LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a national Manufacturing USA institute, in partnership with Tennessee Tech University’s iCube, and other state partners, launched the second year educational competition using MakerMinded, an online STEM learning and activity platform.
The MakerMinded campaign impassions students about advanced manufacturing careers and provides them with transformational Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning experiences that set them on track towards that goal. LIFT piloted this national initiative in Kentucky and Tennessee beginning October of 2016 and is launching two new campaigns this school year in Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.
MakerMinded’s online platform, connects students to more than 150 leading-edge STEM and advanced manufacturing education experiences, while galvanizing participating students and schools around a student-driven, pro-manufacturing campaign and competition. The platform’s goal is to provide students access to the right programs that will encourage and prepare them for further education and careers in advanced manufacturing.
“Manufacturers across the country fear a widening skills gap, which could result in 2 million jobs going unfilled unless we take action now to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs,” says Emily DeRocco, director, education and workforce, LIFT. “MakerMinded shows the magic that happens when we empower young people with the opportunities, inspiration, and tools they need to gain in-demand skills and pursue meaningful careers.”
During the 2016-2017 school year, nearly 2,000 students from more than 200 middle and high schools across Kentucky and Tennessee participated in close to 2,000 STEM and advanced manufacturing learning programs as part of the MakerMinded competition. This year’s goal is to increase the number of schools and students engaged in MakerMinded advanced manufacturing programs by May 2018.
To help realize a STEM and manufacturing career-ready talent pool, LIFT is working with high-powered partners in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Detroit, Michigan, including:
- Detroit Public Schools
- Tennessee Tech University iCube
- Tennessee STEM Innovation Network
- Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Tennessee Manufacturers Association
- Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
- Foundation for Kentucky Industry
- Kentucky Department of Education
- Ohio STEM Learning Network
- Ohio Manufacturers’ Association
How it works
The MakerMinded platform includes a searchable database of both national and local student programs, including online and in-person experience, from manufacturing facility tours to engineering design challenges to technical skills competitions. Examples of programs include Learning Blade, a mission-driven online STEM curriculum; Science Olympiad, standards-based science challenges; and the “LIFT Assembly Line” Virtual Reality game. As students complete activities and programs, schools receive points and compete against other schools in their state. The competition culminates in a statewide recognition event and prizes for the schools and students which accumulate the most points for completing the most activities.
Students and schools interested in joining the MakerMinded campaign can find their state portal and sign up at http://www.makerminded.com/.
Blaser Swisslube’s partnership with Titans of CNC includes the appearance of Blaser in an episode of Titans of CNC, highlights how Blaser helps its customers improve their economic efficiency, productivity, and machining quality.
Taking a more holistic view of the manufacturing process, Blaser Swisslube presents in cooperation with its customers the possibility to fully exploit the potential of machines and tools by using the right metalworking fluid.
Don’t miss Titan Gilroy’s tour of the company headquarters in Hasle-Rüegsau, Switzerland.
Blaser Swisslube is a globally active company in the metalworking fluid sector. The independent and family-owned Swiss company was founded in 1936 and has since grown from a small business into a global player, employing more than 600 people worldwide. Blaser Swisslube is represented in about 60 countries, close to its customers.
Titans of CNC
Titan Gilroy is the owner of Titan America MFG, an elite aerospace CNC Machine shop in Northern California. He is also the executive producer and star of the television series Titans of CNC (formerly Titan-America Build). The series is a platform to engage a new generation of machinists, inventors, and builders. Titan also pioneered the largest free CNC educational platform, dedicated to training and inspiring students, educators, and shop owners from around the world.
Even as robots become increasingly common across different parts of our world, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware.
But what if there was a way to let non-experts craft different robotic designs – in one sitting?
Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are getting closer to doing exactly that. In a new paper, they present a system called Interactive Robogami that lets you design a robot in minutes, and then 3D-print and assemble it in as little as four hours.
One of the key features of the system is that it allows designers to determine both the robot's movement (gait) and shape (geometry), a capability that's often separated in design systems.
"Designing robots usually requires expertise that only mechanical engineers and roboticists have," says PhD student and co-lead author Adriana Schulz. "What's exciting here is that we've created a tool that allows a casual user to design their own robot by giving them this expert knowledge."
The paper, which is being published in the new issue of the International Journal of Robotics Research, was co-led by PhD graduate Cynthia Sung alongside MIT professors Wojciech Matusik and Daniela Rus.
