Featured Image

AMT Tech Report: Issue #160

These numbers aren’t bull: Lambo prints 20,000 final parts. LiDAR and robotic vision systems. Are homes printed out of cabbage coming soon? Additive-optimized electronics. Why waste, uh, waste? Convert it into energy.
May 28, 2021

“Simplify, then add lightness.” 

– Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars 

1. Additive A-List: Lamborghini 

Yeah, I know. I gave Lamborghini some flak last week, but I’ll always have a spot in my heart for the Lam-bros. This article’s title says it all: The bull-obsessed supercar (and tractor) manufacturer printed over 20,000 parts in 2020! This alone is a huge deal, but let’s also celebrate the fact that Lamborghini has been utilizing additive tech as far back as the Diablo in the 1990’s! That’s not all – Lambo also pivoted their production line last year to print PPE and ventilators to fight COVID-19. The best part? Lamborghinis have always been exclusive products made for a select few, and they kept this exclusivity going through the pandemic, doing their best to ensure only heroic healthcare workers were the ones donning the raging bull-branded PPE. Bravo, Lambo! Grazie! Ragazzi! Grazie mille! 


2. LiDAR and Robotics 

I find this amusing. Typically, the military and defense industry get all of the exotic and fancy specialty tech first, then it trickles down to the manufacturing industry, then to something like high-level auto racing (Formula 1, NASCAR, WRC, WEC, etc.), and then to the consumer. In the strange case of LiDAR, it went: Military tech trickled down to the automotive industry (and, technically, the boating/fishing/hunting industry first – seriously), and then it made its way to the manufacturing industry. Looks like LiDAR is the latest tech to optimize robotic vision systems! Cool beans. 


3. Cabbage Beats Concrete 

Cabbage isn't the first material that comes to mind when I hear "edible" and "concrete" used in the same sentence. Pork cracklins? Sure. Not cabbage. Well, when additive is used for part production, it’s occasionally referred to as “growing” parts. How cool is it that the “growing” in this case could start as soon as the raw materials finish, well, growing? Note: The article doesn’t mention additive or 3D printing at all. I’m assuming this will be adapted to additive, and frankly, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. 


4. Additive-Optimized Electronics 

TL;DR – The four ways AM will optimize electronics are 1) locally grown space antennas; 2) embedded sensors in everyday products for convenience (wearables integrated into normal clothes and accessories); 3) military and defense; and 4) accelerating prototyping faster than regular additive already has. 


5. Converting Thermal Energy to Electrical 

Back when I was in college, I read that BMW was experimenting with thermoelectric conversion solutions that could be implemented into an automobile’s exhaust system, potentially retiring the conventional alternator the way alternators replaced big, bulky, inefficient generators. This, of course, would greatly increase the thermal efficiency of an internal combustion engine wherein the heat from the exhaust is typically wasted and would greatly reduce the parasitic drag of an alternator. Nothing came of this back in the late 2000s, but new research could always change that!  


To access Tech Trends, log in to or register for an MTInsight account at https://www.mtinsight.org/ 

Stephen LaMarca
Manufacturing Technology Analyst
Recent technology News
Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame now accepting nominations. Italian Roboze bringing additive manufacturing hub to Texas. No longer satisfied with building watches and jewelry, the Swiss look to growing them. Size matters: Boston Micro Fabrication.
Singapore: the most robot-dense country in the world. Will Tesla go down ... as a robotics firm in artificial intelligence? Automation, inspection, and robotics are the perfect match. Can 3D printing be sustainable? A guide to 3D printing on a glass bed.
“Copying your competitor won't help you beat your competitor. You need to think beyond your competitor.” – Gerhard Plenert and Bill Kirchmier
Since the dawn of humanity, people have dreamed of reaching to the skies. Whether it be manned flight, conquering mountaintops, and building ever-taller skyscrapers, humankind has always worked to find ways to to overcome the omnipresent force of...
Until recently, in order to deploy robots in your plant, your business would need to hire a systems integrator who procured the hardware, designed the process, and programmed the robots. Experienced systems integrators play an invaluable role...
Similar News
By Stephen LaMarca | Jun 11, 2021

Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame now accepting nominations. Italian Roboze bringing additive manufacturing hub to Texas. No longer satisfied with building watches and jewelry, the Swiss look to growing them. Size matters: Boston Micro Fabrication.

5 min
By Benjamin Moses | Jun 11, 2021

Episode 51: Ben and Steve share their pre-college manufacturing and tradecraft education and experiences. Stephen claims Boston is the new Switzerland in terms of precision manufacturing. Benjamin talks about the precision of manufacturing electric...

22 min
By Mario Winterstein | Jun 11, 2021

Japanese industrial manufacturers are being encouraged to not exclusively rely on China but instead to also find a “plus one” country to shift production into – if not back into Japan itself...

5 min