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Engineering Materials
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3D Pictures of Huge, Self-Assembled DNA Structures
Engineering Materials 
4/15/2014  5 comments
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
3D Printing High-Strength Carbon Composites Using PEEK, PAEK
Engineering Materials 
4/14/2014  6 comments
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
Stratasys Buys 3D Printing Service Bureaus to Expand End Production
Engineering Materials 
4/11/2014  3 comments
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
World Industrial Robot Demand Falls
Engineering Materials 
4/10/2014  9 comments
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots decreased by 4% in 2012 over 2011. The biggest hit was electrical/electronics manufacturing, down by 13%; but by region, the Amerficas did well.
Slideshow: New Carbon Composites for Volume Car Production
Engineering Materials 
4/9/2014  21 comments
At the JEC Europe 2014 composites show in Paris, many companies showcased their carbon fiber composite products, especially for volume automotive manufacturing. Some companies touted their contributions to BMW's all-carbon composite body-in-white. Others introduced automotive products and processes.
Report: Biochemicals, Bio-Based Materials Capacity to Jump
Engineering Materials 
4/1/2014  1 comment
A report forecasts a big capacity increase for bio-based materials and biochemicals, including those that go into bioplastics. These are mostly based on first-generation feedstocks like corn and sugarcane, but second-generation cellulosic feedstocks continue to grow slowly.
Report: Biofuels in Transition to Next-Gen Feedstocks Will Slow Growth
Engineering Materials 
3/31/2014  8 comments
The biofuels industry is about to make the transition to next-generation, non-food-based feedstocks. The bad news is, this transition will slow capacity growth by a lot. But that means growth slows, not that capacity declines.
Slideshow: More Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 
3/27/2014  9 comments
This is the fourth blog in an occasional series on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This time, we'll tell you about architects 3D printing with ice and marble, some firsts in 3D printing titanium, and a university R&D team with a faster way to print multimaterial objects.
Slideshow: Drop-in Jet Biofuels Becoming a Reality
Engineering Materials 
3/25/2014  16 comments
Drop-in jet biofuels have started becoming a reality during the last year. Along with major deals between airlines, engine makers, and fuel producers, one main source may turn out to be renewable diesel already used in ground vehicles, which could make prices competitive with fossil jet fuels.
Slideshow: Robot Ants, Termites & Honeybees Get Autonomous
Engineering Materials 
3/19/2014  11 comments
We've found some swarms of robot termites, a robot modeled after a honeybee, and studies of ants to produce stronger robot joints and muscles.
Shrimp Shells Make Compostable, Moldable Bioplastic
Engineering Materials 
3/18/2014  15 comments
Wyss Institute researchers at Harvard have created a low-cost, biodegradable plastic made from shrimp shells that can be used to mass-produce 3D compostable consumer goods, using injection molding or casting processes.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 
3/17/2014  42 comments
Does it sound like magic? It's not. You can 3D-print with wood filaments right now, using a choice of colors and filament widths. Objects made from these materials range from things resembling plastic or lumber to stunningly beautiful art pieces that look just like the real thing.
3D-Printing an Entire Car & a Bigger, Faster Commercial 3D Printer
Engineering Materials 
3/14/2014  16 comments
Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) is partnering with Local Motors to develop technology that will 3D-print an entire production-model car. A second deal with Cincinnati Inc. will develop a huge, very fast commercial 3D printer.
Slideshow: 3D-Printed Carbon Composite Yacht Model
Engineering Materials 
3/13/2014  7 comments
CRP Technology has 3D-printed a 1:14 scale model of a yacht in carbon fiber composites to demonstrate the possibilities and give a boost to boat design. The material and process are also used for under-hood motorsport applications and in aerospace.
Slideshow: 3D Printed Metal Bike Frames & Parts
Engineering Materials 
3/12/2014  27 comments
Final frames for a bike made by Renishaw have been 3D printed in titanium, and bike component maker Kappius uses EOS machines to produce complex tool steel end-product parts.
