Entrepreneurs selling plywood made some quick bucks in advance of Hurricane Ike, but a better option for homeowners may be temporary polycarbonate glazing. The newest product from SABIC Innovative Plastics is Lexan LTH3T16 sheet, a 5/8-inch-thick, fluted polycarbonate storm panel targeted for use on windows and doors. It is said to be four times stronger than half-inch plywood sheet and offers 250 times higher impact resistance than glass and 30 times the impact strength of acrylic of the same thickness. The sheet can be easily cut to size using conventional power tools to cover windows and doors. The PC lets in light and can be left on for the duration of a hurricane season.
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.