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NASA Fired Up Over 3D-Printed Engine Components

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


A NASA team is fired up about getting closer to building a completely 3D-printed, high-performance rocket engine. They demonstrated this in December by assembling additive-made complex engine parts and firing them up with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen to produce 20,000 pounds of thrust. Full Article

A Day at America’s Digital Manufacturing Hub, the DMDII

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute where they gathered -- known as the DMDII -- is a linchpin in a creative federal strategy, which is still taking shape, to revive the U.S. manufacturing sector by strategically investing in the many technologies used to manufacture things. The DMDII is one of seven public-private manufacturing hubs that currently make up this so-called National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, or NNMI, first announced by President Barack Obama in 2012. The total proposed investment in this effort, according to the 2016 federal budget, now surpasses $2 billion. And two more hubs -- one focused on smart manufacturing and another on revolutionary fibers and textiles -- are expected to be announced soon. Full Article

A New Way to Print 3D Metals and Alloys

Northwestern University press release


A team of Northwestern Engineers has created a new way to print three-dimensional metallic objects using rust and metal powders. While current methods rely on vast metal powder beds and expensive lasers or electron beams, Northwestern’s new technique uses liquid inks and common furnaces, resulting in a cheaper, faster, and more uniform process. Full Article

First Chilling Laser Developed for Bio Research (Not Supervillainy)

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


Since the first laser was invented in 1960, they’ve almost always given off heat—either as a useful tool, a byproduct, or a fictional way to vanquish intergalactic enemies. Until now, however, those concentrated beams of light have never been able to cool liquids. University of Washington researchers are the first to solve a decades-old puzzle—figuring out how to make a laser refrigerate water and other liquids under real-world conditions. Full Article

Tech Front: Device Lures Cancer Cells Away from Organs

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson


A small, implantable device that researchers are calling a cancer “super-attractor” could eventually give doctors an early warning of relapse in breast cancer patients and even slow the disease’s spread to other organs in the body. The sponge-like device developed at the University of Michigan is designed to attract the cancer cells that emerge in the bloodstream during the early stages of cancer’s recurrence—before tumors form elsewhere in the body. A new study in mice shows that the device attracts detectable numbers of cancer cells before they’re visible elsewhere in the body. Full Article

A Real-World ‘Invisibility Cloak’? Research Teams See Progress

Edited By Senior Editor Michael Anderson


For decades—since the first season of the original Star Trek series, at least—the world has wondered if something like a “cloaking device” to create functional invisibility would ever be feasible. Now, after a long wait, real progress was reported from two separate sources within a week of each other. Full Article

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