can locate and collect geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain, operating without human control. The objective of this NASA-WPI Centennial Challenge is to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies. Innovations stemming from the challenge could improve NASA's capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation's robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.

"Anticipation is high for a successful sample collection this year," said Sam Ortega, program manager of Centennial Challenges, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Last year, teams were finding their footing and tweaking their designs. This year, we have several teams that know what they're up against, and they can't wait to get back on the field. We have a lot of new competitors signed up. Improving this technology will be a huge boon, not just to NASA and space exploration, but also for countless applications here on Earth."

There will be two levels of competition. For a robot to complete Level 1 successfully, it must leave from a starting platform in search of a sample that has been previously identified in the robot's onboard computer. The robot must then autonomously return one undamaged sample to its starting platform within a 30-minute time limit. Only teams that complete Level 1 will be allowed to compete in Level 2.

To complete Level 2 successfully, a robot must autonomously return at least two undamaged samples, including the pre-cached sample, to its starting platform within a two-hour time limit.

Samples are categorized as easy, intermediate and hard based on the complexity of their shape, size and design, with higher point values given for samples classified as hard. Samples range in shape and size from rectangular (like a shoe box) or round (like a tennis ball). Prize awards will range from $100,000 to $1.5 million depending on the amount of points scored.

This is the second Sample Robot Return competition. During last year's competition, also at WPI, 11 teams registered to compete and the field narrowed to six as the competition approached. After robot inspections, only one team met the contest's rigorous requirements. That robot competed in Level 1, but failed to collect the required samples in the allotted time, so no prize money was awarded.

The Centennial Challenges program does not award funds to competitors unless the challenge objectives have been met. This assures desired results are gained before government funds are paid.

Returning teams this year include SpacePRIDE of Graniteville, S.C.; Survey of Los Angeles; Wunderkammer of Topanga, Calif.; Intrepid of Lynnwood, Wash.; and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. New teams entering the competition are Fetch of Alexandria, Va.; Middleman of Dunedin, Fla.; Mystic Late Robots of The Woodlands, Texas; Team AERO of Worcester, Mass.; the Autonomous Rover Team of the University of California at Santa Cruz; and Kuukuglur of Estonia.

The challenge begins on the WPI campus Wednesday, June 5, with awards expected on Saturday, June 8, if competition objectives are met. The awards ceremony will take place during the day-long TouchTomorrow technology festival hosted by WPI. The festival will showcase the teams and robots as well as NASA and WPI exhibits in science, robotics and space technology. The TouchTomorrow festival is open to the public.

For more information, visit:

Published in NASA

ThomasNet® reminds graduating high school seniors that the deadline for its North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program is right around the corner, and all applications must be postmarked by July 1, 2013. The company has been accepting applications since April 1 from students who dream of a manufacturing career.

“We’re gratified to see the outpouring of interest from students and their families in these scholarships,” said Eileen Markowitz, President of ThomasNet. “Manufacturing is the bedrock of America’s economy, and its future depends on attracting new young talent. Fortunately, this industry offers limitless career opportunities for those who want to innovate, make products that are used all over the world, and leverage their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training.”

ThomasNet is providing up to thirty (30) $1,000 scholarships for students who plan to major in engineering or supply chain management/business operations, or to study a skilled trade. Applicants must be graduating U.S. high school seniors or Canadian secondary school students with plans to attend a two-year or four-year college, or a vocational-technical school.

The scholarship program is the latest ThomasNet initiative to call attention to the rewards of a career in manufacturing. Last year,® released results of its Industry Market Barometer® survey, which showed that manufacturers were having difficulty attracting engineers, line workers, and skilled trade workers. The company saw this challenge as a symptom of a larger issue—the need to “re-brand” American manufacturing—and has embarked on a campaign to make it happen. For instance, ThomasNet recently launched the IMT Career Journal, a newsletter that educates aspiring manufacturers on the many exciting career paths available to them.

ThomasNet is inviting other manufacturers to show support for the new Scholarship Program by signing up for any one of’s free newsletters, including IMT Career Journal.  For each new subscription, ThomasNet will make a contribution (up to $30,000) to the Scholarship Program.

For more information, visit:

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, partnered with the University of Connecticut to establish one of the nation's most advanced additive manufacturing laboratories, the Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center.

"We are excited to further strengthen our partnership with Pratt & Whitney, an industry leader in using additive manufacturing technology," said Susan Herbst, president, University of Connecticut. "Our partnership with Pratt & Whitney is a great example of how industry and universities can work together to enhance research capabilities."

