Wonderfully versatile: Plastics shape the car of the future

17/11/2022

The versatility of plastic is one of its strongest characteristics, and it makes it particularly popular amongst designers. Plastic is also a favored material for BASF's design team: in collaboration with Citroën, the chemical company rethought the classic car - with plastic as the central building block that made the implementation of the innovative concept possible in the first place.
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Image: Detail of a woman connecting her smart watch with laptop; Copyright: leungchopan

A flexible device that harvests thermal energy to power wearable electronics

08/09/2022

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed the first flexible, wearable thermoelectric device capable of converting body heat into electricity. The researchers demonstrated that they can print these devices on stretchable textiles and curved surfaces. This will allow the devices to be applied to clothing and other objects in the future.
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Image: Silhouette of the legs of a firefighter fighting the flames; Copyright: ABBPhoto

BASF and THOR GmbH fight fire together

03/08/2022

To improve plastic compounds and meet stringent fire safety requirements, BASF and THOR GmbH are using their joint expertise in flame retardants. The focus is on developing alternatives to halogen-containing additives.
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Product development in Alpla's One-Stop Shop

02/08/2022

Those who work meticulously to design a product can hardly await the day they can hold the finished item in their hands. Alpla is a company headquartered in Hard, Austria, that speeds up this process. Customers can convert their ideas into reality and ideally leave Alpla's STUDIOa with a prototype in hand.
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Plastic as an indispensable companion for people with disabilities

20/07/2022

Plastic makes our lives easier every day - for some this is more true, for others less. And for people with disabilities, plastic can simply mean a great deal of freedom. Fiber-reinforced composites and the like are used today where bulky and awkward solutions had to be found in the past. They are the cheaper and lighter alternative that makes many things possible.
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Audi: Recycling plastic waste in-house

14/07/2022

For a year now, automobile manufacturer Audi has been running a pilot project for a closed plastic cycle. Assembly aids are produced from packaging material in a 3D printer. We took a closer look at the Neckarsulm plant to find out exactly how this works and what challenges have to be overcome.
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Image: Large fighter aircraft plant with multiple models; Copyright: saoirse2010

3D printing for automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames

01/07/2022

In the "OSFIT" (One Shot Fully Integrated Thermoplastic Frame) project, automated processes were developed to reduce both the time required and the complexity of the assembly and joining steps in aircraft production.
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Image: Printing original products with a 3D printer; Copyright: twenty20photos

Intelligent software for 3D printing optimises properties of plastic components

06/06/2022

Researchers at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern have developed intelligent software that can adjust parameters such as temperature and printing speed during printing.
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Safely above the clouds – plastics in aviation

13/04/2022

Around 10,000 m altitude, speeds of almost 1,000 km/h, outside temperatures as low as -60°C. One of the reasons why we as airline passengers don't notice any of this is because of plastics. These are not only mechanically and chemically resistant, but also lightweight. And lighter aircraft cause fewer CO2 emissions, which is of great importance for achieving climate targets.
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Same but different: say hello to the 3D printed trombone

25/03/2022

It looks and sounds like a standard trombone - but is actually lightweight and made of carbon fiber rather than brass metal. To craft the musical instrument using this raw material, additive manufacturing is the right application for success: the process provides great options to manufacture the relevant molds used to build the instrument.
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Polymer discovery gives 3D-printed sand super strength

10/01/2022

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed a novel polymer to bind and strengthen silica sand for binder jet additive manufacturing, a 3D-printing method used by industries for prototyping and part production.
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Bringing back the good name – a museum of plastic about plastic

06/10/2021

In May 2021, another museum of a special kind was created in front of the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid: a Plastic Museum. It was not just a museum ABOUT plastic, but MADE OF plastic. The media response to the campaign of the EsPlásticos association was huge.
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Clean room production of breast implants

14/09/2021

The Fraunhofer IPT has teamed up with BelloSeno GmbH to study biocompatible implants that are made using 3D printing. Kai Janning from the Fraunhofer IPT describes the conditions a medical device production facility must meet and reveals the latest successes of the researchers.
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3D printing plastic yourself: students educate themselves about plastics in workshops

16/08/2021

Precisely because plastic is such a versatile material, future generations must also be taught how to use and recycle it responsibly.
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3D printing of multilayered materials for smart helmets

09/08/2021

A mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at The University of Texas at Arlington is developing advanced helmets to ensure that members of the military are as protected as possible from blasts and other types of attacks.
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Printed polymers with active ingredient

20/07/2021

3D printing can be used to produce versatile, individual shapes. This type of extrusion process is therefore not only popular in the plastics industry – it is also suitable for medical technology applications. Only the right polymers have to be found first.
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Industry 4.0: "We should seize opportunities and create added digital value"

04/05/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital workplace. This also applies to industry in general, where massive amounts of data are collected from countless sources. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) aims to use this data to gain actionable insights and target the development of marketable products, technologies, and services.
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Connecting apprentices with plastics companies

30/03/2021

Preparing small and medium-sized plastics manufacturing enterprises for the challenges of digitization in the vocational training and continuing education of employees and apprentices – that was the objective of the project titled "Kunststoff goes Future", abbreviated KungFu. The project ran for three years in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe district, Germany. It was successfully completed in mid-2020.
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Smallest 3D printed miniature endoscope in the world

24/07/2020

Researchers of the Universities of Stuttgart and Adelaide in cooperation with medical research centers in Australia developed a special microoptical tool with a thickness of only 125 microns. This enables endoscopic examimations within blood vessels whose diameter is smaller than 0.5 mm and helps detecting plaques or thrombs to reduce the danger of a stroke or a heart attack.
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Carbon Inc.’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production™, © Carbon Inc.

A look at the shifting trends in additive manufacturing

22/05/2020

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"Harvesting" body heat more efficiently with superrubber

12/02/2020

North Carolina State University engineers have demonstrated a flexible device that harvests the heat energy from the human body to monitor health. The device is more efficient than other flexible harvesters that use body heat as the sole energy source.
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