3D movies are hot. First Avatar. And then Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The format is even coming to television.
Now comes the announcement that the special glasses required to watch 3D will be offered in biobased plastic resins. Cereplast, Inc. designer and manufacturer of proprietary bioplastics, and Oculus3D, a company focused on film-based 3D projection technology, announced that Oculus3D will introduce the world’s first biodegradable/compostable 3D glasses for movie theaters
Major 3D movie releases will require more than 10 million pairs of glasses to be shipped to movie theaters across the globe for each movie. While many theaters collect 3D glasses at the conclusion of each show, damaged glasses, or pairs not returned end up in trashcans and ultimately in landfill sites.
The CO2 emissions for the more than 10 million plastic glasses made from hydrocarbons is equivalent to the harmful emissions generated by burning 50,000 gallons of gasoline or 917 barrels of oil. The Oculus3D eyewear will feature Cereplast’s Compostables® resin made with Ingeo® polylactic acid (PLA) made from corn. These resins allow for the manufacturing of glasses made of renewable material and create a truly compostable product. According to Cereplast, the 3D glasses will return to nature in less than 180 days with no chemical residues or toxicity left in the soil if discarded at a compost site.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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