This state-of-the-art facility will be used to further additive manufacturing research and development, and is the first in the Northeast to work with metals rather than plastics. Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Materials are added, versus the traditional subtractive methods such as stamping, forging, computer numerical controlled machining, to precise geometries determined by CAD drawings.

"The University of Connecticut's outstanding technical capacity complements our fundamental research needs and will help us continue to grow our additive manufacturing capabilities," said Paul Adams, Pratt & Whitney's chief operating officer. "Additive manufacturing is complimentary to traditional methods by enabling new innovation in design, speed and affordability. It is necessary to build the next generation of jet engines. We are currently using additive manufacturing to build complex components with extreme precision for the flight-proven PurePower® commercial jet engine."

Pratt & Whitney invested more than $4.5 million in the Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center and over the next five years will invest more than $3.5 million in the facility. In 2010, Pratt & Whitney established a research Center of Excellence at the University of Connecticut. The Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence at UConn focuses on fundamental and applied research initiatives that support the design and development of more efficient gas turbine engines. UConn's primary research is in the field of advanced sensors, diagnostics and controls.

The University of Connecticut is one of the nation's leading public research universities. UConn's main campus in Storrs, CT is admitting the highest-achieving freshmen in University history. As a Carnegie Foundation Research University, the University of Connecticut has more than 100 research centers and institutes supporting its teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, auxiliary and ground power units, small turbojet propulsion products and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies Corporation, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.

For more information, visit:

Published in Pratt & Whitney

Three-dimensional printing technology is now being used in a University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus laboratory, thanks to a $600,000 capital equipment grant from the Veterans Administration. The CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus / VA Biomechatronics Development Laboratory is home to a cutting-edge 3D printer: a metal laser sintering machine.

Richard Weir, Ph.D., a leading researcher in robotic technology for arm amputees, said the fabricator will allow his research team to develop better components -- created faster and less costly -- for prosthetic fingers, hands and arms. Weir, an associate research professor in the Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, also envisions creating a prototyping center as a resource for other university and VA researchers.

"It's a whole new way of thinking about how to make things," Weir said. "... The revolutionary aspect is to be able to do stuff that you can't using conventional technology. There is the possibility to fabricate impossible-to-machine components and to explore whether that confers advantage to the designs we're working on."

While 3D plastic printers have been available for many years, metal printing is still "a very nascent technology," Weir said. He estimates that only a couple dozen of the devices -- called direct metal laser-sintering machines and built by German-based EOS e-Manufacturing Solutions -- are being used in the United States, mostly for biomedical and aeronautical applications.

Weir first saw a 3D metal rapid prototype machine being used to create cranial implants -- custom titanium plates in the shape of the human skull -- at a laboratory at North Carolina State University. "When I saw that I said, 'I want one of those.'"

He got his wish in 2011 when the VA, well aware of Weir's pioneering research that could benefit veteran amputees, funded, through a Capital Equipment Grant, the purchase of one of these machines. His lab had already been using a 3D plastic printer, but a metal prototyping machine dramatically expands the horizons for their prosthetic designs.

"That's what we have a need for when we're building our small hands," said Weir, whose Implantable MyoElectric Sensors work will be tested in clinical trials this spring. "We have all of these tiny parts that need to be very strong, and a lot of times steel turns out to be the best material to work in. If we want, we can change the machine's set-up, for a fee of course, that will allow us to print in a different metal. We can print in titanium, nickel, magnesium, cobalt."

Weir and his team, which includes graduate students from the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus College of Engineering and Applied Science (Matthew Davidson and Nili Krausz, bioengineering and mechanical engineering departments) and University of Colorado-Boulder (Jacob Segil, mechanical engineering), saw the EOSINT M270 arrive from Germany in late 2011. Weir received a $250,000 discount on the reconditioned machine because it had been used in an EOS facility.

But they had to wait a year to pull it out of storage while space was prepared for it in the Research Institute where Weir's lab is located, in the basement of Children's Hospital Colorado.

The machine uses a three-dimensional digital image to methodically laser-sinter beads of metal powder into solid metal. Most components will be built overnight in the machine, which has a door -- much like a microwave oven -- that allows manufacturers, or in this case researchers, to view the progress of each iterative design.

Segil said the machine creates a "whole new modality" to turn ideas into reality, especially in the tricky area of anthropomorphic design. "For things that don't have hard edges, like our bodies, it makes a world of difference," he said. "To (create) something like our finger, which has curvature and intricacies, out of metal is a horribly difficult and expensive thing to do using conventional machining processes. Now we have a machine to do it."

