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AMT Tech Report: Issue #165

Is this a new form of additive, or just more lasers? 3D-printed titanium transmissions for sports cars. Underground drones to survey mines and increase safety. Drive-thru artificial intelligence still can’t fix the ice cream machine.
Jul 01, 2021

“Enjoy every sandwich”

Warren Zevon

1. Another "New" Additive 

Don’t get me wrong. This is a fantastic idea that will likely take off, but it sounds like it’s more an evolution of powder bed fusion with more lasers than “revolutionary” or a new, eighth family of additive manufacturing (that’s an ISO/ASTM reference). “Since being founded in 2015, Seurat Technologies has iteratively developed its proprietary Area Printing process, with the intention of marketing it to automotive, consumer tech and industrial clientele. Compared to existing technologies, Area Printing’s ‘USP’ is that it involves focusing more than two million points of laser light onto a metal powder bed, which can be fine-tuned to rapidly create end-use parts.” 

Read more here.

2. Additive Sports Car Transmissions 

Don’t be fooled by this article’s use of the term “hypercar,” as these kiwis build non-street-legal, track-dedicated weapons for civilian consumption – should said civilian have the means, probably. Anyway, they have some fighting words for the conventional-gear-generating nerds, and I love it! “A gearbox created using traditional manufacturing methods would be cast out of Magnesium or machined from billet material. The resulting component would not only be slow to produce, but heavier and would not withstand the rigors presented by the track. Rodin Cars wanted to flip this design into a true innovation – the ultimate component produced from 3D printed Titanium that would be compact, light, strong, and durable.” 

Read more here.

3. NVIDIA and Google’s Innovationship 

Fun times. Google is a huge developer of artificial intelligence tech and 5G services. AI requires speed. Lots of it – and all kinds: Computational power for quick and simultaneous calculations (in comes NVIDIA), and blistering network speed to get massive amounts of data from one place to another as close to FTL as 5G (or the laws of physics) will allow. NVIDIA and Google have the chemistry to be some strong lab partners, and this is where the magic will happen! 

Read more here.

4. Underground Drones 

“Canadian underground mining companies looking for ways to increase safety and efficiency by using cutting-edge autonomous robots now have a viable solution for their needs.” Now get them in there and get us more batteries! Well, not actually batteries but precious metals, minerals, etc. Heck, even crypto, but you don’t need robots or to even literally dig for that – just a ton of GPUs … Never mind. 

Read more here.

5. AI Drive-Thru 

IBM’s Watson is gonna work the McDonald’s drive-thru window! I kid, I kid – and I know I probably shouldn’t, as there’s a quite a bit to unpack here. First off, it seems this article isn’t fairly written, and the author just might have a bit of a not-so-internal bias against automation and AI. Also, I wouldn’t classify this as AI but machine learning. Long story short: McDonald’s is field testing drive-thru automation powered by voice recognition utilizing machine learning to more clearly understand and accurately take customer orders in the Chicago area. 

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Manufacturing Technology Analyst
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