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Engineering Materials
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NIST Report Analyzes Measurement Needs for Powder Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
6 New Bio-based & Renewable Plastics
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2015  Post a comment
Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
BASF Pushes Sustainable Materials, Design
Engineering Materials 
4/22/2015  Post a comment
BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Bayer MaterialScience Gets Green with PU Foams
Engineering Materials 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
8 New Materials & Designs for Lightweighting Planes, Trucks, Cars
Engineering Materials 
4/20/2015  1 comment
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
11 Not-to-Miss Composites, Software, and Processes from JEC Europe
Engineering Materials 
4/16/2015  Post a comment
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
Survey: Engineers Want Better Plastics Performance, Recycling Technology
Engineering Materials 
4/13/2015  Post a comment
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
SABIC Focuses on 3D Printing's Shift to Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
4/3/2015  Post a comment
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
3D Printing Partners With Injection Molding At NPE 2015
Engineering Materials 
4/2/2015  Post a comment
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
10 Plastics You Shouldn't Have Missed at NPE2015
Engineering Materials 
3/31/2015  4 comments
In this second materials slideshow from NPE2015, we've got some plastics that vendors were showcasing, including products made with them, and others that were brand-new introductions at the show.
3M Sharpens Assembly Focus on Info & Access to Experts
Engineering Materials 
3/27/2015  Post a comment
Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
9 Next-Gen Materials from NPE2015
Engineering Materials 
3/26/2015  3 comments
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
Free 3D Printing Database of Industrial Machines & Materials
Engineering Materials 
3/23/2015  2 comments
Engineers trying to keep track of the ever-ballooning number of materials and machines for additive manufacturing and 3D printing now have some relief: a free searchable database with more than 350 machines and 450 different materials.
Dow Automotive Cuts Composite Cycle Time to 60 Seconds
Engineering Materials 
3/20/2015  Post a comment
At JEC Europe Dow Automotive introduced a new ultra-fast, under-60-second molding cycle time for its commercial-grade VORAFORCE 5300 epoxy resin matrix for carbon composites. It's aimed at high-volume automotive manufacturing.
Free Online Manual for Automotive Aluminum Joining
Engineering Materials 
3/18/2015  Post a comment
A new online manual that describes in detail the range of commercial technologies for joining automotive aluminum components is available free from the Aluminum Association.
Proto Labs Offers Fast-Turn Optical Silicone
Engineering Materials 
3/16/2015  Post a comment
Proto Labs is now offering an optical liquid silicone rubber (LSR) quick-turn molding service using Dow Corning's LSR material. Optical LSR is a transparent, flexible thermoset material that's replacing glass in many optical applications, especially lighting.
12 New 3D Printing Materials: From Desktops to Powder Bed Fusion
Engineering Materials 
3/13/2015  2 comments
Most of the new 3D printing (3DP) materials we feature in this slideshow are plastic filaments for desktop printers, but we've also thrown in a new filament-making extruder, and news about a super-hard high-end nanosteel.
Edmund Optics & LUXeXceL Deliver 3D-Printed Optics
Engineering Materials 
3/12/2015  Post a comment
The potential of LUXeXceL's 3D-printed plastic optics technology is good enough that it's attracted the attention of Edmund Optics, leading designer and manufacturer of precision optical components. The two companies have formed a working relationship to bring this technology to the photonics industry.
6 Innovative Plastics For Cars, Lighting & Building
Engineering Materials 
3/5/2015  2 comments
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  11 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.
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