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All Micro / Nano Articles

Tech Front: Li-ion Battery Tech Leads to Hydrogen Production

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


Developers of electric cars that used lithium-ion batteries are racing the champions of hydrogen-fueled vehicles to see which will succeed the greenhouse gas-producing gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. They’ve been racing in different directions—until now: Scientists at Stanford University have created a low-voltage, low-cost “water splitter” that uses a single catalyst to continuously produce both hydrogen and oxygen from water. Full Article

Small Improvements in Medical

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Medical device maker Donna Bibber put a client’s invention—a one-dose powder medication inhaler—on her web site hoping it might attract a pharmaceutical company interested in acquiring it. After all, she said, her takeaway from a recent pharmaceutical show is that drug manufacturers are trying to eke out more revenue from medications with expiring patents by reintroducing them in new delivery systems.

Full Article

Workforce Pipeline: Colliding Worlds: Engineering Meets Biology

Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager - Medical, SME


Medical manufacturing has been a leader in using additive manufacturing(AM)/3D printing for end-use applications for at least 15 years. The combination of 3D scanning of a patient with the ability to print from that scan has made AM a natural fit for things like prosthetics, dental implants, and hearing aid cases. Today, the technology is expanding into new areas including printing implantable devices, bone and tissue scaffolds, and even printing of tissues. Full Article

Out of the Lab, Into the Industry: Microlution Finds a (Very) Small Niche

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


A little more than 10 years ago, Microlution’s founders were graduate engineering students at IMTS 2004, and facing an endless stream of visitors curious about the prototype micro-machining center they brought to demonstrate. “We had many companies come by and ask if they could buy one,” said Andy Phillip about the machine he helped build in a lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with classmate Andrew Honegger. Full Article

Tech Front: New Method Creates Precise Graphene Nanoribbons

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, has designed a new precision method of synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from molecular building blocks. The research, which created nanoribbons with enhanced properties, could be used in future electronic circuitry. Full Article

Small Improvements in Medical

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Medical device maker Donna Bibber put a client’s invention—a one-dose powder medication inhaler—on her web site hoping it might attract a pharmaceutical company interested in acquiring it.After all, she said, her takeaway from a recent pharmaceutical show is that drug manufacturers are trying to eke out more revenue from medications with expiring patents by reintroducing them in new delivery systems. Full Article

Tech Front: New Nanoscale Compounds for Better CNG Storage

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have published a new study on nanoscale materials composed of metal organic frameworks (MOF) that could be used to devise more practical storage systems used with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Today’s CNG-powered buses and trucks typically use very bulky tanks that store natural gas at very high pressure. Full Article

TechFront: Ultra-Strong MRIs Show Promise for Neuroscience, Other Research

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


New ultra-strong, high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) full-body scanners under development by GE Healthcare (Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK) and Tesla Engineering UK (Pulborough, West Sussex, UK) will be used by researchers to speed detection and improve therapies for Parkinson’s disease and a host of other disorders. Full Article

Tech Front: New Process Allows Nanofibers to Grow at Room Temperature

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) have devised a safer method of growing vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNF) with ambient air, rather than using toxic chemicals like ammonia at very high temperatures in a vacuum chamber. Full Article

Manufacturing 4 Looks to the Future

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


From advanced manufacturing presentations to programs for young STEM students, the Manufacturing 4 the Future (Mfg4) 2014 show held May 6-8 in Hartford, CT, featured a lot of innovation on display for everybody. Full Article

Tech Front - New Carbon Nanotubes Outperform Copper as Electrical Conductors

Patrick Waurzyniak, Senior Editor and Ellen Kehoe, Senior Editor


Carbon nanotube-based fibers created at Rice University (Houston) show that on a pound-per-pound basis, the nanotube fibers have more capacity to conduct electrical current than copper. Although individual nanotubes can transmit nearly 1000 times more current than copper, the same tubes coalesced into a fiber using other technologies fail long before reaching that capacity. Full Article

Tech Front: Nanotube Soldering Process Creates Tiny Electrical Pathways

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Scientists at the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) have devised a way to heal gaps in tiny wires too small for the smallest soldering iron. A research team, led by electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding and graduate student Jae Won Do, has published its results in the journal Nano Letters. Full Article

Tech Front: Carbyne Chains Hold Promise for Creating Stronger Nanomaterials

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Carbyne may turn out to be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials ever, if scientists can determine an effective way to produce it in bulk. Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have studied carbyne nanorods or nanoropes that could have a host of remarkable and useful properties, which are described by Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his group in a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. Full Article

Scaling Down Waterjets to the Micro Level

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Shrinking an abrasive waterjet machine down to work at micro sizes is no small task. Adapting abrasive waterjets for micromachining requires greatly reducing the size of the waterjet nozzles and mixing tubes that carry smaller garnet abrasives through the waterjet’s high-pressure cutting tool delivery system. Full Article

Nano Molding and Tooling

Peter Szewczyk, Project Engineer, Dynomax Inc.


