Almost-divorced Chrysler may have to do some fast talking to resurrect its important partnership with Chery Automobile Co. of China. As you might recall, Chery was scheduled to build low-cost subcompact cars which Chrysler would market in the United States. Important deal for a company that has been surviving on gas-guzzling hemis and trucks under its Daimler ownership. According to some published articles, Chery had some reservations when it was announced that Chrysler would be spun out. Tom LaSorda will remain CEO of Chrysler under Cerberus Capital Management, and announced he wants to expand the relationship with Chery. I think this will work out fine. Daimler had a poor track record in its dealings with Asian partners (Mitsubishi and Hyundai Motor). Chrysler will make it work, because it has to work. Cerberus is a word in Greek mythology for a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. We know that auto manufacturing in Detroit today is modern-day Hades, and we’ll find out soon enough if this dog can hunt.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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