Weir said he'd like to make the metal prototype machine accessible to other researchers, as has been done with the plastic 3D printer. "We have a lot of rapid-prototyping capability within three or four rooms here. Our hope is to start a sort of prototyping center."

Meanwhile, the president hailed 3D printing technology in his recent State of the Union speech, saying it "has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything." Obama said an innovative manufacturing institute has already launched in Youngstown, Ohio, and he's pushing for as many as 18 such facilities around the nation.

Weir said it will be a process to learn all of the new machine's capabilities. "We will print a part, but it won't necessarily be a finished part," he said. "There's a post-finish process we have to do to clean up a part before it's usable. How much of that we need to do we need to discover."

He pointed out that the university's newly formed Bioengineering Department will begin an undergraduate program this fall. The program will include a design track that will train students to be able to take advantage of such cutting-edge rapid-prototyping equipment.

For more information, visit:

Published in University of Colorado

Last week, more than 10,000 students from around the globe travelled to St. Louis, Missouri, to put their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at the Edward Jones Dome.

The three-day event came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of a roaring crowd of 25,000 when three teams from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; The Woodlands, Texas; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada won the coveted FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship Winning Alliance. In this year’s game, ULTIMATE ASCENTSM, two Alliances made up of three teams each try to score as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. This year, 2,546 FRC teams in 17 countries participated in 77 Regional and District competitions.

In all, more than 10,000 students, ages 6 to 18, participated in the Championship events. At the Opening Ceremonies, accomplished inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen recognized pop superstar for his volunteer work with the not-for-profit. “I’m proud to help FIRST inspire young people to pursue science and technology careers,” said. “The experience that students gain and the values they learn in FIRST programs are crucial to creating the innovative problem solvers of tomorrow.”

Several other U.S. and international FIRST student robotics teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, website design, teamwork, and partnerships. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Nearly 650 teams from 37 countries competed in the three levels of FIRST: FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®, grades 4 to 8, 9 to 14-year-olds in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico; 9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S, Canada, and Mexico); FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®, grades 7 to 12, 12 to 18-year-olds); and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®, grades 9 to 12, ages 14 to 18). In addition  to the high-energy robotics matches, 40 teams of 6 to 9-year-olds participated in the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®, grades K-3), World Festival Expo.

For more information, visit:

Published in FIRST

In a move to attract the brainpower and creativity of the next generation, and draw them into manufacturing, ThomasNet® announces the launch of its North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program.  Up to thirty graduating high school seniors with an interest in manufacturing careers will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to pursue studies at a two-year or four-year college, or a vocational-technical school.

As far as ThomasNet is concerned, nothing less than the future is at stake. “For more than a century, we’ve supported American manufacturing by connecting buyers and suppliers,” said Eileen Markowitz, president of ThomasNet. “We hope to have parents, educators and the manufacturing community join us in encouraging young students to transform their ingenuity and passion into a career in this exciting industry. With the launch of ThomasNet’s first North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program, we will recognize those star performers who have already demonstrated achievement in their schools and communities, and who plan to bring their skills and talents to this important industry.”

The timing of the program is no accident.  According to’s 2012 Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey, almost 50 percent of manufacturers are seeking to bring on new staff, including engineers, line workers, and skilled trade workers. Yet, despite high unemployment rates in the U.S. and Canada, manufacturers often have more jobs than talented people to fill them. That spells new professional opportunities for high school graduates who want to innovate, make products that are used all over the world, and leverage their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training.

ThomasNet is inviting the manufacturing community to show support for the new Scholarship Program by signing up for any one of’s free newsletters such as the new IMT Career Journal.  For each new subscription, ThomasNet will make a contribution (up to $30,000) to the Scholarship Program.

To be eligible for the ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarships, applicants must be graduating U.S. high school seniors or Canadian secondary students who plan to major in engineering, supply chain management/business operations, or learn a skilled trade. Interested students and educators can find out more about the scholarship by visiting and applying directly at The application deadline is July 1, 2013.

For more information, visit:

NASA unveiled an Exploration Design Challenge to give students from kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight. The innovative educational opportunity was announced in a special event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The challenge asks students in the U.S. and abroad to think and act like scientists to overcome one of the major hurdles for deep space long-duration exploration -- protecting astronauts and hardware from the dangers of space radiation.

This education-focused effort was developed through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., in collaboration with the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Va. The goal is to help students see their role in America's future exploration endeavors.

"America's next step in human space exploration is an ambitious one and will require new technologies, including ways to keep our astronauts safe from the effects of deep-space radiation," Bolden said. "That is the focus of this challenge, and we are excited students will be helping us solve that problem."

