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AMT Tech Report: Issue #175

Octopus-inspired robots can do the twist. Graphics engines powering digital twins. 3D printing defects? There’s an app for that! Rethinking the supply chain. TÜV-certified AM.
Sep 10, 2021

“Man, money ain't got no owners, only spenders.”

Omar Little, “The Wire” As portrayed by Michael Kenneth Williams (1966-2021)

1. Octopus-Inspired Robots Can Do the Twist

OK, forget Chubby Checker real quick. I’ve got a serious question: Can we call these “octobots?” No? OK, that’s fine. But I just want to point out that our industry can be a little iffy when it comes to naming things. First, there were “industrial robots” or “bots.” Fine. The next generation of robot arms comes around with a focus on safety so they can play nice with people. These are “collaborative robots,” which is commonly shortened to “cobots.” Great! Now we sprinkle in a little AI. These third-generation arms are called “cognitive robots.” But that shortens to “cobots” as well! We had the chance to call ‘em “adaptive” or “flexible robots” – and thus “flexbots” – but no. Maybe we can rename them octobots. Also, if you’re wondering how octobots work, I hope you’re up to speed on E&M. Magnets!

Read more here.

2. Graphics Engines Powering Digital Twins

Sure, you’ve heard of computer applications and programs by Adobe and Autodesk being used in academic, corporate, or industrial settings. Now, as the digital twin concept becomes more adopted and, better yet, understood, we learn we need really powerful and detailed engines, both visually and physics-based. My favorite part of all this: I’m beginning to recognize more brands at work now from when I log off at the end of the day, hop on Discord, and load up some games with the boys! Brands like Unity and Unreal. I love it when my work intersects with my pastime.

Read more here.

3. 3D Printing Defects? There’s an App for That!

The other week we discussed 3D scanning apps on your phone. Now we’ve got inspection! Kinda. Again, this is consumer-grade tech here, so let me be clear about that. However, if you have a non-broken 3D printer at home and like to make the occasional tchotchke or some one-off tools for work around the house, or if you’ve ever made a thing and after multiple iterations you can’t seem to get it right, this is your additive savior … Even if you have an Android!

Read more here.

4. Rethinking the Supply Chain

We’re not done talking or hearing about the supply chain yet and likely won’t be any time soon. So in the unlikely event you feel that we at AMT haven’t force-fed you enough data dumps and you’d like to think of your brain as a sort of supply-chain foie gras, have I got a quick read for you! Strap in! Oh, and in case this isn’t enough, and you haven’t seen it yet, check out our supply chain white paper series!

Read more here.

5. TÜV-Certified AM

Another big win for the standards and certifications of additive! This one might even be the most impressive yet! German regulations can be strict, and TÜV Rheinland is the regulatory body behind all the rules. Oh, and this is a food-grade certification, so it’s probably SUPER strict! Anyway, Forward AM managed to score themselves the cert.

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Manufacturing Technology Analyst
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