“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
– Valentine Wiggin, “Ender's Game”
1. Rare Earth Elements
Also known as REEs, this group of 17 elements, including yttrium, scandium, and the lanthanide series, have unique magnetic, chemical, electrical, and reactive properties for a variety of applications. Although they are called “rare” earth elements, they are actually quite abundant in the Earth's crust. REEs are found all over the globe, with the largest deposits located in China, Vietnam, Brazil, and Russia. REEs are used in magnets, chemical catalysis, high-index glass and phosphors, and metal alloys. Their applications include hard-drive disks, electric motors, catalytic combustion of fossil fuels, digital camera lenses, LED technology, and anodes for nickel-metal-hydride batteries.
2. Quantum Cascade Lasers
3DM is an Israeli startup that has developed a quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology that can adapt to a wide variety of thermoplastic materials. The technology involves assembling four different laser modules into one case and combining them with optics elements to form a high-power beamhead. This technology enables faster printing with higher resolution, mechanical strength, and quality compared to existing technologies. It also allows users to tailor the laser's frequency to fit specific materials’ melting properties. This promises faster, higher quality parts at a lower cost … but will probably require three PhD’s to operate it – at least until we’re on the third edition of “Printer’s Handbook.”
3. Robots Reshoring
Robots are paving the way for reshoring manufacturing in the United States. A labor shortage hinders reshoring efforts, but robots can alleviate this problem and enable companies to move their production back to the United States. Robotics and automation are being used to help increase production efficiency and reduce overhead costs, making reshoring more economically feasible. Acme Alliance is using robots to maximize production output, increasing their competitiveness with lower-labor-cost countries.
4. Sakuu Wants Porsche To Do Their DFAM Homework
Sakuu Corp. has selected Porsche Consulting to design its additive manufacturing gigafactory for the commercial production of lithium-metal and solid-state batteries. The factory design is expected to enable Sakuu to reach its 2030 annual energy output goal of 200 GWh. Porsche Consulting's experience in large-scale factory design, particularly in the automotive space, will enable Sakuu to prioritize sustainable design while maximizing manufacturing efficiencies. The first gigafactory will accommodate roll-to-roll manufacturing for its lithium-metal batteries, followed by a series of plants which will produce its Swift Print solid-state battery line via advanced multi-material additive manufacturing.
5. Australia’s Machining Dental Tools for Horses
The Edge Equine is an Australian manufacturer of equine dental products, primarily rasps for manual horse dentistry. They specialize in high-precision sharpening services and sell their products to over 40 countries. They recently invested in an FX5E machine to increase their capacity and flexibility, allowing them to produce other products within the veterinary space. The Edge Equine prides itself on providing prompt service, made possible with on-site manufacturing capabilities, and is confident that they will continue to grow in the animal health industry.
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