Michael G. Littman, Princeton

Modern digital software tools of CAD (computer-aided design), CAE (computer-aided engineering analysis), and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) are transforming the scientific and technical world.  The emergence of new hardware such as 3D extrusion and photo-polymerization printers, multi-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) mills and lathes, and high-power laser cutters are giving scientists and engineers new capabilities in the laboratory and in industry.  Metal and plastic 3D printed parts are now being used for the fabrication of some earth orbiting satellites. We are in a period of rapid growth for these new tools that is similar to the period of growth of personal computers that began in the 1970’s.  Educating the next generation of students in new digital software and hardware tools should begin early.  I will describe low-cost additive and subtractive manufacturing tools used in an NSF-sponsored project (University of Virginia and Princeton) to enable students to replicate and extend important experiments and devices using digital design and manufacturing tools.