Game Changing Ballet Shoe Plastic Insert...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jan 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

custom plastic ballerina shoe insert.pngPointe ballet shoes, used by ballerinas who perform on their toes, was designed more than a century ago and is made of paper, glue and fabric. To improve the fit of the shoes, dancers would stuff their toes in lamb’s wool or household items such as paper towels and makeup pads.

However, some dancers are embracing custom-molded shoe inserts made from silicone putty, a distinctly modern product from a Bay Area start-up called PerfectFit Pointe. The inserts are meant to help distribute dancers’ weight more evenly and prevent skin abrasions like blisters and corns.

Kelly Schmutte, the PerfectFit Pointe founder, initially marketed her product to dance stores and ballet studios. When some elite studios expressed reluctance, she decided to take a different tack: She approached professional dancers directly through Instagram.

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Turning the greenhouse gas CO2 into Plastic...?

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jan 26, 2018 8:11:55 AM

carbon dioxide plastic.pngResearchers have developed a method for efficiently converting carbon dioxide into plastic. They say their findings could help divert carbon dioxide – a major contributor to climate change – from entering the atmosphere. They could also help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. A team of scientists from University of Toronto, University of California, Berkeley and the Canadian Light Source (CLS) successfully managed to work out the ideal conditions for converting carbon dioxide to ethylene. 

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Smart Bumpers, Tailgates, and more... Oh My!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jan 23, 2018 10:05:23 AM

smart bumpers and tailgates.pngWatch out Apple, Plastic Omnium is getting into the facial recognition game too. Wanna open your tailgate? Just give it a look. The interactive tailgate was one of several smart exterior parts on display at the company's booth at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Company officials touted smart exterior parts made of plastics as the future of automotive parts and discussed its aggressive bid to enter the hydrogen fuel cell market. Co-CEO Jean-Michel Szczerba said he expects many exterior parts to be made of plastics in the future, including doors, roofs and hoods. Say goodbye to steel and aluminum, and hello to advanced composites.

The company displayed an intelligent bumper: a complete system with lidar and radar built in, active air-flow management, a crash box made with high-performance composites, and protections for the expensive sensors and radars. The rear tailgate uses LED lighting as a design feature and even displays messages for other drivers or pedestrians. Conductive coatings and paints could allow for touch open as well.

"We want to utilize plastic as much as possible," said Marc Cornet, president and CEO of the Americas, Auto Exterior division. "Radar sensors can't transmit through steel or aluminum. But it can through plastics."

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Topics: Automotive

New Material that can Adabt to it's Enviroment Inspired by Sea Worm

Posted by Greg Showers on Jan 18, 2018 1:06:05 PM

sea worm.jpgThe gelatinous jaw of the sea worm, which becomes hard or flexible depending on the environment around it, has inspired researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a new material that can be applied to soft robotics. Despite having the texture of a gel, this compound is endowed with great mechanical resistance and consistency, and can adapt to changing environments.  Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have looked at a sea worm called Nereis virens in order to create a changing material, which has the ability to be flexible or rigid at convenience. The jaw of this worm has a texture similar to gelatin, but if the environment varies, the material may adopt the hardness of dentin or human bones. 

Chemical engineer Francisco Martín-Martínez, a Spanish researcher at the MIT Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics and co-author of the paper, explained to SINC, "the jaw of Nereis virens is composed of a protein that contains large amounts of histidine, an amino acid that interacts with the ions of the environment and makes it more or less flexible depending on the environment in which it finds itself."  The material, described in a study published in the journal 'ACS Nano', has been developed in collaboration with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)."It's a hydrogel made from a synthesized protein, similar to the one that makes up the jaw of this worm and which gives it structural stability and impressive mechanical performance," says Martín-Martínez, who adds: "When we change the ions of the environment and the salt concentration, the material expands or contracts." 

The team found that at the molecular level, the structure of protein material is strengthened when the environment contains zinc ions and certain pH indexes. The Zinc ions create chemical bonds with the structure of the compound. These bonds are reversible, and can form or break at convenience, making the material more dynamic and flexible. 

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Electrification and Autonomous Driving... Say What?

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jan 8, 2018 10:35:47 AM

The parts that Toyota Group supplier Toyoda Gosei Co. is best known for — plastic molding, sealing strips, brake hoses and plastic interior auto parts — are hardly the high-tech stuff of future technology. But the Japanese giant says it will not be sidelined in the coming era of autonomous driving and electrification. Toyoda Gosei President Naoki Miyazaki says those industry changes present opportunities, even for a relatively low-tech supplier. His plan? Branch out into new products. The company even sees potential in the evolution of its current products, such as weatherstripping.

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3D Printing on the Go...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jan 5, 2018 8:50:39 AM

3D printer manufacturer MakeX has launched the world’s first commercial backpack for 3D printing on the go. Designed to hold a MIGO desktop FDM 3D printer, this new accessory allows anybody to seamlessly pack, unpack and even move their machine around while it is in the process of 3D printing. It brings a whole new dimension of portability to the MIGO 3D printer, the first desktop FDM 3D printer from MakeX. The Kickstarter campaign has beaten the funding goal, and still has sometime to run.

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Topics: 3D Printing