Carbon & Fiberglass Composite Compound Is Cheaper
Engineering Materials 
3/5/2014  9 comments
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic Bearings Are Real & igus Is Proving It on a World Tour
Engineering Materials 
3/3/2014  15 comments
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Fasteners, Adhesives Hold Things Together at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/28/2014  3 comments
At the MD&M West show and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., four companies displaying fastening systems and other assembly methods like adhesives stood out.
Baxter Shows Off His Moves at ATX West
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2014  16 comments
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
3D Printing Approaches End Production With Single, Multi-Materials
Engineering Materials 
2/25/2014  8 comments
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.
Sabic Brings Carbon Composites to Medical Devices
Engineering Materials 
2/21/2014  10 comments
Like most medical-grade plastics introduced at this year's MD&M West show, those from Sabic's Innovative Plastics division can withstand multiple sterilization processes and harsh chemical disinfectants. The big difference? Sabic's new compounds are high-modulus carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics.
Disease-Fighting Materials Spotlighted at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/20/2014  22 comments
Most of the new materials on display at the MD&M West show in Anaheim, Calif. last week were developed to fight disease, especially the infections that hospital staff and patients are getting in large numbers. Many of the new plastics have also been developed with antimicrobial properties.
Slideshow: Adhesives Make BMW's All-Carbon Composite Body-in-White
Engineering Materials 
2/14/2014  6 comments
The new BMW i3's entire body-in-white is made of carbon fiber composites, a first in automotive mass production. Its construction has been made possible by Dow Automotive Systems' Betaforce structural adhesives.
Slideshow: Recycled Composites, Plastics Go Commercial
Engineering Materials 
2/7/2014  20 comments
Some plastics, like water bottle materials, are a lot easier to recycle than others, but progress is being made in materials availability. It's often spurred by the demands of big manufacturers.
America Makes Funds Second Wave of 3D Printing Projects
Engineering Materials 
2/6/2014  5 comments
The former National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute awarded funds to a second wave of 3D printing and additive manufacturing projects. They involve multiple processes, metal and polymer materials, and several companies we've discussed before.
3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping Added to Golden Mousetrap Awards
Engineering Materials 
2/3/2014  20 comments
The products and services in the materials and assembly category of the Golden Mousetrap Awards keep expanding. This year, we've added a new section: 3D printing and rapid prototyping materials, tools, and services.
Learning Labs Focus on Robotics & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
1/30/2014  3 comments
At the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show next month UBM Canon is introducing Learning Labs. Here's what's up on the sessions covering robotics and manufacturing.
Carbon-Reinforced Compound Bests Metal Specs for Injection Molding
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2014  15 comments
RTP Company has developed carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic compounds for injection molding with specs that vie with metals in their stiffness and strength.
Software Will (Help) Make 3D Printing Metals in Space a Reality
Engineering Materials 
1/28/2014  19 comments
Granta Design's materials information management software has helped optimize materials and processes for additive manufacturing in the ESA's AMAZE program to make space-quality metal components in space.
Learning Labs Focus on Materials & 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
1/24/2014  6 comments
Next month the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and co-located events, will feature 30 two-hour Learning Labs. Here's the skinny on the sessions covering materials and 3D printing.
Google Buys Boston Dynamics: Is That a Good Thing?
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2014  28 comments
Google's expected target applications for its new robot division are in manufacturing and retailing, and its other robot purchases are right in line. So why did it buy Boston Dynamics, the leading-edge military robot company?
3D Print Metals For Under $2,000
Engineering Materials 
1/21/2014  31 comments
You can build a low-cost open-source 3D printer that makes metal parts for less than $2,000, designed by Joshua M. Pearce and his team at Michigan Technological University (MTU). MTU and Sigma Labs have signed a memorandum of understanding to support commercial development.
