Newly developed selective self-adhesive silicone rubbers can be co-molded with nylons, polycarbonates, and PBT-type polyesters, creating new design opportunities in medical devices and cars. “These materials can eliminate assembly operations for needle-less IV valves,” comments Eric Bishop of Shin-Etsu Silicones. The new materials’ combinations are also replacing gum rubber in automotive applications. Bishop spoke at Molding 2008 in San Francisco. The materials are called selective because they don’t adhere to steel.
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.