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Dr. Rashid Miraj
Dr. Rashid Miraj
Dr. Miraj has been a practicing engineer for almost four decades and has worked in academia, civil infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defense sectors. Surprisingly all activities have been on the cutting edge of technology, including ship design, real-time control, robotics, simulation, … More »

MCADCafe Industry Predictions for 2020 – AlphaSTAR

February 6th, 2020 by Dr. Rashid Miraj

2020 will be a difficult year.  Major currents in technology, such as Artificial Intelligence, Biomechanics and Additive Manufacturing, will be tempered by the state of markets and the economy.  It appears as if the big slowdown is finally upon us.  Will the US dollar relinquish its status as the world reserve currency? Will a liquidity shortage extend beyond banks into commercial enterprises?  Will credit for large commercial enterprises dry-up and restrict investment?  Will a recession turn into a run on banks and global depression?  Hard times appear to be ahead.  Yet innovation and its younger sister creativity continue to drive society forward.  So, here are some trends that should shake up 2020 and beyond.

Internet of Things (IOT)
The grand expectation of the internet of things is coming to fruition.  Connectivity between the world wide web and day to day hardware will continue to infiltrate every nook and cranny of our lives.  Very soon, Alexa will not be the only unfamiliar voice in our homes, shops and offices.  Unfortunately, privacy will continue to take a back seat during this expansion.  Our smart refrigerator will not only chat with our toaster but also keep track of our purchases in order to inform “interested parties” about our purchasing habits, which could be good or bad depending upon one’s point of view.  As a pioneer in the integration of sensor hardware with adaptive and intelligent software, AlphaSTAR understands the value of IOT and incorporates the technology into products and solutions where possible and logical.  In the case of Additive Manufacturing, our AlphaSTAR products take advantage of in-situ monitoring, big data process, real time visualization and feed forward control.  However, it does not stop there.  AlphaSTAR engineers understand information is critical for build success.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence in terms of machine learning that is adapted to improve outcomes will be nuanced. Not to burst the pop culture bubble, but AI will exploit data science for information specialization.  AI in 2020 will process the massive reams of data we have previously collected for actionable information.  In this manner, AI will empower Data Scientists, Business Analytics Professionals, and Information Consultants to recognize patterns, improve processes and navigate uncertainty and risk at a higher level.  Machine learning is critical to intelligent feed forward control and automation.  These elements will allow an AM printer to move from a reliable tool to an automated platform for the mass production of QUALFIED parts.  AlphaSTAR is working closely with its’ research partners to integrate our respective tools to facilitate machine learning and artificial intelligence for the automated production of qualified parts.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing will experience recognizable gains in 2020.  The first critical parts will be delivered by platforms both small and large. However, build durations will remain lengthy, which will maintain the bottleneck related to AM adoption.  More consumer goods will be manufactured by AM, from toys to deserts. AlphaSTAR’s GENOA 3DP is an active cog in this manufacturing revolution.  GENOA 3DP is the only simulation tool in the AM market that can provide a reliable and validated approach to build qualified parts.  Specifically, GENOA 3DP brings together thermal management, process simulation, in-situ monitoring, platform sensitivity, multi-factor optimization and other critical modules to deliver an integrated additive manufacturing solution for the analyst, engineer, fabricator, quality inspector and business owner.

Nano Technology

Nano technology and new materials will work with Additive Manufacturing and other fabrication technologies to improve the performance of existing hardware, expand miniaturization, increase the performance of computer chips, and address breakthroughs related to bio-materials and bio-engineering. In 2020 nanotechnology will produce a new generation of clothes, foods, and devices. Some will be highly visible and challenge the imagination of consumers and other will be buried deep in the process.  In that regard Nano Technology will become routine. As a maker of advanced simulation platforms, material modeling tools and engineering design solutions, AlphaSTAR has worked with nano materials for two decades.  More significantly, AlphaSTAR has adapted its products to take advantage of the features, characteristic and properties of Nano Materials in order to provide its design and manufacturing customers with tools to fully exploit Nano technology capabilities.


To date, automation has always been associated with large scale manufacturing. However, information technology and sensor technology have ensured that automation has found a home in enterprises of all sizes and scales. In this new world, automation will encompass both mechanical activities as well as data processing. When coupled with machine learning, automation will provide repeatable behavior, increased efficiency and faster response times.  However, automation coupled with Mobile/Internet technology will have also have an unfortunate impact on jobs. Consider a fast food restaurant in which flipping burgers is automated and the need for a cashier is eliminated. Here, automation would translate into the loss of service jobs, in a sector that had previously been immune from these changes.  AlphaSTAR’s connection to automation is associated with the application of our design tools and simulation platforms to support and drive real world manufacturing.  This nascent capability is already evident in Additive Manufacturing in which in-situ monitoring and feed-forward control are looked upon to ensure that a build process delivers a finished part that meets material, quality and performance specifications. In 2020, AlphaSTAR foresees continued integration and application of the GENOA 3DP  software to support feed forward control for AM.

That’s my list for 2020.  I am sure you have one as well. Let’s hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza.  Now, lets all look forward to a wonderful new year. See you in twelve months.

Category: Industry Predictions

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