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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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: 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.
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.
Slideshow: Optimizing the Design of Cars & Planes
Engineering Materials 10/25/2013 15 comments Sophisticated optimization software turns out to be a secret weapon behind aerospace and automotive companies' ability to successfully incorporate new materials like carbon composites into their designs. It's also behind several other innovations in aerospace and automotive design.
Video: Robotic Cubes Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 10/18/2013 26 comments MIT researchers have developed self-assembling, flywheel-driven modular cube robots that roll around each other and across a surface. They also appear to jump through the air.
Researchers Use Engineered DNA to Develop Programmable Glue
Engineering Materials 10/16/2013 6 comments Researchers have used engineered DNA to develop a programmable glue that can be used with a variety of materials to create self-assembling, small-scale systems, such as surgical glue that stitches together selected tissues, reconfigurable computer chips, or lenses.
Plastic Car Sandwich Material Modeled on Bone
Engineering Materials 10/14/2013 19 comments Bayer MaterialScience has designed a prototype car trunk lid, using a sandwich structure with a dense outer skin made of a glass fiber/polycarbonate-based thermoplastic composite and a polyurethane foam inner core.
DIY: Build Your Own Robotic Bug
Engineering Materials 10/2/2013 27 comments A crowdfunded DIY version of the cockroach-like DASH robot invented by engineering students at the University of California, Berkeley, is now available on Dragon Innovation.
The Smart Emergency Response System capitalizes on the latest advancements in cyber-physical systems to connect autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles, rescue dogs, robots, and a high-performance computing mission control center into a realistic vision.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.