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.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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.