develop new technologies and processes for long-term economic
growth, such as supercomputers that empower researchers to make
groundbreaking discoveries and manufacturing methods that assemble
products and materials at the nanoscale.
Overall, manufacturing is becoming more productive and flexible
as engineers create new techniques such as rapid fabrication systems
that build complex structures one thin layer at a time, and microbe
assembly lines that produce medicines, catalysts and other products.
A growing trend is the use of environmentally friendly manufacturing and energy systems
that keep the environment clean and save money.
Engineers are rapidly unveiling "green" technologies
that would have seemed impossible decades ago, from hydrogen
fuel cells to closed-loop approaches that utilize every by-product
in the manufacturing chain—resulting in zero waste.
Why Are Engineers Exploring Nanotechnology?