DuPont, a company famous for the invention of nylon and other plastics, is honoring two non-plastic materials as the top-level winners in its annual competition to honor outstanding new packaging.
The first “Diamond” award was issued to Exal Corp. and Alcoa Rigid Packaging for new “coil to can” (C2C) aluminum bottle manufacturing technology. C2C aluminum bottles use less material and are manufactured at faster speeds to enable a 40 percent weight reduction at a cost comparable to PET and/or glass.
The second diamond winner is Entropy Solutions of Eden Prairie, MN, for a new reusable thermal management system for shipping blood and pharmaceuticals. The package is based on phase change materials such as paraffin or eutectic salt.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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