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Lightweighting’s New Phase

Earlier this decade, the auto industry moved to lighten cars and trucks. It was supposed to be a competition between steel, long the dominant vehicle material, and aluminum. The latter got a boost when Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., bet big on aluminum, making aluminum bodies for its F-150 and Super Duty pickups.

In-House 3D Printer Saves Firm Thousands

A fused filament 3D printer has saved a custom outdoor lighting manufacturer tens of thousands of dollars a year, improving operations and winning more business. The purchase also helped retain customers who would previously have gone elsewhere for specialized parts.

Sorting Out the Options Leads to Successful Presetting

With the number of offline and in-process toolsetting options on the rise, developing a way to efficiently utilize this technology can be confusing. Which presetter should we buy? What about the software that’s so often part of these systems—do we really need it?

Laser Scanners Demand Attention as Technology Improves

Metrology-grade laser scanners are expanding their range of applications. New users are finding the main attractions of laser scanners—speed and ease of use. What prevented more widespread use in the past were laser scanners’ perceived tradeoffs. Using one usually meant sacrificing accuracy or working with noisy data.

New Metrology Culture Improving Chrysler Quality

“Five years ago, our fit and finish was below average,” said Dr. Raj Kawlra, director of dimensional strategy and management of Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI). “To be the future world-leaders, we knew that we had to focus on all aspects of quality … vehicles that look good, feel good, sound good, and are reliable.”

Geometry Lesson Teaches Corvette How to Lighten Up

It’s been almost two decades since the C5 Corvette hit the streets with its groundbreaking chassis built around hydroformed steel bumper-to-bumper frame rails. The technology gave engineers a chance to create components that were both lighter and stiffer than traditional stamped and welded assemblies.

Why Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing Makes Sense for Aerospace & Defense

Additive manufacturing lets companies think “outside the box.” Engineers can now start to look at a part without restrictions on size, shape or material. Instead of taking 15 different CNC milled parts and brazing them together, these companies have reimagined the part entirely—to be built as one part.

The High-Speed Machining Benefits of Brass

US machine shops are potentially underutilizing the machinability of brass by as much as 85 percent in their part processing operations, reports a recent study from the Copper Development Association Inc. (McLean, VA).

Hard Hips

The challenge of machining hip replacement implants out of cobalt chrome