The other co-authors include PhD student Andrew Spielberg, former master's student Wei Zhao, former undergraduate Robin Cheng, and Columbia University professor Eitan Grinspun. (Sung is now an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.)
How it works
3D-printing has transformed the way that people can turn ideas into real objects, allowing users to move away from more traditional manufacturing. Despite these developments, current design tools still have space and motion limitations, and there's a steep learning curve to understanding the various nuances.
Interactive Robogami aims to be much more intuitive. It uses simulations and interactive feedback with algorithms for design composition, allowing users to focus on high-level conceptual design. Users can choose from a library of over 50 different bodies, wheels, legs and "peripherals," as well as a selection of different steps (gaits).
Importantly, the system is able to guarantee that a design is actually possible, analyzing factors such as speed and stability to make suggestions and ensure that, for example, the user doesn't create a robot so top-heavy that it can't move without tipping over.
Once designed, the robot is then fabricated. The team's origami-inspired 3D print and fold technique involves printing the design as flat faces connected at joints, and then folding the design into the final shape, combining the most effective parts of 2D and 3D printing.
"3D printing lets you print complex, rigid structures, while 2D fabrication gives you lightweight but strong structures that can be produced quickly," Sung says. "By 3D-printing 2D patterns, we can leverage these advantages to develop strong, complex designs with lightweight materials."
To test the system, the team used eight subjects who were given twenty minutes of training and asked to perform two tasks.
One task involved creating a mobile, stable car design in just ten minutes. In a second task, users were given a robot design and asked to create a trajectory to navigate the robot through an obstacle course in the least amount of travel time.
The team fabricated a total of six robots, each of which took 10 to 15 minutes to design, 3 to 7 hours to print and 30 to 90 minutes to assemble. The team found that their 3D print-and-fold method reduced printing time by 73% and the amount of material used by 70%. The robots also demonstrated a wide range of movement, like using single legs to walk, using different step sequences, and using legs and wheels simultaneously.
"You can quickly design a robot that you can print out, and that will help you do these tasks very quickly, easily, and cheaply," Sung says. "It's lowering the barrier to have everyone design and create their own robots."
Rus hopes people will be able to incorporate robots to help with everyday tasks, and that similar systems with rapid printing technologies will enable large-scale customization and production of robots.
"These tools enable new approaches to teaching computational thinking and creating," Rus says. "Students can not only learn by coding and making their own robots, but by bringing to life conceptual ideas about what their robots can actually do."
While the current version focuses on designs that can walk, the team hopes that in the future, the robots can take flight. Another goal is to have the user be able to go into the system and define the behavior of the robot in terms of tasks it can perform.
"This tool enables rapid exploration of dynamic robots at an early stage in the design process," says Moritz Bächer, a research scientist at Disney Research who was not involved in the research. "The expert defines the building blocks, with constraints and composition rules, and paves the way for non-experts to make complex robotic systems. This system will likely inspire follow-up work targeting the computational design of even more intricate robots."
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation's Expeditions in Computing program.
Miller Electric Mfg. Co. officials announce the Make My Miller giveaway to recognize enthusiastic welders and reward one participant with a customized Miller machine. It’s the second of three different giveaways in 2017 that are part of the WE BUILD campaign, which recognizes the many ways that welding makes our world a better place.
Make My Miller invites participants to pick the Miller machine they would like to win from a list of five possible machines – and then tell Miller how they would customize the machine if they were selected as the winner. Participants are encouraged to submit a photo of their suggested design, but that is not a requirement to enter. The winner can choose from these Miller machines:
From Aug. 7 through Sept. 15, 2017, participants can enter the giveaway by completing an entry form on the Miller Facebook page or at MillerWelds.com. After submitting their form, entrants will have the opportunity to earn one bonus entry for each person they successfully refer to enter the giveaway. Approved entries that include an image will be displayed in a gallery on the entry form, providing new participants with a source of inspiration as they share their own custom design ideas.
At the end of the submission period, the winner will be randomly selected and then work with an artist, selected by Miller, to design the custom artwork that will appear on their machine. The winner will be announced the week of Sept. 25, 2017.
In addition, all Make My Miller entrants will automatically be entered for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Miller headquarters in Appleton as part of the WE BUILD VIP Experience giveaway.
For more information on the Make My Miller giveaway and the WE BUILD VIP Experience, visit www.MillerWelds.com/webuild.