One of the hot trends on college campuses right now is a higher level of environmental consciousness in cafeterias, once plagued by wasteful food fights. The Sustainable Endowments Institute says that 42 percent of the schools it surveyed have cut back on use of trays, and in some cases totally eliminated them. One college estimates it has saved 14,000 gallons of water by eliminating use of trays at just one dining hall. Details can be viewed at the College Sustainability Report Card. There has also been a drop in food waste, based on the theory that people toted more when they had a tray. There’s also a trend to use of biodegradable plates and utensils, which can be thrown in a composter with food waste. Gosh, I remember when we first started using fiberglass trays in the 1950s. They were cool. Now they’re not. I also remember when I scoffed at the idea of using composters to get rid of waste. I have one now in my backyard. But I haven’t stooped to using biodegradable plates and utensils-yet.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
Several new products in this group of new adhesives, coatings, and sealants are formulated to protect sensitive electronic components, or to seal components of commercial and military aircraft. Others are designed to operate in tough, messy, dirty oil & gas operations, or for rotary applications and motors.
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