Have any ideas on how to improve materials engineering for golf carts? They’re a great candidate for a new approach because of skyrocketing accidents. Half of golf cart injuries occur on streets or residential property, and there was a surge in golf cart use when gas prices soared last year. One retiree bought a 20-year-old cart for $300 that can go 20 miles on a 10-hour charge. Twenty-six states allow use of golf carts on local streets. Some states require hazard signs on the back, not unlike the bright signs on the back of Amish buggies. A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said about 1,000 Americans suffer injuries monthly due to golf cart accidents. Male teenagers and people over 80 had the highest injury rates. A study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, said annual injury rates for golf carts increased 130 percent in a recent 16-year period.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.