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.
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.