3D-Printed Bike Reduces Design Time to Days

3D-Printed Bike Reduces Design Time to Days

July 30, 2018

A start-up company called Arevo is pioneering an environmentally friendly 3D printing process.

3D printing with carbon fiber has not produced a recyclable product…until now. Arevo’s new process incorporates thermoplastic with carbon to make the process and printed product recyclable.

Currently, Arevo is using the new process to print bikes.  The company has designed software that can be used to test the design before printing which further saves energy, materials and time.  The result is that the typical time frame for designing a new bike can be reduced from 18 months to 18 days.


Video spotlight: An Arevo printed bike in action


This post is based on the Fast Company article, Now you can 3D print an entire bike frame, by Adele Peters, July 12, 2018, and the YouTube video, Arevo 3D printing demonstration with bike prototype, by Robotics Business Review, July 12, 2018. Image source: Tomacco/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How could Arevo’s 3D printer change the current bike supply chain?

Guidance: The current supply chain involves mainly manufacturing bikes in China and subsequent distribution globally.  Students should be asked to draw the current supply chain, e.g. suppliers sending materials to China, Continue reading

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Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

July 30, 2018

Hyperloops are vaccum-sealed tubes predicted to enable high-speed transportation. Preliminary feasibility and environmental impact studies are set to begin for our nation’s first hyperloop route, which would go from Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago in less than 45 minutes while traveling up to 700 mph.

These speeds are possible because only a small amount of propulsion is required to push the transport pod through the near vacuum environment inside the tube.  Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to have a working prototype system by 2023, with the Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago route completed sometime after that.

At first the route will likely be used to move freight, but later it could move people as well.  Other studies are also in the works for other locations, but this project is about a year of two ahead of other similar projects.

Interest in hyperloops has been growing for several years. Engineering students flocked to SpaceX earlier this month for the company’s third hyperloop competition, competing for top speed on the company’s private track. Elon Musk has called hyperloops a “5th mode of transportation.”

This post is based on the TribLive.com article, Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago hyperloop route set to begin preliminary studies, by Aaron Aupperlee, June 26, 2018; and Continue reading

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Budding New Business for LEDs

Budding New Business for LEDs

June 4, 2018

Philips LED bulbs with specially tailored light recipes are helping Dutch growers produce roses with longer, heavier stems and bigger buds.

These features command higher prices, so the new roses hold real promise for the indoor horticulture industry.  Philips’ new toplights which are being used to power the growth of the supersized flowers are very energy efficient, and the company guarantees they will last 35,000 hours.

Tunable LED lighting is increasingly being used to improve the appearance, potency, smell, and taste of plants, including fruits and vegetables.  According to a recent market research forecast from Technavio, the global indoor farming market will grow nearly 20 percent over the next four years.

This post is based on the LEDs Magazine article, Philips Says LEDs Make a Rosier Rose, by Mark Halper, April 17, 2018; and the Monitor Daily article, Global Indoor Farming Technologies Market to Grow 20% by 2022 (no author cited), April 30, 2018. Image sources: © 68/Ocean/Corbis; choness/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do advances in LED lighting technology stand to impact global food availability, sustainability, productivity, and quality?

Guidance: This amazing, sustainable technology allows food to be grown indoors in urban areas, increasing the Continue reading

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