3D-Printed Eyeglasses Are Fit for a King
Engineering Materials 9/3/2013 16 comments Dutch company LUXeXceL has developed a proprietary process to print plastic lenses and other non-imaging optical-quality components. The company has 3D-printed complete pairs of eyeglasses.
Materials Spotlighted at Design & Manufacturing Show
Engineering Materials 8/29/2013 3 comments The choices of metals, plastics, coatings, and adhesives has never been broader, and new ones are becoming available at a rapid rate. Some of this variety is reflected at the upcoming Design and Manufacturing Midwest Show.
3D Printing With Iron & Tungsten
Engineering Materials 8/26/2013 7 comments The range of metals that can be 3D printed is increasing. ExOne has added iron infiltrated with bronze, and bonded tungsten, to the range of metal and ceramic powders that can be used with its multi-material M-Flex machines.
Slideshow: Robots Get More Thin-Skinned
Engineering Materials 8/22/2013 23 comments Robots may be getting more sensitive, due to a breakthrough by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley. An electronic skin made of a sensor network mounted on a substrate of flexible plastic reacts to touch by lighting up.
DuPont Pushes for a 50%-Plus Renewable Plastics Line
Engineering Materials 8/9/2013 13 comments DuPont says its performance plastics line will contain more than half renewable materials within 15 years, and that all of its medium- to long-term research in engineering plastic feedstocks is based on the need to move to non-food based sources.
MIT 3D Prints Tough, Bone-Like Composite
Engineering Materials 8/8/2013 6 comments A team at MIT has 3D-printed bone-like composite materials on the Objet Connex500 multi-material printer. One was more than 20 times as tough as its constituent materials alone.
How to Make Intelligent Carbon-Fiber Composites
Engineering Materials 8/7/2013 6 comments German researchers have demonstrated the ability to embed RFID tags with ultra-thin antennas inside carbon-fiber-reinforced composite components such as aircraft wings. The technique is also being investigated for composite structural health monitoring.
Update: Corning's Paper-Thin, Flexible Glass
Engineering Materials 8/1/2013 11 comments Corning's super-thin, 100-micron Willow Glass can be adapted to high-volume, low-cost, roll-to-roll manufacturing processes not previously possible with glass. Corning is helping customers retrofit or build new lines to integrate the material into manufacturing.
Algae-Based Biofuel Goes Commercial-Scale
Engineering Materials 7/9/2013 8 comments In a major move forward for algae-based biofuel, US feedstock producer Cellana has inked a multi-year deal for commercial-scale quantities with Finnish company Neste Oil, one of the world's biggest renewable diesel producers.
NASA Builds 3D Printer for Space
Engineering Materials 7/3/2013 30 comments After nearly two years of R&D and testing several different commercial 3D printers in zero gravity, NASA has partnered with Made in Space to develop a 3D printer.
3D Printing & Printed 3D Electronics
Engineering Materials 7/1/2013 16 comments Combining a conformal printed electronics process with 3D printing in the same machine could speed up manufacturing, cut costs, and give engineers more design freedom. It's not that far away.
DuPont Lightens Up
Engineering Materials 6/27/2013 30 comments DuPont has been working with auto manufacturers to refine some of its high-performance engineering plastics, and even invent new ones. It's all being done in the name of lightweighting vehicles and improving performance.
Flexible Image Sensors Printed on Plastic
Engineering Materials 6/20/2013 16 comments UK-based Plastic Logic and French company ISORG have created what the pair tout as a first in flexible printed electronics: a large area, conformable, organic image sensor printed on plastic.
Bioplastic Injection Molding Grade Is Compostable
Engineering Materials 6/19/2013 20 comments New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
GE Aviation Cuts 3D Print Time in LEAP Engine
Engineering Materials 6/11/2013 12 comments GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
Feds Launch Metals Lightweighting Institute
Engineering Materials 6/3/2013 31 comments The federal government is launching competitions to kickstart three more manufacturing innovation institutes, including one focused on Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation.
Video: Worm Hooks Inspire Better Bandages
Engineering Materials 5/17/2013 16 comments Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
Video: Seahorse Armor Inspires Robot Design
Engineering Materials 5/16/2013 5 comments Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are designing a robotic arm that takes inspiration from the loose, flexible, yet very strong structure of the armored plates on a seahorse's tail.
How to Make Light Go Faster
Engineering Materials 5/13/2013 21 comments Researchers at the Missouri University of Science & Technology have designed a new nanoscale material that can transmit light faster than the 186,000 miles per second it usually takes to travel through air.
Green Power Breaks Records in the West
Engineering Materials 5/10/2013 74 comments It has often been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. This spring, the state's wind power is setting energy generation records and solar energy generation is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013.
Slideshow: Composites Go to the Arctic
Engineering Materials 4/8/2013 19 comments Extreme athletes are skiing across the Arctic on an expedition to the far north of a Norwegian island, depending for survival on their wits and two custom-designed sleds that incorporate carbon composites and ultra-high molecular weight linear polyethylene.
National Additive Manufacturing Institute Funds First Projects
Engineering Materials 3/29/2013 9 comments The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute has funded its first seven projects. They span a range of technologies and focus on fine-tuning existing AM processes for a variety of goals, including tooling, materials development, and composite production.
Results: Your Opinions on a Design Ideas Forum
Engineering Materials 3/25/2013 22 comments Here's a summary of your ideas for starting a Design Ideas forum that poses design problems and asks for input from the community to help solve them in innovative ways. We also ask for a bit more feedback to help fine-tune things.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.