MaintainX is a cloud-based workflow management platform for maintenance, safety, and operations. The platform's features include work orders and requests, preventive maintenance, inventory management, checklists, inspections, reporting, and team communications.
UGREEN is a consumer electronics brand that specializes in creating sustainable and eco-friendly products. Their products include phone and laptop chargers, cables, and adapters, as well as travel gear and home appliances.
Limble is a CMMS software or computerized maintenance management system that makes maintenance management easier through powerful features. The software's features include mobile work request system, preventive maintenance, enterprise asset management, work orders, and custom dashboards.
Battery manufacturing is the process of creating batteries from raw materials. The batteries can be used in a variety of applications, such as in vehicles, portable electronics, and grid storage. The process includes mixing the materials, forming the battery cells, and sealing the cells in a casing.
SendCutSend is a US-based on-demand manufacturing platform that offers a CNC and laser cutting service online. The platform allows users to upload their CAD design, get an instant quote on materials and services, and then have the parts or product manufactured and shipped to their doorsteps.
SmallRig is a manufacturer that specializes in designing and building DSLR camera rigs, mounts and accessories for filmmakers and photographers. Their products are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them ideal for travel. The company is known for engaging with creators and camera brands to co-design products.
Rug tufting is the process of attaching yarn or other fibers to a backing material to create a rug. Tufting can be done by hand or machine, and can be done in a variety of patterns.
Xometry is a 3D printing and manufacturing company that offers on-demand manufacturing services. The company offers a variety of manufacturing processes, including 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding, and more.
Enscape is a software application that allows users to create and view 3D renderings of their designs. The software is said to be easy to use and can be used to create images for construction, engineering, architecture, marketing presentations, and more. The platform also allows users to explore their designs in virtual reality using a VR headset.
Atomstack is a Chinese manufacturer of diode laser engraving machines, rubber 3D printers, laser cutting machines, and fiber laser marking machines. Its machines can be used on a variety of materials such as glass, metal, wood, acrylic, leather, stone and other materials.
A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical object or system. By creating a digital twin, businesses can track and monitor their products and systems in real-time, improving efficiency and reducing waste.
Benchling is a software platform that helps researchers manage their R&D work. It offers a variety of tools for designing and analyzing experiments, organizing data and workflows, collaborating with others, managing inventory, tracking resources, and more.
Trend Highlight – Additive Manufacturing and Smart Structures
To manufacture, you almost always need to waste. One of the most common forms of manufacturing is called subtractive manufacturing where the final product starts as a solid block and material is cut away until the final form is reached. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the opposite approach: The product starts as nothing and material is added, to only the parts where it’s needed, until the final form is reached.
In a perfectly ideal world, a product’s material is distributed in just the right spots based on how real-world forces will be applied to the product, like how the internal structure of a human bone is sparse in some areas and thicker in the areas where more weight is being supported.
But this level of optimization–like what can be seen in a bone’s internal structure–is not cheap or even possible with traditional manufacturing processes.
And in most industries, this level of optimization simply doesn’t matter, as most products are of relatively low value. For industries with high-value components though, like aviation and space, the savings are massive.
In aviation, even a 1kg weight reduction saves $3k/yr in fuel which equates to nearly $100k total over the course of an aircraft’s lifespan. Using additive manufacturing can help cut hundreds or even thousands of kilograms from a plane’s weight.
And the savings aren’t just in the form of smarter material usage; Additive manufacturing also means many parts can be printed together. NASA famously printed a turbine fuel injector in only 2 parts, whereas before, using different manufacturing techniques, it was a combination of 115 assembled components. This means not only reduced assembly time and costs but also reduced costs for quality assurance.
nTopology is a rapidly growing software for additive manufacturing that helps engineers design smarter parts that lean into the unique strengths of additive manufacturing.
While the consumer 3D printing world saw a rise and fall of hype over the past decade, the much larger industrial 3D printing industry is making big moves from prototyping to production. While less than 5% of 3D printed parts were used in production settings 20 years ago, nearly half are today.
Trend Highlight – Why Glowforge Is So Popular
Glowforge is a side-hustle-in-a-box—a powerful laser-cutting device that lets users craft three-dimensional craft projects, art, and tools. At $2,995 to $5,995 plus the cost of materials, it's far more expensive than the blade-based Cricut. Glowforge is powerful: with the right raw materials, it can produce products from furniture to wallets and handbags to drone parts and custom-engraved pastries.
Glowforge users frequently talk about selling the products they make. It's an expensive product for a pure hobbyist, but the combination of speed and quality means that it's a good tool for creating custom goods or small prototypes. The company’s pricing benefits from this. Their “Pro” model is twice as expensive as the base model, but is the only model that allows large objects to be made. Making money with Glowforge is such a common approach that it’s spawned a barrage of get-rich-quick-style guides, from videos to Kindle store books.
One way to look at Glowforge is that it's a beneficiary of two different tech companies' tailwinds: Etsy has created a market for long-tail customized goods, which Glowforge is great for producing. A monogrammed leather wallet, an engraved wooden decoration, or a unique lampshade would be harder to sell without a platform like Etsy. Since Glowforge and other at-home manufacturing tools don’t need large orders or significant lead time, it offers just-in-time manufacturing, which is especially helpful as more e-commerce buyers get time-sensitive rather than price-sensitive. Glowforge offers customers financing through Affirm, which essentially lets them borrow to buy the product and then pay for it by selling the results.
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