ABCO Tool & Die's 'visionary' business strategy provides a clear path to growth

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 21st, 2014

When ABCO Tool & Die Inc. started in business nearly 40 years ago, the company was your typical mold builder. However, it then received an opportunity from one of the major manufacturing companies in the state of Massachusetts: Polaroid.

The inside story on the hands-free crutch that keeps Harrison Ford up and about

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 16th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, you might have seen photos of Harrison Ford with an odd-looking contraption growing out of his knee plastered all over newspapers and websites. The veteran actor broke his leg on the set of the new Star Wars Episode VII that is being shot at Pinewood Studios in London. Shortly after his accident, he was spotted walking around the city on a leg crutch.

Lumber from trees may be a material of the past

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 15th, 2014

It's summertime and you might be sitting out on your deck reading your online PlasticsToday NewsFeed on your laptop or iPad or iPhone, thinking that this past winter was pretty hard on that wooden deck and railing. Maybe you're chiding yourself for not getting out the sealant or the paint and taking on that nasty chore of beautifying and protecting your deck.

Software will enable clinicians to easily 3D-print wrist splints for arthritis sufferers

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 10th, 2014

Software developed at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom reportedly could enable clinicians with no computer-aided design (CAD) experience to design and 3D-print custom wrist splints for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The splints, produced at the university's additive manufacturing facilities, are described as more comfortable and attractive than conventional bulky splints that cause users to sweat, and could be less expensive, according to Dr Abby Paterson of the university's Design School.

Noncontact video extensometer enables tensile testing of plastics to ISO 527 standard

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 8th, 2014

The Video Gauge noncontact extensometer from Imetrum (Bristol, UK) reportedly is the only device of its kind to achieve the exacting requirements of ISO 527-1: 2012 ASTM D638 equivalent. The system, which has undergone rigorous, independent testing, is capable of determining tensile modulus by measuring a change of gauge length to 1% accuracy of the relevant value. In tests, Imetrum was able to achieve between 0.2 and 0.3 µm for all gauge lengths using the same camera and lens combination. This exceeds by a factor of three the accuracy required by ISO 527 for a 50-mm gauge length.

RAPID 2014: A showcase for innovation and creativity

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 16th, 2014

Todd Grimm, president of T.A. Grimm & Associates, provided an introductory overview at RAPID 2014 of all the latest and greatest in 3D printing innovations, and encouraged attendees to visit those companies exhibiting at the show to see for themselves these exciting new products.

Strange bedfellows? Ford and Heinz team up on tomato-based bioplastic for vehicles

By Karen Laird
Published: June 11th, 2014

While at first sight, cars and tomatoes may not have much in common, the collaboration between Ford and H.J. Heinz is less outlandish that would appear. Every year, Heinz uses more than two million tons of tomatoes to produce its best-selling product: Heinz Ketchup. And every year, the company ends up with a lot of tomato waste. Hence, researchers were looking for innovative ways to recycle and repurpose the peels, stems and seeds left over from making ketchup.

Key steps for metal-to-plastic conversion

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 9th, 2014

The ability to replace a metal component with one molded out of plastic means that extremely complex shapes and geometries can be achieved easily. That also means greater design freedom and more optimum design for manufacturability.

Bayer MaterialScience gets the ball rolling in Brazil

By Karen Laird
Published: May 30th, 2014

With the FIFA World Cup kick-off in just two more weeks, fans around the world are getting ready to hunker down for a whole month of non-stop soccer games. Held once every four years, this international soccer tournament, in which 32 national teams compete, is hosted each time by a different country; this year, it's Brazil.

Self-taught moldmaker develops first-of-its-kind medical device

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: May 27th, 2014

Some people famously started a business in their garage—you've seen the commercial. For Jennifer Davagian Ensign, founder and CEO of Cristcot Inc. (Concord, MA), it all began in her kitchen, but her invention has nothing to do with cuisine. Au contraire. Using a Smooth-On silicone moldmaking kit, sundry parts from local hardware stores, and her oven, Ensign taught herself the fundamentals of molding and, this month, brought to market—trigger warning, this may cause some of you to wince—Sephure, a disposable suppository applicator.

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