The announcement took place in front of a full-size Orion replica at Johnson's Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. Orion is the spacecraft that will take astronauts to deep space destinations in the future. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, NASA Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer, Lockheed Martin CEO and President Marillyn Hewson, and NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin were at the event. They were joined by local teacher Amber Pinchback, who offered an educator's perspective on the value of NASA missions and programs and how they benefit science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the classroom.

"Space exploration has inspired and fascinated young people for generations, and the Exploration Design Challenge is a unique way to capture and engage the imaginations of tomorrow's engineers and scientists," Hewson said.

The first Orion test mission in space is called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1). The mission is set to lift off in 2014 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Melvin, a two-time shuttle astronaut, explained the details of the challenge and shared why hands-on experience and involvement is an effective catalyst for engaging young minds in the future of America's human spaceflight program.

"Exploration Flight Test-1 is set to launch next year, so participating in this challenge will give the students a real sense of being part of the NASA team," Melvin said. "They will be able to chart Orion's progress as it moves closer to the test launch. That's important because these students represent our future scientists, engineers and explorers."

NASA is planning for longer human space exploration missions outside the protective blanket of Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere. NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners are developing the Orion spacecraft to carry astronauts farther into space than humans ever have gone before. To do this, materials must be engineered for the spacecraft that will better protect future space explorers from the dangers of space radiation. In 2017, NASA's Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, currently in development, will send Orion on a flight test mission around the moon.

NASA's Exploration Design Challenge brings cutting-edge learning to educators and students using standards-based activities, as well as print and video resources developed by leading education experts. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the new spacecraft.

Younger students, in grades K-4 and 5-8, will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding for Orion and recommend materials that best block harmful radiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will learn about radiation and human space travel in greater detail. Using what they have learned, they will be asked to think and act like engineers by designing shielding that protects a sensor on the Orion capsule from space radiation.

For more information, visit:

Published in NASA

Rapid News Communications Group (RNCG), 3D Systems Corporation (3D Systems) and Black County Atelier (BCA) have announced today an initiative that will see schoolchildren get hands-on experience at TCT Show + Personalize 2013, which will take place September 25/26 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

Building on a successful programme that has been running at the TCT event for many years, the 2013 TCT Bright Minds UK programme will see a classroom built in the heart of the exhibition floor where up to 300 schoolchildren will have a their chance to get their hands on CAD and 3D Printing technologies in a workshop setting. Black Country Atelier will run the sessions with the equipment being provided free-of-charge by 3D Systems.

Duncan Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Rapid News Communications Group explains more “We have been running TCT Bright Minds UK for a number of years as part of the TCT show but have always wanted to have a greater impact on a wider range of students. This exciting new partnership for 2013 enables us to do just that. Black Country Atelier are experts in delivering education sessions in this technology area and the huge amount of equipment generously provided free of charge by 3D Systems means we are now able to scale this programme up and have a much bigger impact. We are looking forward to working with BCA and 3D Systems to really inspire the next generation of designers and engineers.”

Jing Lu, Partner at BCA expands “3D Printing can be an incredibly intuitive and rewarding way for young people to engage with technology. We have been working with schools across the country to make 3D Printing accessible in the curriculum; preparing students for a new industrial revolution in design and fabrication.  From hands on workshops in CAD and 3D printing, to tours of the TCT Show + Personalize led by industry experts, we are hugely excited to be part of a programme that will give hundreds of students and teachers experience of this technology.”

The programme is designed for students in Secondary School education in the UK. Each session will last approximately two hours and will also give participants entry to TCT Show + Personalize. Industry led tours of the TCT Show + Personalize can also be arranged. Schools within the UK wishing to participate should contact Jing Lu ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to register their interest and discuss how they can get involved. The places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

TCT Bright Minds UK will take place within TCT Show + Personalize, 25-26 September 2013, Hall 3/3a, NEC, Birmingham, UK
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NASA is inviting potential partners to help the agency achieve its strategic goals for education.

Using its unique missions, discoveries, and assets, NASA supports education inside and outside the formal classroom to inspire and motivate educators and learners of all ages in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The agency is seeking unfunded partnerships with organizations to engage new or broader audiences across a national scale.

NASA recognizes the benefit of leveraging those unique resources and abilities that partners can provide in order to improve efficiency and maximize impact of its STEM efforts. This announcement requests information from organizations interested in working with NASA to improve STEM education in America.

Potential partnership activities are varied, and NASA is receptive to a wide range of possibilities. All categories of domestic groups, including U.S. federal government agencies, are eligible to respond to this announcement. NASA particularly seeks responses from creative organizations with wide-ranging areas of expertise that can affect systemic change for improving STEM education. NASA will accept responses through Dec. 31, 2014. Review of responses will begin April 1.

