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Engineering Materials
Latest Content
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6 Innovative Plastics For Cars, Lighting & Building
Engineering Materials 
3/5/2015  1 comment
The grab bag of plastic and rubber materials featured in this new product slideshow are aimed at lighting applications or automotive uses. The rest are for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, oil & gas, RF and radar, automotive, building materials, and more.
3D Printer Gives You Fully Functional Electronics
Engineering Materials 
3/2/2015  2 comments
A new 3D printer that prints fully functional electronics -- like quadcopters -- will be available later this year from Voxel8, brainchild of Harvard prof Jennifer A. Lewis.
9 New Adhesives Hold Things Together
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  Post a comment
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
Microscopic Nanobots Will Need to Self-Repair
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  1 comment
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
This Year's 10 Next-Gen Medical Materials
Engineering Materials 
2/23/2015  1 comment
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
Smart Fabric Sensors for Wearables Inspired by Musical Instruments
Engineering Materials 
2/18/2015  Post a comment
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 
2/13/2015  Post a comment
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Materials Get Tough & Light at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/12/2015  Post a comment
Suppliers at MD&M West and PLASTEC West are talking about developing new materials and processes for wearable medical devices and more intricate compact devices, new sterilization methods, more applications where plastics replace metal, and expanding test data for selecting materials for single-use applications.
See the Latest in 3D Printing & AM at Pacific Design & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
2/9/2015  1 comment
3D printing and additive manufacturing are a major focus of technical sessions, presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, and industry tours at this week's Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif.. Here are some highlights.
10 Materials Suppliers You Shouldn't Miss at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/6/2015  Post a comment
Materials on exhibit at next week's MD&M West, PLASTEC West, and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif. will include several polymers, adhesives, and ceramics you should definitely see, as well as some new processes.
Deloitte Report Says 3D Printing Will Change Automotive Industry
Engineering Materials 
2/5/2015  5 comments
A new report from Deloitte University Press says incorporating 3D printing will transform automotive production, both in printed end-parts and in specialized tooling, by offering more control over both, as well as lighter-weight parts. Additional benefits include much faster production time and lower costs.
Special Effects, AM, & Oak Ridge Lab Gurus to Keynote AM Users Group Meeting
Engineering Materials 
2/2/2015  Post a comment
Three additive manufacturing movers and shakers will be keynote speakers at the upcoming 2015 Additive Manufacturing Users Group Education & Training Conference: Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, Lonnie Love of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Todd Grimm, president of independent AM consulting firm T. A. Grimm & Associates and AMUG board member.
New Composites Institute Chief Talks About Grand Challenges
Engineering Materials 
1/30/2015  1 comment
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Solar Impulse 2 Preps for Round-the-World Flight
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2015  9 comments
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Distributed Manufacturing and Standards
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2015  Post a comment
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  6 comments
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
Engage Materials Suppliers Early to Reduce Vehicle Weight
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  Post a comment
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 
1/12/2015  3 comments
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
Cars & Medical Implants Will Drive Plastics in 2015
Engineering Materials 
1/8/2015  4 comments
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Seaworthy Composite Boat Folds Flat, Flexes to Meet Waves
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  11 comments
The use of glass fiber composites in boats is not news. But one that folds up flat in 40 seconds? The secret combines Kevlar and composite hinges, a lightweight PVC core, and strategic design.
4D Printing Self-Assembling, Self-Repairing Medical Implants
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  2 comments
Some market analysts are saying that medical device prototypes, especially implants, made with 4D printing techniques could appear as early as the end of 2015.
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 
12/19/2014  6 comments
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Parasite Drones Will Suck Up City CO2, Give It Back to Plants
Engineering Materials 
12/18/2014  37 comments
Polish design firm NAS-DRA has proposed parasitic robotic drones that capture carbon dioxide from the air during the day and release it at night to plants growing on their wings.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2014  10 comments
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA Installs Giant Composite Research Robot
Engineering Materials 
12/15/2014  8 comments
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
Video: ESA Plans 3D-Printed Moon Base
Engineering Materials 
12/12/2014  8 comments
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
3D-Printed Custom Spike Plates Outrun the Competition
Engineering Materials 
12/11/2014  3 comments
If there's one thing 3D printing's good for, it's customization. New Balance Athletic Shoe Company has begun using 3D printing to make customized spike plates for its running shoes made for members of its Team New Balance runners. They provide better traction and shave off a tiny bit of weight.
