Apple designers once again have scored with innovative use of materials. iMac first became an industrial design icon in 1998 when it introduced use of striking translucent plastic. The new iMac takes a dramatically different turn, making use of glass and ultra-thin aluminum, creating a new level of classy look. It’s a clean and simple design. The translucent plastic models in funky colors drew attention to the box. The new look makes it clear that this is a functional product where attention is focused on the desktop interface. The new 20-inch iMac is priced at $1,199, $300 less than the previous 20-inch model, and the 24-inch iMac starts at $1,799, $200 less than the previous 24-inch model.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
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