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Content by Ann R. Thryft
Ann R. Thryft
Member Since: September 6, 2011
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Blog Posts: 526
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Comment:Re: Helpful - Ann R. Thryft-1/29/2015
Solar Impulse 2 Preps for Round-the-World Flight
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2015  3 comments
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
Comment:Re: Ah hem - Ann R. Thryft-1/27/2015
Feds Launch Composites Innovation Center
News 
1/26/2015  3 comments
A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Distributed Manufacturing and Standards
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2015  Post a comment
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
CES Panel on Drones Adds to Regulation Debate
Blog 
1/21/2015  13 comments
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
Video: Reconfigurable Robot Walks on Snake Legs
News 
1/19/2015  4 comments
Carnegie Mellon University's modular snake robot can be reconfigured to meet users' needs. Not only will this modular system enable completely new robot designs, say its inventors, it will also help speed up the pace of development and enable more flexible traditional industrial robots.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  4 comments
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
Engage Materials Suppliers Early to Reduce Vehicle Weight
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  Post a comment
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 
1/12/2015  3 comments
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
Cars & Medical Implants Will Drive Plastics in 2015
Engineering Materials 
1/8/2015  4 comments
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Squid Teeth Inspire 3D-Printable Biodegradable Thermoplastic
News 
1/6/2015  Post a comment
Proteins from the ring teeth on squid tentacles can be synthesized to make a versatile biodegradable thermoplastic that can be used for molding, extrusion, 3D printing, as an adhesive, or as a coating.
Seaworthy Composite Boat Folds Flat, Flexes to Meet Waves
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  11 comments
The use of glass fiber composites in boats is not news. But one that folds up flat in 40 seconds? The secret combines Kevlar and composite hinges, a lightweight PVC core, and strategic design.
4D Printing Self-Assembling, Self-Repairing Medical Implants
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  2 comments
Some market analysts are saying that medical device prototypes, especially implants, made with 4D printing techniques could appear as early as the end of 2015.
Comment:Re: Savior! - Ann R. Thryft-12/30/2014
Comment:Re: 3D - Ann R. Thryft-12/30/2014
Comment:Re: Ann - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
Comment:Re: Wacky? - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
Comment:Re: Savior! - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 
12/19/2014  6 comments
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Parasite Drones Will Suck Up City CO2, Give It Back to Plants
Engineering Materials 
12/18/2014  37 comments
Polish design firm NAS-DRA has proposed parasitic robotic drones that capture carbon dioxide from the air during the day and release it at night to plants growing on their wings.
Elastomer Goes With the (Waves') Flow
News 
12/17/2014  Post a comment
DuPont's Hytrel elastomer long used in automotive applications has been used to improve the way marine mooring lines are connected to things like fish farms, oil & gas installations, buoys, and wave energy devices. The new bellow design of the Dynamic Tethers wave protection system acts like a shock absorber, reducing peak loads as much as 70%.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2014  10 comments
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA Installs Giant Composite Research Robot
Engineering Materials 
12/15/2014  8 comments
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
Video: ESA Plans 3D-Printed Moon Base
Engineering Materials 
12/12/2014  8 comments
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
3D-Printed Custom Spike Plates Outrun the Competition
Engineering Materials 
12/11/2014  3 comments
If there's one thing 3D printing's good for, it's customization. New Balance Athletic Shoe Company has begun using 3D printing to make customized spike plates for its running shoes made for members of its Team New Balance runners. They provide better traction and shave off a tiny bit of weight.
3D Printing Space-Worthy Satellite Parts
Engineering Materials 
12/9/2014  1 comment
Two teams, one based in the US and one in Europe, have 3D printed space-worthy support structures for satellite antenna arrays. These aren't prototypes: they're fully functioning antenna supports that will operate while exposed to the harsh temperatures and radiation of outer space.
3D Printing Stars at Euromold Show
News 
12/8/2014  3 comments
While most Americans were taking time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, 3D printer makers showed off their new systems, services, and materials at Germany's Euromold show.
More Reasons to Use 3D Printing & Plastics for Lightweighting Cars
Engineering Materials 
12/1/2014  5 comments
Here are a few more reasons to use 3D printing for making individual parts for cars and scooters, and investment casting from Solvay, Stratasys, and several divisions of CRP Group.
HP's 3D Printing Plans Still Seem a Little Out of Reach
Engineering Materials 
11/24/2014  5 comments
HP revealed more of its 3D printing plans in a recent webinar. Senior vice president of inkjet and graphics solution business Stephen Nigro spoke about how the technology works and expanded on HP's vision of open collaboration to commercialize its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology for end-production, and open collaboration on new materials. He also said HP will create software to help users decide when to use Multi Jet Fusion versus conventional subtractive manufacturing.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 
11/17/2014  9 comments
Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
How Did a Concept Car Shed 26 Pounds?
Engineering Materials 
11/12/2014  19 comments
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.


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The ideal gas law, first stated in 1834, has suddenly become big news.
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The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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