Alumasc Dispense, one of Europe's leading producers of mountings for beer taps, faced a formidable engineering challenge: Design the mountings for the taps that were distinctive enough to overshadow the competition. Decision: Convert their 2D design process to 3D using VX CAD software (www.vx.com). Many of the designers working for Alumasc's customers use 3D systems such as Alias to get the styling right. "VX accepts the files and now we can take most things that are thrown at us, and we can work effectively exporting our designs to toolmakers," says Richard Oakley, Alumasc director. Oakley says existing designs have little re-use in his industry. "Yet, we have to go from concept to manufacturing in a matter of months," he adds. "That means our design-to-manufacturing process has to be slick." Alumasc is now using the software in design projects for Carlsberg Tetley and Scottis Courage breweries, both which are guaranteeing a pint with a perfect head, he says.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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