Liquid Robotics' new Wave Glider robot, the SV3 (right, in red) is bigger than its predecessor, SV2 (left, in yellow), shown during sea trials in Hawaii. The SV3 uses stored solar energy for part of its propulsion system, combined with the Wave Glider's unique, wave-powered energy harvesting system. (Source: Liquid Robotics)
Ann, this is a remarkable integration of a number of technologies -- solar, battery, energy storage, conversion of ocean movement. If you gather a number of technologies together no sngle technology has to be perfect. This is a good example.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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.
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