Who caused the skills gap?

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: April 22nd, 2014

We continue to hear a lot about the existence of a skills gap in manufacturing. A new survey, 2014 Manufacturing Training Trends, was recently released by Seminars for Engineers showing that a lack of training is the biggest obstacle to manufacturing quality success today. Twenty-seven percent of respondents to this survey cited lack of training; 20% cited outmoded equipment; 16% cited poor quality control; and 14% cited company morale. 

When a $50 3D-printed hand is better than a $42,000 prosthetic device

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: April 21st, 2014

Jose Delgado, 53, was born without most of his left arm. He has a prosthetic hand that uses muscle signals from the forearm to open and close the fingers. Cost: $42,000, half of which was out of pocket. He recently got in touch with Jeremy Simon, who maintains the 3D Universe blog, to see about 3D printing a prosthetic hand. The so-called Cyborg Beast device cost approximately $50 in ABS material, and Delgado prefers it!

Calling it "recyclable packaging" doesn't mean that it will be recycled

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: April 18th, 2014

Recently Colgate-Palmolive announced that it will commit to 100% recyclable packaging by 2020 for three of four product categories. This commitment came after one of the company's shareholders became engaged with As You Sow, a nonprofit organization that "promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies."

Vast majority of Americans expect lab-grown organs to be commonplace within 50 years

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: April 18th, 2014

A fascinating survey of U.S. views and attitudes toward technological developments within the next 50 years reveals that eight in 10 Americans expect that people needing new organs will have them custom grown in a lab. They are not as welcoming to other technological developments, however. Sixty-five percent think it would be a change for the worse if lifelike robots become primary caregivers for the elderly and people with health conditions, and a little more than half are not enamored by the development of wearable devices or implants that connect them with the world.

UK consumers prefer plastic over glass for ketchup packaging

By Heather Caliendo
Published: April 16th, 2014

Are you a squeezer or a shaker? Yes, that's an odd question that could mean many different things. But this is one is all about packaging. The British Plastics Federation's Packaging Group decided to find out which type of material consumers prefer their ketchup packaged in - plastic or glass.

PostNet’s Spindel recognizes need to protect IP

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: April 16th, 2014

After reading my blog post from last week, 3D printing is not like making copies, Brian Spindel, president of COO and co-founder of PostNet, and I had a conversation about some of the questions I raised about offering 3D printing. I questioned whether it was feasible to offer that type of service in a business services center along with copying, packing and shipping, given that there is often intellectual property to protect.

Turning recycled water bottles into Plastic Gold

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: April 15th, 2014

With a little bit of Grimm magic, the miller's daughter in Rumpelstiltskin was able to weave straw into gold. Here in the real world, designer Florie Salnot is practicing a different kind of alchemy by converting recycled plastic bottles into stunning—I repeat, stunning—pieces of jewelry. Don't believe me? Check out the images in this article.

Salnot collaborates with Saharawari refugees in the Sahara desert in Algeria in the design and production of the jewelry, called Plastic Gold.

42 days on; a 3D-printed kayak emerges

By Stephen Moore
Published: April 14th, 2014

PlasticsToday has covered 3D printing extensively in recent times and for good reason. The technology is transforming the manner in which industry and individuals are able to manufacture customized products. Case-in-point: A kayak fabricated using plastic filament-based 3D printing.

Vehicle recalls prompt attention to supplier warranties

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: April 11th, 2014

Not long ago I wrote about a report on GM possibly requiring its suppliers to participate financially in any vehicle recalls regardless of whether particular supplier's parts were involved. It got some suppliers to sit up and take notice.

3D printing offered at local business services stores could be problematic

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: April 10th, 2014

PostNet Neighborhood Business Center recently announced that its franchise in Minneapolis will become the first to offer 3D printing services as part of a pilot program to evaluate the 3D technology's applications for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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