Sustainability is at the top of the list of trends seen by Nypro, a large custom molder based in Clinton, MA. “Bio materials have been on our radar screen for the past seven years,” says Michael P. McGee, director of technology at Nypo. “”In the last 12 to 18 months, it has started to take off.” He also said that while there is a lot of creativity in thinking about materials made from renewable resources, there ”hasn’t been a lot of connectivity to the marketplace.” Nypro is working on its first sustainability report which will measure the company’s carbon dioxide footprint (electricity consumption) and water usage as a percentage of sales. Nypro is also working with suppliers to index levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in coatings. In a presentation at MassPlastics, he also acknowledged a lot of confusion about what sustainability really is, noting that he has counted more than 300 different definitions.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
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