Investors are putting a lot of money into bioplastic ventures. But the jury is still out on their environmental benefit They were panned in a recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Now comes an announcement from Unilever that bioplastics won’t be part of an aggressive sustainability program in packagingUnilever makes this comment:
“Bioplastics are derived from renewable resources. But this does not mean that they are sustainable when all the environmental impacts and issues around their growth, production and subsequent disposal are taken into consideration.”
That’s a pretty broad-brush statement considering all of the technologies being investigated for renewably sourced packaging materials Unilever’s overall dismissal of this technology may be unwarranted But who really knows for sure? The companies with a stake in the plants-to-plastics projects need to make more convincing cases of their environmental benefits
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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