Look for more aluminum and carbon fiber composites in European cars as producers drive to meet reduced carbon dioxide goals established by the European Union. Despite opposition form luxury car brands in Germany, EU regulators said new-car fleets in 2012 must emit an average 130 g/km of carbon dioxide. More than one fifth of vehicles sold by Peugeot already emit less than 120 g/km.
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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