4 Great Examples of New Manufacturing Technology

American manufacturing is beautiful, and companies are starting to realize it. We could talk all day about how great American manufacturing is in general, but instead, we’re going to take a minute to show you some amazing new technology so that you can see for yourself just how awesome new-era manufacturing can be.

Here are four of our favorite examples of innovative new manufacturing technologies that are completely changing the industry:

  1. 3d printing.

    Photo courtesy of Cloud Times

    Photo courtesy of Cloud Times

    While some originally saw 3D printing as just a fad, new advances with the technology show that 3D printing is here to stay. Because 3D printing adds material rather than takes it away (like a mill or lathe), it’s actually cheaper to produce more complicated designs than it is simpler ones. 3D printing is usable in prototyping, but is also gaining ground in the medical field, as well. Questions still remain as to exactly how 3D printing will fit into the manufacturing world, but for now, it’s off to a good start.

  2. Ford’s F3T.

    Photo courtesy of carbodydesign.com

    Photo courtesy of carbodydesign.com

    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.

  3. Baxter.

    Photo courtesy of Gizmag

    Photo courtesy of Gizmag

    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.

  4. Micro-manufacturing.

    Photo courtesy of Amy Sullivan/PARC via New York Times

    Photo courtesy of Amy Sullivan/PARC via New York Times

    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. The resources in this post are all full of great examples.

Have a favorite technology that we missed, or something that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!