The big buzz at the upcoming Fakuma injection molding show in Germany is energy efficiency. Because of soaring hydrocarbon prices, that’s what OEMs are emphasizing. Austrian OEM Engel is showing what is describes as energy optimized, powerful machine designs. Engel will show three fully electric machines and the e-victory hybrid machine. Arbug says it has a “holistic” approach. “On one hand, the goal is to produce the Allrounder machines using as little energy as possible,” says a spokesman. “On the other, Arburg seeks to use its products and expertise in order to efficiently minimize energy consumption among its customers.” Four Arburg machines at the Fakuma bear the “e²” energy efficiency label: two from the electric Allrounder A series and two hydraulic Allrounder S series machines with electromechanical dosage drive.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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