When plastic parts have to serve in a structural role, they usually require some extra attention to both part design and processing. And nowhere is that extra attention more evident than the annual new product design competition held by the Alliance of Plastic Processors, part of the Society of the Plastics Industry. The competition this year featured 49 entries from a variety of industries — including automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, industrial, furniture and consumer products. Those 49 products represented the full range of molding processes, not just standard injection molding but also advanced variants such as co-injection and gas-assist molding. Three of the winners, however, relied on lesser-known structural-foam molding. A process that can fill big parts with low injection and clamping pressures, structural foam molding employs specialized large-platen, multi-nozzle molding machines that foam the plastic melt with an inert gas. Here’s a look at three of the winners that used structural foam process.
For a look at the other winners, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4927-531. And for more on the agricultural entries, turn to the feature article on page 41.
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A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is