Rethia B. Williams today was awarded the Industry Achievement Award at Rapid 2010 for her work in developing laser-sintered parts for the Boeing Dreamliner 787. The Dreamliner is best known for its groundbreaking use of carbon composites in 50 per cent of its structure, including the fuselage and the wings. It has not been well known that the aircraft also breaks new ground in widespread use of parts created by the direct digital manufacturing process. The 787 features more than 30 air ducts manufactured by laser sintering using specially developed FR-106 flame-retardant nylon from Advanced Laser Materials of Belton, TX.
Advanced Laser Material’s FR-106 is a polyamide composite engineered for fire retardancy while maintaining superior mechanical properties, specifically high toughness and impact resistance. FR-106 parts can be manufactured to thicknesses as low as 0.030-inch, without compromising fire retardancy and toughness. This allows thinner and lower weight parts, an important goal throughout the Dreamliner.
Established in 2008 by SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community, the RTAM/SME Industry Achievement Award recognizes an individual, team or company for outstanding accomplishments that have had a significant impact within the additive manufacturing industry or in any/all industries through the application of additive manufacturing technologies. Award winners are selected by evaluating the scope and scale of benefits realized, and the potential future impact.
Williams is the first female recipient of the RTAM award. She was also the first woman to be named engineer of the year at Rockwell, where she worked on direct digital manufacturing technologies before joining Boeing.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France cycling champion Greg LeMond, is the first to license a new carbon fiber production method invented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that's faster, cheaper, and greener.
This month will mark the launch of the SpeedFoiler, a super-fast, ultra-lightweight foiling catamaran that can fly short distances over water faster than other foiling designs, in part because of its carbon composite materials.
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