DuPont of Wilmington, DE, spent 15 years developing a new category of bio-based materials called DuPont Renewably Sourced Materials. The company launched a Web portal at renewable.dupont.com to make it easy for design engineers to find and learn about these materials. In addition to basic product information, the website provides environmental data sheets for each product family. These sheets disclose information on the products’ cradle-to-grave environmental footprint, including an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy consumption.
DuPont’s renewably sourced materials are high-performance, bio-based materials and biofuels made in whole or in part from renewable agricultural feedstocks such as corn, soybeans, sugar cane and wheat rather than petroleum. In the future, DuPont expects to make these materials from cellulosic feedstocks from fast-growing energy crops such as grasses and agricultural byproducts like corn stalks. There are two criteria DuPont uses to select renewably sourced materials. First, they must contain at least 20 percent renewably sourced ingredients by weight, and second, the product must perform as well or better than petroleum-derived products.
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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