The growing need for nano and micro components in the medical industries is challenging manufacturers to continually improve upon their manufacturing processes and take a scientific approach to injection molding and tooling. Micro and nano products pose significant engineering and manufacturing challenges from the standpoint of tool design, production, and processing to ultimately achieve a quality part ready for end use. Full Article

Small Victory at Makino

Michael C. Anderson Senior Editor


The company’s Micromachining Conference and Technology Expo—both held at their Auburn Hills, MI, tech center last week, show the cutting—and burning—edges of micro manufacturing. Full Article

Micro-Molding Thin-Walled Devices

Donna Bibber, President and CEO, Micro Engineering Solutions


Micro machining of micro molds nowenable thin-walled micro injection molding in thermoplastic, silicone, and metal Full Article

MicroManufacturing: A Technology Full of Surprises

Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager--Medical, Manager, Innovation Watch, MicroManufacturing, Medical Manufacturing Innovations, SME


Micromanufacturing continues to amaze me. As the event manager for SME’s MicroManufacturing Conference, I have worked with professionals in the field for more than 10 years, yet each year, I am surprised at the latest use of micro technologies. Full Article

Micro Manufacturing Keeps Shrinking the Envelope

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Micro components continue to shrink in size, demanding ever-greater precision and improved handling of parts with sub-micron-sized features. New approaches in micro machining technology include higher-precision systems from traditional micro machining developers, as well as techniques using additive manufacturing processes and semiconductor wafer-scale technology on the smallest of micro parts.

Full Article

Injecting Innovation

John MacGregor, President, AA-EDM


There are different forms of electric discharge machining (EDM), but all basically work in the same manner. EDM works by eroding material in the path of electrical discharges that form "a conduction channel" between an electrode tool and a workpiece.   Full Article

Problems Solved: Micro Molding for Medical

Tom Filippo, General Manager, Dynomax, & Megan Krizman, Buyer, Dynomax


Challenges (both large and small) arise in the manufacturing industry every day. The nature of the industry is problem-solving, and Dynomax Inc., founded in 1986 by CEO Richard Zic and headquartered in the Chicago land area, has battled and conquered its fair share of challenges. The company serves the medical, aerospace/defense, transportation, and energy industries. Full Article

Small Parts, Smaller Features

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


The emergence of micro-cutting tools for industrial applications is a more recent evolution of a class of cutting tools that trace their popularity back more than a half century to use for drilling printed circuit (PC) boards. End mills and, more recently, thread mills have expanded the traditional reach of micro-cutting tools in dental, medical, and aerospace applications. Full Article

The Exciting New Future of Aerospace

Contributing Editor Joyce Laird


New developments in materials and design will have a major impact not just on fuel efficiency of future aircrafts but also on how aerospace components will be manufactured in the future. "What we are seeing today is a jump in jet aircraft efficiency of 15-20%, with the very real possibility of 25–30% improvement in the near future," said Scott Thompson, US Aerospace & Defense Leader, PwC Industrial Products Practice. Full Article

SME Speaks: Mission: Growth at SME

SME Director of Membership Joseph J. LaRussa


Growth is many things. It’s a business objective, a sign of health, a personal goal, and a measure of satisfaction. SME and its members consider growth to be all of these, and together we’re achieving it. Considering growth as a business objective, SME membership grew by 4% in 2011. More than 6700 new members joined the Society in 2011, demonstrating that our value promise to our members is strong and compelling. Full Article

Envision: An Innovative New Era of Manufacturing

Ahmed Busnaina, W. L. Smith Professor and Director, Northeastern University


Nanomaterials based nanomanufacturing involves adding materials selectively such that no material removal is needed.  Full Article

Quality Scan: Ultra-Precision Micromachining Meets Optical Metrology

John Bradford, Micromachining Team Leader, Makino Inc.


Micromachining has gained a lot of attention over the last several years, representing an area of growth particularly for North American manufacturers. While some more simplistic applications have been sent overseas, the micromanufacturing industry faces a greater level of complexity that many companies are unwilling to outsource. Full Article

Designing and Manufacturing Medical Devices with Antimicrobial Technology

Arif Sirinterlikci, Samantha Pogel, Justin Wissinger School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science Robert Morris University


A new breed of medical devices is being equipped with antimicrobial technology to prevent microbial contamination and infections. In the US alone, about 1.7 million cases of infections occur annually, causing approximately 99,000 deaths and $45 billion in added healthcare costs reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and various other resources.        Full Article

The Smaller, The Better

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


In search of turning and milling solutions for the micro world      Full Article

Micromanufacturing: The New frontier

Senior Editor Robert Aronson


The old manufacturing rules don't apply in the microworld Full Article

Is Going Micro Worth the Effort?

Donna Bibber, President, Micro Engineering Solutions


Micro is a common buzzword, but is it really a growing industry and should you consider becoming a part of it? In this article, an expert explains the potential profits and pitfalls along with the hardware needed to carry out this unique form of manufacturing. Full Article

US Manufacturers Gain an Edge

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Micro parts are produced with Charmilles' MicroTEC 350µ technology, which fine tunes power settings to the intricate details of the very small electrodes that are required. It's not a stretch to say that wire and sinker EDM technologies are cutting faster and putting a finer finish on products that are smaller, more delicate, and more complex than ever before. Full Article

Measuring Micro Parts

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


When it comes to inspecting and measuring the very smallest parts, there are limits that are being pushed back by developments in sensor technology. Parts for critical applications in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics industries are getting smaller, and have more complicated features that can prove elusive to the best sensing efforts of traditional measuring technologies.  Full Article

Micromanufacturing is Growing

Senior Editor Robert B. Aronson


Many industries have been making parts with micron dimensions for some time, but in the last few years, the market for miniaturization has expanded. The demand is not only for small parts, but also for small complex features on larger parts. This is due chiefly to the switch to modules in which the functions of several parts or subsystems are not handled by a single complex unit.  Full Article

The New World of Micromanufacturing

Senior Editor Robert B. Aronson


Making very small parts is a new, but growing industry. It's so new that even the definitions vary considerably. The two terms most often heard are "nano" and "micro." A nanometer is one billionth of a meter and a micrometer is one millionth of a meter. Full Article

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