A new elastomer technology announced at K 2007 in Düsseldorf will give design engineers new options, particularly for overmolding and applications such as gaskets with demanding compression-set requirements. Dow Chemical announced development of Infusion olefin block copolymers and compounder GLS simultaneously announced plans to extend the technology through customization. Advantages of the new material include better abrasion resistance, improved hardness range, and higher temperature resistance with no sacrifice in elasticity. “Mold designs are becoming increasingly complex,” comments Joseph Kutka, technology launch manager for GLS. “Because of easier flow, this material creates new design opportunities for engineers.”
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots decreased by 4% in 2012 over 2011. The biggest hit was electrical/electronics manufacturing, down by 13%; but by region, the Amerficas did well.
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