“I don't need to work on the lock, I need to work WITH the human.”
– Jenny Radcliffe
1. Amazon’s New AMR
Would you look at that? This first article is covered in buzzwords! We’ve got “supply chain,” “Amazon,” “automation” … the list goes on! Let’s see what supervillain Bezos is up to. The “fully autonomous” mobile robot’s name is Proteus. How pompous. Gotta give ‘em credit though: he’s pumping those numbers up to South Korea-levels of automation! “Three years ago, Amazon already had more than 200,000 robotic drive units deployed. Today, it’s more than 520,000, and the company counts more than a dozen types of robotic systems in its facilities.”
2. Rocket Factory In-A-Box
Just in time for the Fourth of July! No, this isn’t some rocket by Black Cat that you can pick up from Phantom Fireworks. Sadly, this is for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). X-Bow Systems, a new, non-traditional small business supplier of Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) and defense technologies, recently announced its Pathfinder I, a mobile energetics factory demonstration unit (aka Rocket Factory In-A-Box), will be delivered this month to the U.S. AFRL in Edwards, California. “Pathfinder I is part of X-Bow's groundbreaking, low-cost additive manufacturing approach to solid rocket motors, developed in conjunction with, and as part of, AFRL's Eternal Quiver Program.”
3. Advanced Additive Auto Parts
Get in the zone – the additive zone! This extensive article doesn’t have a replacement trunk latch for your ‘90s Honda, but it will help you make it yourself … well, maybe. It goes over everything from what is printable to where to find designs, to where to make your own designs, to suggested printers, and even to outsourcing the printing! It doesn’t have a scan tool you can borrow though.
4. Artificial Automation
Automation can make jobs easier. But what if I told you that you BEING automation – or at least pretending to be automation – can also make your job much easier (at least in this application)? Working in the service industry or retail often means your job is to be a grossly underpaid emotional punching bag for customers, but a brilliant barista figured out an interesting hack to get around that. No, this isn’t the most relevant to manufacturing, but it’s Friday, so take a little break! You deserve it.
5. Record-Breaking Goodwood Hillclimb
OK, take another little break! Watch the video. It’s less than a minute, and it feels illegal. Not just against-the-law fast but against-the-laws-of-physics fast! So, if you don’t know what the Goodwood Festival of Speed is: Each year, some rich British bloke invites some of the fastest drivers in some of the fastest cars sporting the most advanced manufacturing technology to trickle down to the automotive world over to his house to race up his driveway. Seriously, some of these people have more money than our industry data folks see in their little spreadsheets!
These pictures were taken at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. What you're looking at is a one-piece metal AM automobile brake caliper and suspension knuckle assembly. Commonly, the caliper and knuckle are, as previously mentioned, an assembly of multiple parts/pieces where the caliper is bolted to the knuckle either axially or radially. Axial versus radial mounting of the brake caliper to the knuckle is a hot topic of debate when it comes to performance vehicles. The unit here is a caliper and knuckle printed as one piece and thus an integrally mounted brake caliper. Photos by Tom Barnes, Head of Advanced Manufacturing at Kensington Additive, U.K.
To get the latest tech developments delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to the weekly Tech Report here.
To access Tech Trends, log in to or register for an MTInsight account at https://www.mtinsight.org/