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AMT Tech Report: Issue #215

Lumafield tested by Adam Savage. Roboluminescence. 3D printing robot skin. AR is making a stealthy comeback. The unsung hero of AM.
Jul 08, 2022

“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”

– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1. Lumafield Tested by Adam Savage

I spent $50 of my own monies to send Lumafield a Chinese-made pair of in-ear monitors (IEMs – fancy audiophile-grade earbuds) to see if the manufacturer of the IEMs actually put five fully functional speakers in each earbud. I’ve mentioned Lumafield a lot lately, but hear me out. They make a portable and affordable CT scanner for the manufacturing industry. Yes, I’m featuring them again for personal gain. I want them to scan my IEMs. Is it legit affordable hi-fi, or did I buy into a lie?

Watch video here.

2. Roboluminescence

MIT is making fireflies. Firefly robots, that is – little robots that emit a gentle glow when they become airborne. The robots fly via “artificial muscles” that MIT produced with a new fabrication technique. These muscles flap its wings when a voltage is applied. Then, for some reason, they decided to add electroluminescent zinc sulfate to the muscles, which, in response to the applied voltage, glows. Why, though? Like, what purpose does it serve? The luminescence only adds a 2.5% weight increase, which does not negatively or positively affect flight performance in a noticeable way, so at this point, I believe the answer is only: Because they could. MIT, man. Regardless, the rest of the technology here is pivotal to the development of soft robotics, so I’m not sure why we’re focusing on shiny lights other than the “ooh, aah” factor. OK, supposedly it’s for communication, which is, in fact, why real fireflies glow. But they glow because they’re trying to mate, and robots don’t … oh, no.

Read more here.

3. Advanced Additive Auto Parts

Every day we step closer to “Terminator 2.” Seriously though, using AM to make wearables is by no means a new thing. In this case, however, we’re talking about printing wearable skin for robot arms! (Queue that gross forearm skinning/hand degloving scene from “Judgement Day.”) Here’s the cool thing – and this also isn’t a new idea, but it’s still cool indeed – these Italians 🤌 could, in theory, turn your standard industrial robot arm into a cobot arm with this tech! A super-advanced (that’s a technical term) cobot arm at that!

Read more here.

4. AR Is Making a Stealthy Comeback

We not only knew this would happen, we knew it had to happen! Remember Google Glass? Great idea, sound concept, but horrible execution. It was less attractive than cargo shorts, and I’ll leave it at that. Imagine all the nerdy things you ever wanted to do with Google Glass, but now with none of the shame from people seeing you wearing a pair! What a time to be alive.

Read more here.

5. The Unsung Hero of AM

Quality printing materials fetch top dollar. I mean, anything that’s good quality costs more, but with materials for 3D printing, how does one achieve that quality? Well, I’ve got two options for you to find out how: You can watch my Essentium episode in Season Two of “Road Trippin’ with Steve,” exclusively on IMTS+, or you can see how GEMCO does it by reading this here article. I highly recommend you do both!

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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