Zip-Tech is a proprietary technology from Dufresne Manufacturing that replaces welding. The ‘zippered’ edges are punched into the part at the turret and are snapped together during the forming process. The process reduces the need for welding, grinding, and even outside finish in some applications by allowing for the joining of pre-plate materials which are otherwise considered hazardous in the welding process. The process can save customers up to 35 per cent on select parts. Zip-Tech is best suited for joining corners, but it can also join different metals. Customers include 3M, CNT and Ciprico.
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.