“We take it for granted today, but a single Dorito has more extreme nacho flavor than a peasant in the 1400s would get in his whole lifetime.”
– Matt Crowley
1. Coming to a 3D Printer Near You: Machine Monitoring
While it’s not the first time we’ve seen this implemented on AM devices, it will certainly not be the last. From Sébastien Devroe, CTO of AddUp: “Dashboards is a multi-scale quality assurance monitoring software that provides a clear picture of both real time and historical process data for AddUp machines and presents it in an easy-to-read view. We at AddUp believe this type of software innovation will be instrumental in driving AM forward into industrialization!”
2. What Happened to Augmented Reality?
It blows my mind that the pandemic didn’t lift up augmented reality the way it did automation and additive. Before the world went into lockdown, it seemed like almost everybody was working on turning AR into a workforce multiplier. The need arose, other technologies stepped up, and AR was nowhere to be found. AR is like that kid in high school that was a C+ student all the teachers said had potential but needed to apply themselves. Come graduation, nobody noticed they had dropped out. Fortunately, fellow Tech Report-er (and Tech Trends podcast co-host) Ben Moses is here to tell us how AR ended up overdosed in a ditch. The good news: AR still has potential, and falling down is allowed.
3. Oh Snap! We Heard Back From AR!
AR’s back on the straight and narrow and managed to land a job at Autodesk! “Executives from both Autodesk and The Wild said that working remotely through the pandemic increased the needs of designers and VDC teams” and interest was up “dramatically.” Well I guess AR was busier during the pandemic than I thought!
4. Polymer Fiber-Reinforced Cement
Before reading more about the pros and cons of construction printing with polymer fiber-reinforced cement, read this breakdown on traditional fibers. “Traditional fibers which have been explored by researchers include steel, glass, and carbon. Each of these reinforcement elements has its own advantages and drawbacks, however. Steel improves properties such as tensile strength, but rusts easily. Glass fibers resist corrosion but are insufficient for resisting alkali conditions and wear. Carbon fibers are lightweight, cheap, and possess high strength, but have poor impact resistance and toughness.”
5. BMW’s New SC Press Shop
BMW has been making the X series of SUVs for the world’s consumption in South Carolina since ’92. And since then BMW’s total investment in the facility has been approaching $12 billion. Well, BMW just put down over $200 million on expanding the plant with a 219,000-square-foot press shop. That’s approximately $1,000 per square foot depending on what the total bill comes to, and I’m assuming that includes all new equipment. This is quite the addition and quite the job opportunity for 200 skilled individuals. People really do love their SUVs.
To access Tech Trends, log in to or register for an MTInsight account at https://www.mtinsight.org/