For more information, visit:

Published in NASA

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing, reminds students that just one week remains to submit designs for the 2013 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge.  As a new incentive this year, college finalists will have their designs reviewed for possible licensing agreement and commercialization by a major manufacturer in partnership with online inventor community, Edison Nation, which operates the hit TV show, Everyday Edisons.

In its ninth year, the contest invites students worldwide to submit inventive new product designs, redesigns of existing products, or original or redesigned works of art or architecture, for a chance to win scholarship money. Students at the middle school, high school and college level are able to participate in the design challenge.

As in prior years, Stratasys will award nine student winners either $2,500 or $1,000 scholarships in the categories of Middle School and High School Engineering, College Engineering, and Art & Architecture. Designs are awarded based on creativity, usefulness, part integrity and aesthetics. Instructors of the three first-place student winners will receive a tablet computer for use in the classroom. Since the contest's inception, more than $100,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students.

Each submission must:

  • be a sound mechanical design
  • be realistic and achievable
  • include a clear written description of the design.

This year's contest will also feature the award category, "Engineering a Difference," in which students may compete for a bonus prize. Students whose designs are aimed at solving a great societal challenge will have a chance to win a $250 gift card.

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Published in Stratasys

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has donated aircraft structural parts and kits worth more than $800,000 to Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) for use in its research laboratories and training classes. Airbus donated an elevator for a horizontal tail and two APU change kits.

NIAR researchers John Tomblin and Waruna Seneviratne will use the articles for composite-metal hybrid structural durability and damage tolerance research programs and advance composites hands-on training classes that include composite fabrication, repair and testing. The advanced hands-on composite training class was first developed working with the John Papadatos, head of engineering and site director of Airbus Wichita. The class has been offered for Airbus engineers three times since 2011.

“This is a prime example of the benefit of partnerships between the aviation industry and universities,” said John Tomblin, NIAR executive director. “We’re grateful for Airbus’ investment in furthering aviation research and education and look forward to the existing potential in the growing partnership between Airbus and NIAR.”

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., has been a long-time supporter of NIAR and helped foster the partnership between the two entities.

“Airbus is a great community partner and this investment demonstrates their significant commitment to Wichita and to Kansas,” said Moran. “This generous contribution will provide students at NIAR with invaluable aviation research tools, helping to establish Wichita as a place for aviation companies and their leaders.”

“Airbus is pleased to support Wichita State University and education of the next generation of leaders in this industry,” said Barry Eccleston, president and CEO of Airbus Americas. “We already have a good partnership with WSU and are pleased they can use our donation for teaching and research.”  

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Published in NIAR

Delcam is pleased to announce that cutting-tool supplier, Seco, is to sponsor the company’s first international student CAM competition. The competition, which will be held at Delcam’s Birmingham headquarters next month, will include finalists from universities in China, Korea, Russia and Taiwan.

Each finalist will be asked to program a complex part using Delcam’s PowerMILL software for high-speed and five-axis machining. After programming the part, each student will submit an NC program which will be run on one of the High Speed Machining centres within Delcam’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility using tooling supplied by Seco. The students will be assessed against several criteria including quality of toolpaths, machining time and surface finish.

"Delcam works with universities around the world, helping to train the next generation of engineers for our growing customer base,” said Delcam’s Commercial Director, Bart Simpson. "Many of our international subsidiaries and joint venture partners run competitions for students in their respective countries. However, this is the first occasion on which we have run an international competition. We are pleased that Seco will sponsor this inaugural event and hope to work with the company on future events involving finalists from an increased number of countries.”

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Published in Delcam

Here's a reason to be glad about madder: The climbing plant has the potential to make a greener rechargeable battery.

Scientists at Rice University and the City College of New York have discovered that the madder plant, aka Rubia tinctorum, is a good source of purpurin, an organic dye that can be turned into a highly effective, natural cathode for lithium-ion batteries. The plant has been used since ancient times to create dye for fabrics.  

The discovery is the subject of a paper that appears today in Nature's online, open-access journal Scientific Reports.

The goal, according to lead author Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, a research scientist in the Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, is to create environmentally friendly batteries that solve many of the problems with lithium-ion batteries in use today.

"Green batteries are the need of the hour, yet this topic hasn’t really been addressed properly," Reddy said. "This is an area that needs immediate attention and sustained thrust, but you cannot discover sustainable technology overnight. The current focus of the research community is still on conventional batteries, meeting challenges like improving capacity. While those issues are important, so are issues like sustainability and recyclability."

