Putting painted Class A surfaces on a molded part requires a costly paint line, right? Well, maybe not for long. A developmental molding process developed by Ube Machinery Inc. (www.ubemachinery.com) applies liquid paint to injection parts while they're still in the tool. With the new IMPREST process, the tool opens briefly after the part has molded to allow paint to be injected. The tool then closes again, transferring the cavity surface onto the painted surface for a uniform finish. UBE will make IMPREST available machines in 2005.
A new method of modeling how they are created with chemical vapor deposition (CVD) could reduce the cost of carbon nanostructures used for for research and commercial applications, including advanced sensors and batteries.
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.
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