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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Top Features

Nanopatterns on orthopedic implants may one day lengthen the service lives of those implants, slashing the number of replacement surgeries needed due to implant failures and improving the lives of millions of people with artificial joints.

In the rapidly growing medical device industry, bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, when it comes to machining medical parts, the trend of “going small” is getting bigger.

Major R&D projects focus on shrinking endoscopic devices

Once-revolutionary microdevices that allow doctors to examine internal parts of the human body are now commonplace. One of the most commonly used of these devices is the endoscope, and its use is growing.

A growing number of consumers are dialing up health and fitness information via their smartphones and tablets. Sensor-based devices collect health data about individuals and transmit it to their smartphones and tablets, which analyze the data and provide real-time monitoring and advice.

Pro football players like to talk about “taking it to the next level.” Whether their goal is to help the team win a division championship, conference championship or the Super Bowl, they realize that, both individually and collectively, they must raise their level of performance to reach that goal. They have to execute plays better, block better and tackle better. They also have to learn new plays their competitors haven’t seen. If they stay at the same level, players and their teams will just be one of many also-rans at the end of the season.

When the iPhone 5 debuted this fall, the “Lightning” connector that ships with the smartphone definitely came with a bit of shock for Apple fans. Based on bleeding-edge technology, the new connector is less than a third the size of its predecessor 30-pin connector and forces anyone with legacy accessories to purchase a bloody adapter.

Top Videos

Often, micromanufacturers think first and foremost about machining microparts, but a simpler way for many parts is to simply bend them into the needed shape.

mouse hat thumbA miniature fluorescence microscope originally developed at Stanford University and used for neuroscienctific research on mice in 2011, was able to record neurons firing simultaneously in bands of up to 30 neurons while the mice were moving. The neuron pattern—something never before observed because it only appears when mice are actively moving—is shown in the video below.

Stanford University researchers have developed an all-carbon, thin-film prototype solar cell that they say could reduce the manufacturing costs associated with rigid silicon solar panels.

AccuteX EDM Vice President Pete Intihar offers his own take on what's required to control the spark gap when performing wire EDMing operations at the micro scale in this brief video report shot during IMTS 2012.

T-Ink Inc., New York, offers a "thinking ink" technology that reportedly can replace physical switches, wire and sensors with printed components that create circuits without wires, as the company illustrated in a recent video animation of the process used to make an automobile overhead light.

Top Products

Metrigraphics LLC

Metrigraphics substratesMetrigraphics LLC provides complex microflex circuits and coils for use as sensors or as in-sensor devices. With features measuring from 5?m to 10?m and having up to six metal layers, the sensor circuits can form the basis of a biologic chemistry sensor, a device for sensing contaminants in fluids or for use in environmental and other specialty applications, including medical and homeland security.

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.

Among those likely glued to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Web site to follow the progress of NASA's Curiousity Mars rover are the employees at miCos GmbH, Eschbach, Germany, and PI (Physik Instrumente) LP, Auburn, Mass., who had a hand in constructing a portion of the onboard laboratory.

Accutex EDM

AccuteX wireEDMAccuteX EDM introduces its SP-300iA 5-axis CNC wire EDM. The machine features the new MST-II function, a new “microsparking” technology that imparts fine surface finishes.

Metrigraphics LLC

Metrigraphics induction coilsMetrigraphics LLC relies on its core technologies of electroforming, photolithography and thin-film sputtering to provide OEMs with high-precision microcomponents.

Roland DGA Corp.

MPX-90M impact printer thumbRoland DGA Corp., Irvine, Calif., this week unveiled a new compact and affordable direct part-marking tool designed specifically for medical devices. Based on the company's micro-percussion direct part-marking technology, the MPX-90M impact printer marks surgical instruments and tools with permanent GS1 DataMatrix barcodes, enabling manufacturers to readily comply with new, stricter supply chain regulations.