On a roll: printed electronics

MAKING things with 3D printers is an idea that is being adopted by manufacturers to produce goods ranging from false teeth to jet engines. Conventional printing, though, has not remained idle. Machines that have their origins in the high-speed rotary presses that apply words and images to large reels of paper, like the ones which […]

The replicator

WHEN great designs are turned into products compromises are made. The beautifully sculpted “concept” cars that regularly appear at motor shows never get built, at least not in the form they left the design studio, because they are inevitably too difficult and expensive to engineer for mass production. For decades this has meant products have […]

Knit me a car

New materials for manufacturing Material difference Materials science is rapidly transforming the way that everything from cars to light bulbs is made, says Paul Markillie Leader here http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21679531-materials-science-changing-way-things-are-designed-and-made-knit-me-car Technology Quareterly report here: http://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2015-12-05/new-materials-for-manufacturing

Made in Britain, again

Britain, like many other countries, has gone through a period of huge deindustrialisation. Nearly 9m people were employed in British manufacturing in 1966; by 2011 fewer than 3m were. Manufacturing’s share of the economy is around 10% today, half what it was in 1990. In different countries, from rustbelt America to rustic China, a chorus […]

3D printing scales up

There is a lot of hype around 3D printing. But it is fast becoming integrated with mainstream manufacturing: My three page report in Technology Quarterly here: http://econ.st/165jGGg Leader on 3D printing, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21585005-signs-are-3d-printing-transforming-manufacturing-not-ways-you-might Talking about my three pages on how 3D printing scales up: The Economist http://econ.st/165jGGg  

What China is doing with additive manufacturing

China is quickly getting to grips with 3D printing and is applying the technology in a pragmatic way. Rapid prototyping and mould-making for casting metal items are two examples. Scientists are also printing some very large items directly, such as titanium fuselage frames for their commercial-aircraft programme. Chinese officials also get the maker movement and […]