I commented yesterday on the ridiculous study commissioned by the American Christmas Tree Association that claims PVC Christmas trees are better for the environment than natural trees. A study earlier this year by a consulting firm in Canada makes the opposite conclusion. ”The results for this impact category are clear: the natural tree is better than the artificial tree considering an average life span of six years for the artificial tree. This conclusion holds true for resource depletion as well,” state researchers for Ellipsos of Montréal, Quebec. If someone kept an artificial tree for a very long time, “ideally over 20 years”, they could reduce the impacts of the artificial tree, says Ellipsos.
If you like to drive deep into the country to chop down your own tree, then you could be better off with a PVC tree, strictly from an environmental lifecycle analysis, says the study. I say, go into the country, have a great time with your kids, and chop down your own tree. Deposit the tree at a composting site when done. I didn’t do any research, but how is that worse than a PVC tree made in China?
Thanks to my colleague Don Loepp at Plastics News for citing my blog post, and pointing out the Ellipsos citation in one of the Plastics News comments.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.