Gas assist was coupled with coinjection for this Kubota sub-compact utility tractor to reduce resin content and minimize cost. Kubota and Bemis Contract Group of Lenoir, NC, partnered on the redesign to eliminate a paint requirement, simplify assembly, consolidate parts and improve the product's versatility and appearance. One of the solutions was molded-in color, said to be the first in this industry category. The coinjection tool provides the hood with integral mounting features that ease assembly, and improve driver visibility. Coinjection also allows use of reprocessed core materials. Gas assist was used for the structural hand rails that were consolidated with thin wall control covers. The materials used for the project were thermoplastic olefin (TPO), glass-filled (15 percent) polypropylene and an alloy of polycarbonate and PBT.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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