Delphi’s new PVC-replacing cable will debut on the 2007 Toyota Tundra. Delphi and Toyota both described the development as one of the most important advances in auto cable in many years. First reported by Design News Feb. 7, the very thin wall cable improves design possibilities as well as reducing weight and eliminating potential halogen release. It’s the first application of GE Plastics' Flexible Noryl resins in the automotive industry. The new insulation is half as thick as conventional coatings in North America — 0.2 mm versus 0.4 mm — or about as thick as two sheets of paper, reducing wire/resin weight by up to 25 percent and wire diameter an average 28 percent. Size of the wire bundle is cut by as much as 40 percent.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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