Ford’s F3T.Ford Motor Company just recently unveiled a new technology called F3T–Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology. Whereas before, prototyping parts was time consuming and often very expensive, Ford’s new technology allows prototypes to be produced and tested in a matter of hours. It’s proprietary Ford technology at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised if similar technology started popping up across the industry.
Baxter.Baxter is “a new kind of industrial robot.” The robot can be trained just as you would teach a person, but costs about half as much as the least expensive industrial robots currently on the market. With no coding whatsoever, the robot can be taught, and afterwords it will use common sense–if it drops something, it will pick it up. Robots like Baxter let smaller manufacturers work more efficiently, allowing real workers to put in work where it’s actually needed instead of spending time on menial sorting tasks.
Micro-manufacturing.Now this is cool. Perhaps more than anyone else, American manufacturing has very advanced “micro-manufacturing,” or the manufacturing of incredibly small objects that we could not have imagined would be produced even five years ago. Thing like chiplets are a great example of this: tiny electronic circuits printable by laser printers. The technology is still far from being truly viable, but shows how manufacturers and scientists are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of what they can make. We expect things to get even more advanced than they are now in the not-too-distant future.
Like we just mentioned, we could go on and on about how great American manufacturing is. And there are many, many more examples of new manufacturing technology than just the ones we mentioned above.