Karl--excellent post. If I may, is the material now available for any "additative" manufacturing process; i.e. 3-D printing, stereo lithography, etc etc. It certainly seems from your post the characteristics are very desirable and have definite applications. Just a thought.
Chain orientation in feedstock before machining can have a large effect on final dimensions. Machining top surfaces of extruded plate can cause internal stresses to release causing warp on a previously flat plate.
Mr Hebel has writtenn a useful article about the challenges found in machining some thermoplastics. All of the points that he made are certainly valid, and the suggested work-arounds will be helpful, no doubt.
But most of the challenges also exist when machining metal parts, except for the moisture absorbtion. The same tips apply when working to produce higher accuracy metal parts as well, although to a somewhat lesser extent. I just wanted to point that out to those who may need to give direction in the macchining of high accuracy parts.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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.