More renewable sourced plastic resins are coming. Cereplast, announced that it expects to produce and ship approximately 16 million pounds of compounds this year, a 400 percent increase compared to 2009.
Cereplast produces thermoplastic starch compounds and buys polylactic acid from NatureWorks and produces custom compounds in a recently opened plant in Indiana with a capacity of 80 million lbs/yr.
Cereplast recently entered into new global distribution agreements with a number of companies, Ashland Distribution and Bunge Alimentaris, a Brazilian subsidiary of Bunge Limited. These distribution agreements are a contributing factor to the rise in shipment estimates.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
If there's one thing 3D printing's good for, it's customization. New Balance Athletic Shoe Company has begun using 3D printing to make customized spike plates for its running shoes made for members of its Team New Balance runners. They provide better traction and shave off a tiny bit of weight.
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