Richard P. Wool, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, thinks that turning soy into industrial grade plastic is food for thought. As the director of Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources program at the University's Center for Composite Materials, he uses soy for manufacturing the doors for a John Deere tractor. He thinks that most of the tractor, including the tires, could be made from soy. Wool points out that the advantages of plastics made from soy include biodegradability, abundance, and the fact that soy is renewable. "Soy-based composites have better physical properties," says Wool. For more information, go to www.udel.edu.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.