What’s Hot in Manufacturing Technology

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership offers one glimpse into the future. The group, created by President Obama, has identified 11 areas of technology that it believes will play a crucial role in determining competitiveness in manufacturing—and that it believes should be the focus of national research-and-development efforts. One still-emerging process, called cold spraying, involves blasting metallic particles through a nozzle at such high speeds that they bind to each other to form shapes. By precisely controlling the nozzle, machine operators can build up a three-dimensional metal object like a gear much the same way a 3D printer does. It’s as though the object as been painted into existence, and it can be done with even exotic metals like titanium.

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