Announcements of new polymers are infrequent, with most of the action coming in additive systems that enhance performance or processability. DSM Engineering Plastics says it has developed a “breakthrough” polymer called PA4T, a specialized nylon aimed at electronics miniaturization. Specific attributes include excellent dimensional stability, compatibility with lead free soldering, high stiffness and mechanical strength at elevated temperatures, high melting point, and excellent flow and processing window. Potential applications include memory card connectors, CPU sockets, and air/fuel and power train components. A market development plant in the Netherlands will open early next year.
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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