Cellulose is the hot new feedstock for bioplastics.. The latest announcement comes from Mazda Motor Corp. which today launched a project with Hiroshima University to develop a plastic made from plant waste or wood, Mazda, Toyota and other Japanese auto OEMs had previously pioneered application of bioplastics made from corn. The new thrust away from corn is driven by growing shortfalls, and rising prices, for corn because of booming demand from ethanol. The goal of the project is to develop a polypropylene that has sufficient heat resistance, strength and durability to be used in vehicle bumpers and instrument panels.
HP revealed more of its 3D printing plans in a recent webinar. Senior vice president of inkjet and graphics solution business Stephen Nigro spoke about how the technology works and expanded on HP's vision of open collaboration to commercialize its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology for end-production, and open collaboration on new materials. He also said HP will create software to help users decide when to use Multi Jet Fusion versus conventional subtractive manufacturing.
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.
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