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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jun 22, 2017

3D-Printed Chair Made From One Piece of Plastic

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

This 3D-printed chair was made from biodegradable plastic.

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Jun 9, 2017

Will Mini Fusion Rockets Provide Spaceflight’s Next Big Leap?

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

Fusion-powered rockets that are only the size of a few refrigerators could one day help propel spacecraft at high speeds to nearby planets or even other stars, a NASA-funded spaceflight company says.

Another use for such fusion rockets is to deflect asteroids that might strike Earth and to build manned bases on the moon and Mars, the researchers say.

Rockets fly by hurling materials known as propellants away from them. Conventional rockets that rely on chemical reactions are not very efficient when it comes to how much thrust they generate, given the amount of propellant they carry, which has led rocket scientists to explore a variety of alternatives over the years. [Superfast Spacecraft Propulsion Concepts (Images)].

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May 19, 2017

Sound over silicon: Computing’s wave of the future

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

As computer parts grow tinier — billions of transistors are now packed onto silicon chips the size of a fingernail — silicon’s performance shrinks too, and the material can overheat.

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May 16, 2017

Printing of electronics will get faster and be capable of making more complex products

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Simon Fried, Nano Dimension CBO, describes the next five years of industrial 3D printing. It will be meeting more needs. In mechanical terms, that means 3D printing will use a broader range of materials or a higher quality of materials.

We also expect greater flexibility in combining materials – creating objects made of different types of metals, for instance, within the same print. Or printing metals and polymers, or metals and ceramics in one print job. With that capability, for instance, companies can begin deploying addition functionality within parts, such as electrical capabilities to mechanical objects. That’s the case with Nano Dimension, where polymers and metals are printed together with a very specific functional goal. Down the road, this capability will bring about stronger, smarter and more functional final products.

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May 2, 2017

Our Future Space Colonies Could Be Built Using Super-Strong Martian Bricks

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

Scientists have created bricks harder than concrete by compressing simulated Martian soil. Hypothetically, this means we could significantly bring down the cost of constructing shelters when we finally reach Mars.

The world is intent on sending humans to Mars, but the feasibility of Martian travel is dependent on cost. That’s why staying within budget is potentially the biggest challenge facing NASA’s recently released five-year plan detailing how humans will get to Mars. It’s also the reason SpaceX is pushing to make reusable rockets.

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Apr 30, 2017

Time travel is ‘possible’ — mathematically anyway

Posted by in categories: materials, time travel

A researcher crunches the numbers on time travel using his own TARDIS. Also, a weird new material could be the real-world version of a flux capacitor.

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Apr 29, 2017

The Winners Of 2017’s A’ Design Award & Competition Have Just Been Announced, And They’re Genius

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

The A’ Design Award & Competition is a magnet for creativity, and every year the contest attracts thinkers and inventors from all over the globe. The winners of the 2016–2017 period have just been announced, and they’re so innovative they could change the world as we know it – or at least make it a little more functional.

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The awards were doled out to over 1200 projects spanning a wide spectrum of categories, including but not limited to furniture, packaging, graphics, and architecture. The designs share common themes of practicality, modernity, and efficient use of space and materials. A’ Design is a unique concept in the competitive world, offering winners the prize of mass publicity rather than cash, and giving the designers an arsenal of tools to forge success on their own terms.

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Apr 24, 2017

Researchers build a microprocessor from flexible materials

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

Researchers have built a primitive microprocessor out of a two-dimensional material similar to graphene, the flexible conductive wonder material that some believe will revolutionize the design and manufacture of batteries, sensors and chips.

With only 115 transistors, their processor isn’t going to top any benchmark rankings, but it’s “a first step towards the development of microprocessors based on 2D semiconductors,” the researchers at Vienna University of Technology said in a paper published in the journal Nature this month.

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Apr 13, 2017

Scientists Have Created a Device That Sucks Water Out of Thin Air, Even in the Desert

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

When it comes to future challenges, one of the biggest will be water scarcity — on a warming planet we’re going to have plenty of seawater, but not enough fresh, clean water in the right places for everybody to drink.

And while a lot of research has focussed on desalination, a team of scientists have now come up with another possible solution — a device that pulls fresh water out of thin air, even in places with humidity as low as 20 percent. All it needs is sunlight.

It might sound too good to be true, but so far the research is solid. Called the ‘solar-powered harvester’, the device was created by teams from MIT and the University of California, Berkeley, using a special type of material known as a metal-organic framework (MOF).

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Apr 12, 2017

NASA Cuts A Huge Check To Underwrite Asteroid Mining

Posted by in categories: materials, space

NASA awarded $125,000 to a mining company to develop technology to extract minerals embedded in asteroids.

NASA will pay Deep Space Industries (DSI) for technology to return mined minerals from asteroids to Earth’s orbit. DSI is developing a way to use aerobraking to bring minerals back to Earth.

DSI said the grant will support the company’s research into creating aerobrakes out of materials found on near-Earth asteroids.

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