Crude oil for August delivery fell 11 percent, to $128.88 a barrel last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-week drop in four years. Futures had reached $147.27 a barrel on July 11, the highest since 1983. And the price of oil is going to keep dropping, says a prominent energy analyst. Edward L. Morse of Lehman predicts a plunge to $93 a barrel. Declining demand will contribute to a build-up in inventories. One of the biggest drops will come in China, which had been feeding the fire. Plus there is some new capacity coming on line. The swing in oil prices upward was more exaggerated than normal because of rising speculation on oil and other commodities by investors who no longer could find good bets in real estate, or in the stock market. Some $90 billion of new cash reportedly moved into commodity funds in the past 18 months. A drop in short-term oil price speculation will help move tags down.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.