A start-up company in New York has developed a new vibration-proof fastening system that offers interesting opportunities for plastics molding. The company, called Permanent Technologies, uses a patented system in which the nut has one or more tines that work in conjunction with longitudinal bolt thread channels to prevent counter rotation and loosening. Months-long testing on U.S. Navy Hovercrafts proved the concept. Engineers are often loathe to try new designs, but this is worth a look—particularly if you’re experiencing failures due to vibration. Some cool design ideas are possible. Take a pump assembly for example. Permanent Technologies can produce a cut-out underneath the pump cover and put a hexagon-shaped tine in the hole located in the body of the assembly. Then put the cover on and put a bolt through the cover. The bolt would then click through the tines just as if they were on top of a nut. You get vibration-proof blind hole fastening. And that translates well into injection molding, where undercuts can be mass produced at high speeds with tool action.
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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