While lithium-ion batteries have become standard in conventional electronics since their commercial introduction in 1991, the rechargeable units remain costly to manufacture, Reddy said. "They're not environmentally friendly. They use cathodes of lithium cobalt oxide, which are very expensive. You have to mine the cobalt metal and manufacture the cathodes in a high-temperature environment. There are a lot of costs.

"And then, recycling is a big issue," he said. "In 2010, almost 10 billion lithium-ion batteries had to be recycled, which uses a lot of energy. Extracting cobalt from the batteries is an expensive process."

Reddy and his colleagues came across purpurin while testing a number of organic molecules for their ability to electrochemically interact with lithium and found purpurin most amenable to binding lithium ions. With the addition of 20 percent carbon to add conductivity, the team built a half-battery cell with a capacity of 90 milliamp hours per gram after 50 charge/discharge cycles. The cathodes can be made at room temperature, he said.

"It's a new mechanism we are proposing with this paper, and the chemistry is really simple," Reddy said. He suggested agricultural waste may be a source of purpurin, as may other suitable molecules, which makes the process even more economical.

Innovation in the battery space is needed to satisfy future demands and counter environmental issues like waste management, "and hence we are quite fascinated by the ability to develop alternative electrode technologies to replace conventional inorganic materials in lithium-ion batteries," said Ajayan, Rice's Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and of chemistry.

“We're interested in developing value-added chemicals, products and materials from renewable feedstocks as a sustainable technology platform,” said co-lead author George John, a professor of chemistry at the City College of New York-CUNY and an expert on bio-based materials and green chemistry. "The point has been to understand the chemistry between lithium ions and the organic molecules. Now that we have that proper understanding, we can tap other molecules and improve capacity."

Recent work by the Ajayan Group combines silicon and a porous nickel current collector in a way that has proven effective as a high-capacity anode, the other electrode in a lithium-ion battery. That research was reported recently in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

But Reddy hopes to formulate completely green batteries. The team is looking for organic molecules suitable for anodes and for an electrolyte that doesn't break the molecules down. He fully expects to have a working prototype of a complete organic battery within a few years. "What we've come up with should lead to much more discussion in the scientific community about green batteries," he said.

Co-authors of the paper are visiting scholar Porramate Chumyim and former graduate student Sanketh Gowda of Rice; postdoctoral researcher Subbiah Nagarajan, facilities manager Padmanava Pradhan and graduate student Swapnil Jadhav of the City College of New York; and Madan Dubey of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

The research was funded by the Army Research Office.

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Published in Rice University

CNC Software, Inc., producer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, announces the 2013 Mastercam Innovator of the Future (IOF) national competition! This competition entices students and young adults with a real-world manufacturing challenge, celebrity judge, and a chance to win $1,000 towards their schooling needs. The competition provides instructors with a powerful motivational tool to get students excited about learning CAD/CAM and the manufacturing process, and gives parents an opportunity to get their children involved in manufacturing.

The Challenge

For the 2013 competition, students are challenged to design and machine 1 of 3 parts—a connecting rod, racing wheel, or short shifter. The winning part will be selected based on several criteria including accuracy, creativity, and cleanliness of the part.

The Celebrity Judge

The 2013 IOF competition will be judged by a team of experts at VAC Motorsports. VAC Motorsports, located in historic Philadelphia, PA, is the world’s ultimate source for serious BMW performance and racing parts. On top of providing parts, they operate a state-of-the-art body shop, full service repair shop, full engine and manufacturing machine shop, providing new and used parts from a facility that covers more than 14,000 square feet. There is no job that is too large or small for VAC Motorsports, and they use Mastercam to get it all done.

The Awards

Everyone who enters the competition receives an exclusive Mastercam IOF shirt. The student who creates the winning entry will be awarded a $1,000 check to defray educational expenses, as well as a seat of Mastercam Mill Level 1 software. In addition, the winner will receive a trip for two to visit VAC Motorsports and a day on the race track. Mastercam IOF recognition plaques will also go to the winner and their school (or parent).

Competition Rules

All entries to the Mastercam 2013 IOF competition are subject to the following requirements:

  • The part must be programmed with a licensed copy of Mastercam software.
  • The part must have a professional look and remain consistent with the theme industry standards.
  • The part must adhere to the specifications.
  • Tell us the story behind your part entry; the inspiration for its design, materials used, etc.
  • Include photos of you holding the part, the machine shop, or the CNC machine. Electronic files are preferred.
  • The entry must consist of one finished, unpainted part.  
  • All entries become the property of CNC Software, Inc. Parts cannot be returned.
  • All designs become the property of CNC Software, Inc.
  • All entries and completed entry forms must be received by May 15, 2013.
  • The IOF contest is open to any individual between the ages of 16 and 25 with access to a machine shop to cut the entry.
  • While we welcome past winners to submit entries, past winners are not eligible to win the grand prize.

