Boeing is making another significant design change to the Dreamliner to accommodate yet another problem that had not been previously disclosed. Boeing ordered suspension of fuselage production at an Italian subcontractor in June when it became apparent small wrinkles were forming in the composite skin. Spokesperson Lori Gunter tells Design News: “We have designed a fix for the barrels that have already been built-a simple patch that is installed from the outside of the airplane. We are completing a permanent fix to the design that will accommodate the changes in the stringer without needing to install a patch-this basically consists of adding a few layers of composites in key areas of the fuselage.”
As reported in Design News, Boeing engineers are also redesigning the area where the wing mounts to the fuselage. The Dreamliner is already two years behind schedule.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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