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Searching for the Perfect Lightweighting Recipe

Lightweighting is so established it’s now part of marketing for new vehicles. Automakers routinely detail how much less models weigh than their predecessors. General Motors Co., for example, has said a range of its vehicles is anywhere from almost 250 lb (112.5 kg) to 700 lb (315 kg) lighter.

Conductive Thermoplastics for 3D Printing

As inventive and imaginative as 3D printer technology is, so are the materials that R&D labs have come up with to build parts, including conductive thermoplastics.

Cutting Tools for Use with New Aluminum-Compound Materials

New work materials are developed continually to improve the capabilities of finished parts, making them lighter and stronger, among other properties. When these materials catch on, cutting tools must adapt to their often challenging properties.

Honeycomb Heroes: Making Composites for Aerospace

There’s an old saw that if bumblebees were aeronautical engineers they would know they can’t fly. Quite apart from the miracle of their flight, bees also happen to make a lightweight structure of surprising strength, just the sort of thing you’d want if you were building aircraft: honeycomb.

Raising the Stakes with High-Speed Aerospace CNCs

In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.

3D Laser Gaging Ensures Flawless Engine Fasteners

In an automobile engine, seven types of screws out of approximately 70 are considered critical to achieving the engine’s specified design performance, despite high vibration and heat. The seven include bolts for the cylinder head, crankshaft, con rod, flywheel, and main bearing cap, as well as for the camshaft cap, camshaft sprocket and VCT.

3D-Printed Parts Restore Cars’ Glory

Daimler may be the first vehicle maker to offer 3D-printed replacement parts, but racing enthusiasts and car collectors like Jay Leno have been using additive manufacturing and 3D scanning for many years to replace worn-out parts or to enhance their rides.

Fiber Lasers Continue to Gain Market Share in Material Processing Applications

The first kilowatt-class fiber laser for material processing was introduced by IPG Photonics in early 2002. Since that time, the adoption of fiber lasers for production applications has grown at a rapid rate. Today, fiber lasers are becoming the choice for most major production laser applications as well as converting traditional welding and cutting processes to fiber laser technologies.

Pilot Composites Workshop Wows Students

Carbon fiber is a magical material. That or similar comments were heard over and over from Roosevelt High School (Seattle) students attending a Composites 101 Workshop held at the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE)-sponsored program at Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood, WA).