ASTM Proposes New Standards for Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 8/29/2014 3 comments Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 8/28/2014 10 comments The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 8/27/2014 20 comments Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 8/20/2014 8 comments Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX Reveals 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 8/19/2014 9 comments SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
How to Machine Aerospace-Grade Composites
News 8/18/2014 16 comments UK researchers have come up with a method for machining aerospace-grade, carbon fiber-reinforced composites, along with high-strength aerospace alloys, using an ultrasonically assisted machining device. It also works on high-strength aerospace alloys.
Can Plastic Bearings Outperform Metal Ones?
Blog 8/6/2014 7 comments Plastic bearings are replacing metal in some pretty tough jobs. Sometimes they're equally effective and reliable, and sometimes they actually outperform those parts. We'll tell you all about how this is possible in an upcoming Design News Focus on Fundamentals course.
Update: Intelligent Composites for Structural Monitoring
Engineering Materials 8/5/2014 5 comments Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Video: Sciaky to Sell Its Huge Metals 3D Printers
News 7/31/2014 6 comments Sciaky, provider of electron-beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) services, will start selling these machines commercially in September. The company has used its EBAM 3D printing technology for making very large, high-value, metal prototypes and production parts for aerospace and defense OEMs.
3D-Printed Rocket Engine Fires Up
Engineering Materials 7/14/2014 19 comments Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Video: Wear Your Own Pair of Robot Arms
Engineering Materials 7/10/2014 53 comments Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
Video: Power Line Perching UAV Doubles Down on Drone Delivery
Blog 7/8/2014 21 comments Last December Amazon.com unveiled a plan for a delivery system of drones that can deliver packages to people living within 10 miles of a distribution center. One of the reasons for that mileage limit is that the unmanned aerial vehicles the company plans to use only have enough battery life to cover that distance without recharging. MIT is out to change that.
10 Engineering-Friendly Foods
Blog 7/3/2014 38 comments Normally itís chefs who find inspiration in food. But a number of clever engineers and inventors are doing the same these days, developing new materials, biofuels, ways to harvest energy, and other inventions by using common foods and food waste to create the foundation or impetus for their designs.
3D-Printed Steel Building Structures
Engineering Materials 7/2/2014 22 comments Structural engineers have developed a design method for 3D printing structural steel elements to be used in construction projects. Complex, individually designed pieces can be created far more efficiently, and costs and waste will be reduced.
15 Engineering Disciplines by Salary & Job Prospects
Blog 6/30/2014 33 comments Hereís a snapshot of the salaries and job prospects for engineering careers by discipline. These numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some professions such as biomedical engineering will see growth as high as 62% through 2020. Other disciplines do not look as promising.
Consumer-Grade 3D-Printable Metal Casting Resin
Engineering Materials 6/26/2014 12 comments MadeSolid is offering a 3D-printable casting resin for making small metal parts for things like jewelry. It costs a lot less than previous alternatives and can be used with multiple consumer-grade printers -- an industry first.
SABIC & Kringlan Develop Carbon Composite Wheel
Engineering Materials 6/25/2014 11 comments SABIC and Kringlan Composites are developing a thermoplastic carbon composite wheel with a matrix based on SABIC's ULTEM resin. Kringlan says its process is geared toward high volumes, short cycle times, and in-house recycling of production waste and end-of-life materials.
Slideshow: igus's 3D-Printable Bearings Material
Engineering Materials 6/20/2014 5 comments igus is offering its tribological, integrated lubricant polymer in a filament for 3D-printing custom bearings, bushings, and prototypes. The Tribo-Filament is compatible with any filament fusion printer that has a heated nozzle and print bed, and uses ABS filaments.
10 Uses for Drones That Could Change Your Opinion of Them
Blog 6/12/2014 52 comments Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are still largely tied in public image to their use to deliver deadly missiles during military engagements. This has tarnished their reputation for many people, but that is currently changing as drones move beyond their military use and more and more into the commercial sector.
10 Robots You Don't Want to Mess With
Engineering Materials 6/10/2014 76 comments Our current crop of military robots includes small, tank-like unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), more specialized types like large autonomous vehicles, and both large and small winged robots, one carrying its own fuel cell.
3D Print Plastic & Electronics in One Pass
Engineering Materials 6/5/2014 4 comments Stanford University grad students have developed open-source technology that 3D prints conductive traces and plastic in one pass. Their startup is selling a liquid syringe extruder that plugs into a filament fusion printer, a plug-in replacement dual extruder, and a dual-extrusion 3D printer.
Slideshow: Tiny Parrot Drone Takes Full HD Videos
News 5/29/2014 48 comments Parrot's new hand-launchable Bebop Drone quadricopter is either super-cool or downright scary. It's stuffed with tech that lets it take 180-degree aerial videos with a 14 megapixel Full HD camera, plus a ton of other abilities.
Slideshow: Airbus Launches All-Composite, All-Electric Plane
Engineering Materials 5/27/2014 79 comments Airbus Group's all-electric, all-composite training aircraft took its first public flight last month during the company's E-Aircraft Day in Bordeaux, France. The experimental aircraft was designed and built as a technology demonstrator for small planes used to train pilots.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 5/20/2014 50 comments Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and peopleís lives. Here are 10 of them.
3D Printing Needs to Open Up
Engineering Materials 5/19/2014 13 comments The prototyping-based models 3D printing has used for 30 years must change if the industry is to continue growing and shift to production parts, says a new Lux Research study.
Slideshow: Plastics Showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo
Engineering Materials 5/16/2014 15 comments At the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 show in Hamburg, many companies got a chance to showcase their plastics for a variety of applications in aircraft interiors. Some introduced new materials. Others announced new applications or qualifications for their products.
Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau
Engineering Materials 5/13/2014 18 comments Not long after 3D printing leader Stratasys bought two service bureaus, rapid prototyping service bureau extraordinaire Proto Labs has embraced the technology by buying a service bureau focused solely on additive manufacturing. Before this acquisition, Proto Labs has concentrated on CNC machining and injection molding.
Video: Robotic Rock Star Jam Session
Blog 5/1/2014 5 comments The talented swarming robots that danced to light and music at Cannes in 2012 have learned how to play Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Star Spangled Banner, and The Carol of the Bells.
3D-Printed Bioplastics Coming Soon
Engineering Materials 4/25/2014 27 comments Bioplastics formulator and manufacturer Sierra Resins and distributor 3D Printlife are working together to introduce a new biofilament for 3D printers.
Solar Impulse 2 Flies New Materials
Engineering Materials 4/24/2014 26 comments Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diegoís Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a personís sweat.
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