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Micro – top 5 unique advances countdown for 2014

blog - 010615 capacitor

1/6/15 In the vast hemisphere of manufacturers left in the industry, there are a select few that can truly call themselves micro manufacturers and even less that can call themselves micro solution providers. Micro subcontractors may have prototype capabilities but not high volume production capacity. They may micro machine metals but not thermoplastic. They may be good at 2d geometry but cannot handle 3d components. They may make components but cannot deal with assembly. They may service the medical device industry but choose not to manufacture implantables. They may do any portion of a program, but do not wish to handle coatings, wires, assemblies, validation. You get the idea, right? There are very few that can pull all the pieces together with multiple processing and multiple material capabilities and assemble these dust specked particles with ultra precision into a micro assembly or micro device like Micro Engineering Solutions can.

But in this ever-changing world that we live in, more and more products are including MICRO components and it’s not just in the medical field. Here are a few interesting ideas that are topping the headlines and changing our world these days:

1. Physicists at Harvard and Univ of IL Urbana-Champaign have created lithium-ion batteries the size of a grain of salt. These are printed out form a 3D printer that sprays conductive inks onto a glass substrate with gold wires. Imagine being able to print your own batteries in the future!
2. TheKube media player makes an iPod Nano look huge! The circuit board is the size of a fingernail and it has a 6hr battery life. Micro-Amazing!
3. Most of todays electronic devices have dozens to hundreds of tiny capacitors that store and release electrical energy. Engineers at Japan’s Murata Mfg company has created a tiny capacitor that measures .005 x .005 x .01”, which is smaller than a pollen grain. This capacitor takes up less space, is lighter and consumes less power.
4. Scientists at the German Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have created a magnetic storage unit that occupies 4×16 nanometers on a disc. Each of its tooth-like structures is composed of 12 iron atoms and the whole structure uses 96 atoms to store a whole byte!
5. The Univ of Michigan has been making tiny computers for years. Their latest project is a self contained computing device that is 1 cubic millimeter wide! This nano-computer is about the size of a pinhead and contains 2 processors, a camera, a pressure sensor and a wireless transmitter and antenna. It has been designed to be implanted in the eyes of glaucoma patients to measure and transmit their ocular pressure every 15 minutes.