Even under new ownership, Chrysler is still on track to sell China’s hot new world car, the Chery. Look for the car in Latin America by the end of next year. Introduction to the United States and Europe will be later, sometime in 2009, as the car is fitted with required safety and pollution controls. The car is heavy with parts from Visteon, but the fit and finish is poor, particularly for interior components. The plastic alloy cover for the air bag compartment, for example, isn’t quite flush with the dashboard. The car sells for $7,000 in China, and is assembled in a rural plant by workers who earn less than $2 an hour.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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