First 3D-Printed Metal Part Flies on UK Military Jet
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2014  23 comments
A 3D-printed metal aircraft end-production component has been successfully flown on a test flight conducted by BAE Systems for Britain's Royal Air Force.
Plastic Replaces Metal in Car Engine
Engineering Materials 
1/13/2014  27 comments
Ford replaced brazed metal manifold components in two new V6 engines with DuPont's Zytel HTN PPA resin, saving 1 lb. in weight and $1 in cost per engine.
Slideshow: 3D Systems Changes What Engineers Can Do With 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
1/9/2014  15 comments
3D Systems has introduced printers, services, and software that will change what engineers can do with 3D printing. These include a bigger and faster SLA build volume, another printer that does multiple colors in plastic, one that prints plastic multi-material objects bigger and faster, ceramic 3D printing via the cloud, and a universal print driver.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Metals in Space
Engineering Materials 
1/7/2014  24 comments
The European Space Agency (ESA) has begun a program for designing a large-scale 3D printer that will work in space to make high-performance metal components and even entire satellites.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Shifts to End-Production Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/31/2013  14 comments
EOS is taking steps to establish additive manufacturing as an efficient process in industrial production. The shift comes as interest grows in several vertical industries to integrate AM technologies and processes into existing manufacturing flows.
Slideshow: Finnish High-End Steel Maker Comes to US
Engineering Materials 
12/30/2013  15 comments
Rautarukki Corp., a Finnish specialty steel maker known for its sustainable practices, has opened offices in Pittsburgh and Toronto. It will target its products toward transportation, heavy lifting, mining, and other industrial applications.
Slideshow: 3D Printed ABS & Nylon 12 Get Stronger, Tougher
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2013  2 comments
Stratasys has introduced two 3D printing materials stronger than their predecessors: the second generation of digital ABS for Objet Connex multimaterial 3D printers and FDM Nylon 12, which is designed for the company's Fortus 3D Production Systems.
Slideshow: Composites Go to Mars on MAVEN Spacecraft
Engineering Materials 
12/13/2013  3 comments
A spacecraft on its way to Mars is carrying core structures made with carbon-fiber composites. Launched November 18, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the first designed for exploring and understanding the red planet's upper atmosphere.
Slideshow: NIOSH Gives Nanomaterials Handling Recommendations
Engineering Materials 
12/12/2013  1 comment
New materials handling guidelines from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health give recommended engineering controls for nanoscale materials, which just keep proliferating.
Slideshow: Design & 3D Print Custom Metal Implants
Engineering Materials 
12/9/2013  8 comments
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
Report: Gasification R&D Focuses on Non-Recycled Plastics
Engineering Materials 
11/26/2013  41 comments
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Ceramic Matrix Composites LEAP to High Volumes
Engineering Materials 
11/21/2013  13 comments
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Slideshow: Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 
11/15/2013  15 comments
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Is Cheap & Green for Plastics
Engineering Materials 
11/11/2013  15 comments
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
Engineering Plastics Get Tough, Lightweight
Engineering Materials 
11/4/2013  19 comments
Engineers are using more plastics derived from petroleum, biological sources, and recycled materials in consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, and offshore oil and gas applications.
Slideshow: Carbon Composites for Cars Get Tougher & Faster
Engineering Materials 
11/1/2013  14 comments
Dow Automotive Systems has been talking about the company's latest automotive carbon composites and the adhesives used to join them. Both are getting tougher, with faster cycle times.
Single-Piece Aluminum Tank Hull Will Resist IEDs
Engineering Materials 
10/31/2013  7 comments
The US Army Research Lab and Alcoa Defense are developing a single-piece forged aluminum tank hull designed to protect soldiers and ground combat vehicles from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Engineers Reinvent Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
10/29/2013  15 comments
Engineers are reinventing 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM). The latest idea, from father/son-startup Vader Systems, uses liquid metal jet printing (LMJP) to make solid metal, full-production parts.
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