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Published in Mastercam

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) announced the donation of the FloEFD™ Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to over 700 USA high schools in support of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) contest. Embedded into PTC’s Creo product for 3D mechanical design, the FloEFD product enables these high school teams to efficiently analyze their aircraft wing, tail and fuselage designs for optimized performance. Previous years’ challenges have included the wing design of a 737 aircraft, the design of LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) and the tail assembly of a Cessna corporate jet. This year’s challenge will be the optimization of a commercial UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), also known as a drone, and will require extensive design and CFD optimization to meet aggressive performance specifications and UAV task definition.

Each student team will have access to more than one million dollars’ worth of professional level software—donated by various sponsors—commonly used by aerospace companies in their design of real commercial products. Although a network of industry technical mentors is provided to the teams to help them understand the issues to be considered in the design process, the design approaches and CFD analyses are performed by the students. At the judging events, comprehensive presentations and documentation are presented to a panel of judges at both the state and national levels.

The RWDC was started five years ago with the goal to interest students in the pursuit of engineering careers and specifically in the aerospace industry. In addition to Mentor and PTC, the program has an impressive number of sponsors including NASA, the FAA, the US Department of Transportation, and over 40 commercial companies like Northrop Grumman, SPACEX, Lockheed Martin, Cessna, Pratt & Whitney, etc. The annual competition originates at the state level and then each state winner competes at the national level. To broaden the reach of the program, the cost to compete is free to the teams and expenses to the national competition are completely covered by corporate sponsorship funds.

“Similar to our commercial aerospace users, we want these students to be able to focus on the design and not struggle with how to use the software,” stated Erich Buergel, general manager of the Mentor Graphics Mechanical Analysis Division. “To this end we have embedded our FloEFD software directly into PTC’s Creo product using a common model and user interface. Design engineers, in addition to CFD specialists, can efficiently and accurately simulate multiple design approaches to quickly arrive at a more competitive, higher performing product.”

The 2013 Real World Design Challenge began on September 12, 2012 at the state level. State winners will then compete at the national level with winners announced April 22, 2013.

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Published in Mentor Graphics

NASA is offering high school junior girls from across the United States an opportunity to jump-start their future by participating in the Women In STEM High School (WISH) Aerospace Scholars program for 2013.

WISH participants will participate in online forums focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics, and complete online activities to qualify for a six-day summer experience at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. During the summer experience, they will work with mentors to design a mission to Mars, interact with NASA female role models, and mingle with scientists and engineers as they learn about careers in STEM.

Applications are due January 3, 2013. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, female high school juniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and interested in STEM. They must have access to the Internet and e-mail, be able to commit to the project for one year and participate in the Johnson summer program in 2013.

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Published in NASA

Renishaw has been announced as a sponsor of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineer's Fair as part of its ongoing commitment to develop the next generation of engineers.

The Big Bang Fair, which takes place at ExCeL, London from 14 – 17 March 2013, is the largest celebration of science and engineering for young people in the UK and is designed to inspire young people to make the link between their classroom experiences and a future career. At the fair, visitors will experience a wide range of explosive theatre shows and interactive exhibits, as well as having the opportunity to meet some of the country's leading scientist and engineers.

In sponsoring the Big Bang Fair, Renishaw is continuing its commitment to raising awareness surrounding Engineering as a career. The Company's Education Liaison Executive, Julie Collins, explains, “It is increasingly important that we encourage young people to study subjects that will give them the qualifications that they will require for an interesting and rewarding career in engineering and science. Events like the Big Bang Fair really help to spark the interest of young people and inspire them to keep studying STEM subjects.”

In 2012, the Big Bang Fair hosted 56,000 visitors of all ages, who both enjoyed and learned from their experiences. The organisers report that over 76% of 12 – 14 year olds viewed engineering more positively as a result of their visit. Renishaw is working with education establishments to help promote STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in schools, and engineering as a career, to help combat the nationwide skills shortage of high calibre scientists and engineers.

The Big Bang Fair is delivered by over 170 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, including EngineeringUK, the British Science Associate and the Institute of Physics.

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Published in Renishaw

SparkFun Electronics is excited to announce the company's inclusion in a new educational initiative between the state of Vermont and For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics. The groundbreaking pilot program, which is currently in place at 10 Career and Technical Education institutions, offers a $3,000 grant from the state of Vermont to each participating program.

