3M says its reflective mirror film technology has the potential to revolutionize solar power, and bring the cost of generating electricity from solar energy closer to that of fossil fuels. Tim Hebrink, a scientist at 3M’s Corporate Research Process Laboratory (shown below), will review the company’s technical developments at one of three new technology forums at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) annual technical conference (ANTEC) in Boston May1-5. Seven technical presentations will focus on roll-to-roll photovoltaic systems, solar concentrators, and flexible displays. Organizations represented by the presenters will include DuPont, 3M, Sabic, SkyFuel, Guardian Industries, Akron Polymer Systems, and the University of Akron.
A detailed agenda for each symposium is posted at the SPE Web site.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.