Nature has never been better. First came biodegradable, which is better for our landfills. Next came recyclable, better for our resources. Then sustainable, better for our health and environment. But the rise of bio-based materials is simply better. And it is poised to help transform advanced manufacturing and take the United States to the economy of the future.
Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)say they were able to transmit 1.8 kilowatts of solar-generated power using microwaves sent to a receiver more than 180 feet from the power source, and in conjunction with 3D printing, the technology might one day be used to drive vehicles or “factories” in space.
Additive manufacturing promises to grow into a $6.9 billion industry in the next four years, and as it continues to expand all over the world, Western Canada announces its intentions to join in. On March 13, 2015, the government announced a partnership with Canadian enterprises seeking to use “digital manufacturing” to expand business opportunities and fulfill social needs. $5 million was pledged in support to the Orthopaedic Innovation Centre (OIC), a non-profit corporation focusing on orthopaedic technology development in collaboration with industry and post-secondary institutions, by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification
By 2025, all new cars and trucks are required to have an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon, as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With today’s vehicles averaging about half that amount, this is certainly an ambitious goal. However, as automotive manufacturers work towards this deadline, many are finding that lightweighting– using lighter components and advanced materials in the manufacturing process– is the key to meeting the EPA’s requirements.
The lasers in today’s 3D printers will soon cut out the cumbersome labor of assembling components and soldering connections at various stages of small satellite production — and even disintegrate the myriad considerations forced upon their design as a necessity to survive the harshness of being launched into orbit, according to the visions of some of the industry’s leading innovators.
Who says that you can’t make anything useful on a desktop 3D printer? Sure, there are plenty of designs that you can find on 3D printing repository websites which make you question the motive of the designers — but at the same time, there are engineers and designers creating things that make you just stop and say, “WOW!”