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3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production

3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production
Engineer Jim Kor and his design for the Urbee 2. Photo: Sara Payne Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles. If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo. Urbee’s approach to maximum miles per gallon starts with lightweight construction – something that 3-D printing is particularly well suited for. Jim Kor is the engineering brains behind the Urbee. “We thought long and hard about doing a second one,” he says of the Urbee. Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. Photo: Sara Payne “We’re calling it race car safety,” Kor says.

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Energy-producing shell covered with hairs that can extract wind energy Belatchew Architects presents a visionary idea called STRAWSCRAPER, the first project to come out of their business called Belatchew Labs. STRAWSCRAPER is an extension of the south tower on Södermalm in Stockholm with a new energy-producing shell covered with hairs that can extract wind energy. What was originally meant to be 40 storeys became only 26. Open Source, Powder-Based 3-D Printer Has Full-Color Potential PWDR doesn’t look fancy, but it could be the first technicolor tool for 3-D printing. PWDR is an open source, inkjet-based 3-D printer that has the potential to bring a Wizard of Oz-like range of color to the previously black and white world of additive fabrication. Unlike the MakerBot and RepRap printers that build objects by melting plastic, or the Form 1 that uses a laser to cure resin, PWDR works just like a desktop printer. An HP inkjet deposits a liquid binder, mixed with ink, onto a layer of white gypsum powder.

New Invention Makes Ocean Water Drinkable Susanne Posel Occupy Corporatism July 2, 2013 Chemists with the University of Texas and the University of Marburg have devised a method of using a small electrical field that will remove the salt from seawater. Incredibly this technique requires little more than a store-bought battery. Called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination (EMSD) this technique has improved upon the current water desalination method. Richard Cooks, chemistry professor at the University of Austin said : “The availability of water for drinking and crop irrigation is one of the most basic requirements for maintaining and improving human health.” 3D printing will explode in 2014, thanks to the expiration of key patents - Quartz Here’s what’s holding back 3D printing, the technology that’s supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire, says Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways. These patents cover a technology known as “laser sintering,” the lowest-cost 3D printing technology.

Power plant claims to produce hydrogen by splitting water with sunlight The plant would use an array of mirrors to focus sunlight onto a huge towerThe tower heats up to 1,350 °C - enough to liberate hydrogen from steamScientists describe the process as the Holy Grail of a hydrogen economy By Ellie Zolfagharifard Published: 18:07 GMT, 1 August 2013 | Updated: 11:31 GMT, 14 November 2013 Scientists believe they have achieved the ‘holy grail’ of the green economy by designing a hydrogen production plant that can split water with sunlight. The University of Colorado at Boulder envisages an array of mirrors that would focus sunlight onto a central tower several hundred feet tall. NIH launches 3D print exchange NIH launches 3D print exchange By GCN StaffJun 23, 2014 The National Institutes of Health has launched a 3D Print Exchange, a public website that lets users share, download and edit biomedical 3D print files that can be used to print custom laboratory equipment and models of bacteria and human anatomy in 3D, the NIH said in its announcement. Besides the print files of lab equipment, cells, bacteria or viruses, and anatomical models of organs, tissue and body parts, the Exchange features modeling tutorials, and educational materials. As the first government-sponsored website dedicated to 3D printing, the Exchange is focused on advancing the use of 3D prints in STEM education.

Graphene Batteries Offer 5-Second iPhone Charging Researchers at UCLA have discovered a way to make graphene batteries that charge super fast, are inexpensively produced, are non-toxic, and that blow current battery technology out of the water in terms of efficiency and performance. An iPhone powered by a graphene supercapacitor could charge in five-seconds. A MacBook powered by a graphene supercapacitor could charge 30-seconds. HP Reveals New, Ultra-Fast 3D-Printing System HP today announced Multi Jet Fusion, a new 3D-printing technology that, according to the company, can print objects in 3D at much faster speeds and lower costs than existing methods. Its speed is due to the fact that it can quickly apply and fuse large areas of material rather than extruding it point by point. HP's 3D-printing system is geared to commercial use in short-run manufacturing, at least for now. According to HP, the new technology is 10 times faster than the existing 3D-printing methods of fused deposition modeling, in which acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), or similar molten plastic is extruded through a nozzle, and selective laser sintering (SLS). It is designed to produce output that is beautiful and mechanically useful, with the ability to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical and thermal properties. Availability of the end-to-end HP 3D-printing system is planned in 2016.

MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete The Wristify prototype is a personal climate-controlling wearable. Image: Wristify Here’s a scary statistic: In 2007, 87 percent of households in the U.S. used air conditioning, compared to just 11 percent of households in Brazil and a mere 2 percent in India. Another one: By 2025, booming nations like those are projected to account for a billion new consumers worldwide, with a corresponding explosion in demand for air conditioning expected to arrive along with them. Keeping indoor spaces at comfortable temperatures requires a huge amount of electricity–especially in sweltering climates like India and Brazil–and in the U.S. alone it accounts for a full 16.5 percent of energy use.

3D Printed Electric Car Unveiled At Auto Show This week, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Local Motors showed off their new 3D-printed electric car called the “Strati.” The Arizona-based car company astonished attendees by using a 3D printer to manufacture the vehicle right there at the car show. The car is made out of carbon fiber infused plastic, and can be printed in pieces in an area of about 40,000 square feet. Kite power getting off the ground in Germany Despite offering numerous advantages over its rotating brethren, most notably the ability to reach the high-speed winds found at higher altitudes, kite-based energy systems are yet to really get off the ground in a meaningful way. But things are looking up. Earlier this year, NASA revealed it is investigating ways to improve the aerodynamics and autonomous flight control of kites for power generation applications, and now Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH has teamed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) to make their own kite energy system concept a reality.

Hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy, accounting for 16 percent of global electricity generation – 3,427 terawatt-hours of electricity production in 2010,[1] and is expected to increase about 3.1% each year for the next 25 years. Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 32 percent of global hydropower in 2010. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer, with 721 terawatt-hours of production in 2010, representing around 17 percent of domestic electricity use. There are now four hydroelectricity stations larger than 10 GW: the Three Gorges Dam and Xiluodu Dam in China, Itaipu Dam across the Brazil/Paraguay border, and Guri Dam in Venezuela.[1] The cost of hydroelectricity is relatively low, making it a competitive source of renewable electricity.

Phone Charger Uses Crystal Orbs to Focus the Sun's Rays A $149 solar smartphone charger called Beta.ey features a ball lens and minuscule multi-junction solar cell that can charge a smartphone one and a half times per day. RawLemon The theory underlying the project is that gleaming crystal globes can concentrate diffuse sunlight, or even moonlight, onto a tiny, hyper-efficient photovoltaic cell.

Creating Plastic Out of Thin Air Newlight Technologies co-founder Mark Herrema shows off AirCarbon pellets | Image credit: Dan MacMedan/USA TODAY We’re hearing more and more often about inventive new ways companies are turning waste into valuable resources — from turning everything from CO2 and methane gases to human and food waste into fuels, and plastic into bacteria-battling “ninja polymers.” This week USA Today explored another breakthrough — a process that extracts carbon molecules from methane gas and turns them into plastic. California-based startup Newlight Technologies is using captured methane gas from dairy farms and turning it into AirCarbon, a durable and versatile plastic that can be used in everything from furniture and food containers to auto parts. According to the article, AirCarbon removes more carbon from the atmosphere than its manufacturing emits, making it a carbon-negative material. Already in the works?