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.
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.