[12/18/17 - 12/22/17] Welcome to Industrial Evolution, Plethora’s weekly newsletter on technology and manufacturing. If you’re building something cool and need parts for it, we can help you make them.

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💯 Instrumental rounded up their
10 best posts of 2017, on everything from building a hardware team to testing your product for reliability.

☠️ As one programmer uses 3D printing to
cope with having cancer, researchers in the Czech Republic are using the same process to fight it.

💠 The web-based version of the SketchUp 3D modeling app is now
out of beta.

📸 A team of Berkeley researchers has developed a new lensless camera that can create
detailed 3D images without scanning.


🔮 IndustryWeek outlines their
top 10 predictions for global manufacturing in 2018.

📉 The Joint Research Center has found that the chemical industry can achieve a
36% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 using existing and emerging technologies.

🏭 Factories
from Detroit to Dortmund are humming with activity as investment, orders, materials demand and shipping indices point to a “unified acceleration not seen in years”.

🗜 Core77 put together a list of their best workshop furniture and hacks from 2017 -
check it out!

3D printer manufacturers are increasingly focused on building platforms with the speed and precision necessary to move into mass production.


🚗 Navigant Research forecasts that self-driving cars will reach
level 4 autonomy in 2018, something they did not see happening “as little as a year ago”.

🏝 The Seasteading Institute aims to make
autonomous floating cities a reality in 2020.

💲 Walmart - in yet another step towards automation - is reportedly developing a
fully cashier-less store.

💸 Judith Donath believes that driverless cars could make transportation free - provided that you stop at a few
sponsored locations along the way.

🚙 Even when autonomous vehicles are behaving perfectly, so long as other drivers remain error-prone humans, self-driving cars must be the
ultimate defensive drivers.


🤖 Paul Salmon takes a look at what the
robots of Star Wars tell us about automation and the future of work.

💪 This minimally actuated
robot arm from Ben-Gurion University has a ton of joints, but just one very clever motor.

🛩 South Korea is forming a
drone combat unit to conduct reconnaissance missions on North Korean missile sites (and conduct swarm attacks “in case of a contingency”). You probably don’t have to worry about slaughterbots at your doorstep, though.

⚓ After
103 years, an underwater drone has found the wreck of Australia’s first submarine: the HMAS-AE1.


🔆 A group of researchers from Korea and the United States has found a way to
control superconductivity using spin currents.

🔋 Jaromir Sukaba made a neat little
battery tab welder that gets its power from a coin cell.

🛠 Sam Zeloof is a 17-year-old high school student who is building
his own integrated circuits in his parents’ garage.

☀️ Putting solar panels in
unconventional places could generate heaps of energy with minimal environmental impact.

🛥 Researchers at Columbia have developed a solar-powered floating rig that can
harvest hydrogen from seawater.


We’d love all of your feedback and any suggestions for articles to include in our next newsletter. Please email us!
See you all next week!

- Nick Pinkston & Katie Hoban


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