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 service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.