Three advanced plastics welding processes are used in a novel fuel cell based on electroconducting polymer and transition metals in an effort to avoid use of adhesives. “We are using orbital vibration to weld the different membranes (anode and cathode) producing the energy,” comments Didier Perret, sales manager of Branson Ultrasonics in Switzerland. “We are using advanced ultrasonic welding for several assembly operations (to replaces screw, glue or others). And finally we use the latest infrared laser technology GEN 3 to weld the fuel tank with a high safety level.”
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.