Why is Apple so successful with its new designs? Well, one answer is that it breaks the rules when it comes to injection molding. One of the basic rules taught to new industrial designers is to always leave a draft angle so molded parts can be easily slipped from a mold cavity. Apple’s Designer-in-Chief Steve Jobs said the heck with that, according to an article in the current issue of MIT’s Technology Review. Apple designs computer housings with zero draft. It costs more for special ejection, but Apple achieves a unique box-like look. It also means designers can pack more in the housing and money is saved on packaging and shipping costs. But concept is king at Apple. Apple also makes extensive use of a two-shot molding process it calls “double back”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.