The first $1,000 of the grant is allocated to a SparkFun Inventor's Kit LabPack, which includes 10 complete Inventor's Kits, plus 10 more Arduino Uno boards, Baseplates, Circuit Overlays, Breadboards and Kit Guides. The LabPacks are SparkFun's classroom entry point and combine its ProtoSnap, LilyPad, Inventor's Kits or Arduino-compatible through-hole soldering kits with support materials, bringing all the power of the open source community to the classroom.

The remaining $2,000 of the grant provides a portion of the fees required for a school to institute a FIRST Robotics program. FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. Currently, there are approximately 300,000 K-12 students who participate in FIRST Robotics teams and annual competitions around the country. The grant will help offset the starting cost a school needs to join the program.

"To me, the Arduino is becoming the backbone for product development," said Douglas Webster, CTE Coordinator for the Vermont State Department of Education, who worked with SparkFun's Department of Education to create the grant program. "We were trying to get CTE centers on board to be thinking 'robotics/automation/integration of technologies' and Arduino training is a step in that direction. The impact Arduino has on the Maker movement, product development and inspiring youth to become engaged in STEM education is largely untapped. It made sense to offer one grant to purchase kits for both Arduino and FIRST."

State support for the grant program also shows a significant increase in the scope of understanding about the need to facilitate a new generation of STEM education, with a parallel understanding of robotics and electronics innovation and an open source approach to both.

"It gets the state on board promoting emerging technologies within our schools. STEM education buzz to date has meant strengthening mathematics and science. But with standardized tests and other initiatives, the system has been playing that game for decades and has shown little results," Webster said. "By supporting enabling technologies that engage youth in creating and innovating – and the integration of the arts – we may yet see an impact on test scores. However, is it test scores we really care about, or is it the innovation? I'd say inventiveness, creation and a renewed culture of innovation. We have too many problems to solve and now, not later."

"What's really interesting for us is how Vermont is introducing this highly-successful FIRST system, which traditionally is not open-source, while concurrently introducing the open-source model [of SparkFun]," said Jeff Branson, one of SparkFun's educational outreach coordinators. "Introducing them together shows a depth of understanding about the value of open source - not only its intellectual value, but its fiscal value as well - that we haven't seen before."

SparkFun's Department of Education is dedicated to improving the interest and diversification in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields by encouraging kinesthetic and tangible learning with affordable, accessible and relevant technologies.

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Published in SparkFun Electronics

Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rocks through a 3-D printer and making something useful – like a needed wrench or replacement part.

"It sounds like science fiction, but now it’s really possible,’’ says Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University.

Bandyopadhyay and a group of colleagues recently published a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal demonstrating how to print parts using materials from the moon.
Approached by NASA
Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, are well known researchers in the area of three-dimensional printing for creation of bone-like materials for orthopedic implants.

In 2010, researchers from NASA initiated discussion with Bandyopadhyay, asking if the research team might be able to print 3-D objects from moon rock.
Because of the tremendous expense of space travel, researchers strive to limit what space ships have to carry. Establishment of a lunar or Martian outpost would require using the materials that are on hand for construction or repairs. That’s where the 3-D fabrication technology might come in.

Three-dimensional fabrication technology, also known as additive manufacturing, allows researchers to produce complex 3-D objects directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models, printing the material layer by layer. In this case, the material is heated using a laser to high temperatures and prints out like melting candle wax to a desired shape.

Simple shapes built
To test the idea, NASA researchers provided Bandyopadhyay and Bose with 10 pounds of raw lunar regolith simulant, an imitation moon rock that is used for research purposes.

The WSU researchers were concerned about how the moon rock material - which is made of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and magnesium oxides - would melt. But they found it behaved similarly to silica, and they built a few simple shapes.

The researchers are the first to demonstrate the ability to fabricate parts using the moon-like material. They sent their pieces to NASA.
"It doesn’t look fantastic, but you can make something out of it,’’ says Bandyopadhyay.
Tailoring composition, geometry
Using additive manufacturing, the material could also be tailored, the researchers say. If you want a stronger building material, for instance, you could perhaps use some moon rock with earth-based additives.

"The advantage of additive manufacturing is that you can control the composition as well as the geometry,’’ says Bose.

In the future, the researchers hope to show that the lunar material could be used to do remote repairs.

"It is an exciting science fiction story, but maybe we’ll hear about it in the next few years,’’ says Bandyopadhyay. "As long as you can have additive manufacturing set up, you may be able to scoop up and print whatever you want. It’s not that far-fetched.’’
The research was supported by a $750,000 W.M. Keck Foundation grant.

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