These injection molded filters made for the medical market have more than 1,000 76-micron (0.003 inches) squares with wall thicknesses of 0.006 inches. "The previous way to make a filer was to run a metal mesh through an injection mold and then mold a frame around it," comments Donna Bibber, vice president of sales at Miniature Tool & Die. The trend to minimally invasive surgery is triggering a boom for micro components that travel through blood vessels. "Everywhere we turn there is a challenge we have to overcome,"
comments Bibber, a plastics engineer. Example: MTD had to develop a 7-gram hopper for resin drying. Conventional dryer hoppers are in the 150- to 200-lb range. "Also, we don't always have the luxury of a surface we can eject on to," she adds. MTD often ejects from runners or gates. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4922-503.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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.