Boeing is actively exploring technologies that can be used to recycle its carbon fiber composite aircraft, such as the Dreamliner, when they finish their service life. As a result, a greater supply of lower-cost recycled carbon fiber may soon enter the commercial pipeline from industrial scrap and applications that date back several years. Two companies are partnering with Boeing to develop carbon fiber from recycled sources. They are Adherent Technologies of Albuquerque, NM, and Milled Carbon in the United Kingdom, which already processes more than 500 metric tons of carbon fiber composites per year in a thermo/chemical process .
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 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.
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.
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.