It’s great that Chinese companies may want to buy Chrysler or GM. That’s how the free enterprise system works. Companies are priced at a fair market value in public exchanges (if they’re publicly held) and then anyone with the cash can buy them, just like any products are bought and sold a la Adam Smith. IBM was able to unload its no-longer viable personal computer business to Chinese investors. It’s a great way to get money back into the hands of American businesses and investors. And as John Dodge pointed out on his Facebook page, GM has a capitalization of only $1.35 billion at current stock prices. GM has a large product development center in China and Buick is one of the top-selling brands in China. Most importantly, a Chinese buyout of GM or Chrysler saves US taxpayers a lot of cash.
Divestiture of assets to foreign investors is not a great long-term strategy, however. Our weak financial situation is a result of years of deficit spending and a bulging federal debt. If you’re mad about General Motors going bust—don’t be mad at me. Be mad at your own spending and voting patterns.
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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