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”.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
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.
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