At a press and analyst briefing in January, Michael Campbell, VP of product management at PTC, described some of the new capabilities of WildFire 3.0, expected to ship in March 2006. With a focus on improving user productivity, engineers have added some significant new features they call "smart model" enhancements. The list includes improved annotations for 3D drawings, including the ability to set datums on surfaces and define "up" for annotations. Also, users will now have the ability to automatically create 2D drawings off of 3D drawings — because, hey, who doesn't need 2D drawings even in a 3D environment? And to help knock that proverbial wall down between engineering and manufacturing, users will now have the ability to embed process information about a particular feature (a countersunk hole, for example) into the 3D drawing. Check out the PTC Wildfire 3.0 resource center at http://rbi.ims.ca/4915-535.
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.
Researchers have been developing a number of nano- and micro-scale technologies that can be used for implantable medical technology for the treatment of disease, diagnostics, prevention, and other health-related applications.
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.
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