3D Printing Space-Worthy Satellite Parts
Engineering Materials 
12/9/2014  1 comment
Two teams, one based in the US and one in Europe, have 3D printed space-worthy support structures for satellite antenna arrays. These aren't prototypes: they're fully functioning antenna supports that will operate while exposed to the harsh temperatures and radiation of outer space.
More Reasons to Use 3D Printing & Plastics for Lightweighting Cars
Engineering Materials 
12/1/2014  5 comments
Here are a few more reasons to use 3D printing for making individual parts for cars and scooters, and investment casting from Solvay, Stratasys, and several divisions of CRP Group.
HP's 3D Printing Plans Still Seem a Little Out of Reach
Engineering Materials 
11/24/2014  5 comments
HP revealed more of its 3D printing plans in a recent webinar. Senior vice president of inkjet and graphics solution business Stephen Nigro spoke about how the technology works and expanded on HP's vision of open collaboration to commercialize its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology for end-production, and open collaboration on new materials. He also said HP will create software to help users decide when to use Multi Jet Fusion versus conventional subtractive manufacturing.
How Did a Concept Car Shed 26 Pounds?
Engineering Materials 
11/12/2014  19 comments
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Update: 4D Printing Self-Assembling Shapes In Carbon Composites, Wood
Engineering Materials 
11/11/2014  10 comments
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
3D Printing Super-Hard Metal Matrix Composites
Engineering Materials 
11/7/2014  6 comments
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
HP Finally Reveals 3D Printing Plans
Engineering Materials 
10/31/2014  8 comments
After a year or so of missteps, false starts, retractions, and postponements, inkjet office printer giant Hewlett-Packard has finally revealed just what it plans to do in 3D printing.
Update: 3D-Printed Optics From New Material, Process
Engineering Materials 
10/29/2014  23 comments
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
10 Talented Robot Arms & Hands
Engineering Materials 
10/27/2014  14 comments
We've found an amazing variety of robot hands & arms in medicine, space, and service robots, as well as R&D and assembly. Some are based on industrial designs modified for speed or dexterity, while others more closely emulate human movements, as well as human size and shape.
Plastics Can Do Almost Any Job -- Even Yours
Engineering Materials 
10/22/2014  6 comments
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
3D-Printed Telescope Takes (Nice!) Pix of the Moon
Engineering Materials 
10/21/2014  22 comments
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
Video: Tiny Humanoid Robot Flies Plane
Engineering Materials 
10/13/2014  9 comments
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
China's Emerging 3D Printing Market Will Grow 4X
Engineering Materials 
10/10/2014  12 comments
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
IAPD Plastics Expo Gives Engineers Alternatives
Engineering Materials 
10/8/2014  8 comments
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Will IBM's Solar Concentrator Be More Affordable?
Engineering Materials 
10/6/2014  14 comments
IBM's "sunflower" solar concentrator converts 80% of the sun's radiation into useful energy.
The Job Market: Robots vs. Humans
Engineering Materials 
10/3/2014  6 comments
Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
SABIC Dishes On 3D-Printed Car Materials
Engineering Materials 
10/2/2014  2 comments
The Strati EV car printed at IMTS is made of SABIC's LNP STAT KON AE003. SABIC tells Design News why this carbon fiber-reinforced compound was chosen by Local Motors and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Engineering Materials 
9/25/2014  17 comments
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' atmosphere, carrying instruments to help Earthlings figure out what happened to it. Launched last November, the spacecraft arrived at the red planet right on time after a journey of 442 million miles.
3D-Printed Filament Is Wood-Reinforced Bioplastic
Engineering Materials 
9/24/2014  5 comments
More bioplastic materials have entered the 3D-printable filament fray. These PLA formulations reinforced with wood or bamboo fibers will debut at the October Composites Europe show in Germany.
Airbus' 3D-Printed Metal Spacecraft Hinge
Engineering Materials 
9/22/2014  10 comments
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
Stratasys Reveals Latest Multi-Materials 3D Printers
Engineering Materials 
9/18/2014  3 comments
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
GE Aviation Steps Up 3D-Printed Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 
9/16/2014  5 comments
GE Aviation not only plans to use 3D printing to mass-produce metal parts for its LEAP jet engine, but it's also developing a separate technology for 3D-printing metal parts used in its other engines.
Report: World Solar Demand Will Grow 75%
Engineering Materials 
9/15/2014  35 comments
The demand for solar energy around the world will grow a total of 75% by 2019, according to a new report by Lux Research. Trade disputes and policy changes, though, will complicate the picture.
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