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”.
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.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
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 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.
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