Ever think about the machines behind the machines? I really hadn’t given it much thought myself – until I stumbled on this particular announcement about a machine that performs laser deposition welding and precision milling. What’s so great about it?
“By combining both, additive manufacturing via powder nozzle and the traditional cutting method in one machine, totally new applications and geometries are possible. Especially large workpieces with high stock removal volumes are now possible to be machined in an economical way.”
Read more on the actual product specs here: LASERTEC 65 3D
Having made its debut at IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2014, the new machine by DMG Mori was pulled straight off the line from its Davis California plant – machines, the company says, that are “made in the USA for the USA.” Read the pre-announcement about the product at American Machinist.
And, it you’re not convinced that this is a way cool technology – watch the video on Gizmodo!
I’m talking about textiles from banana, coconut and pineapple. Just the latest in sustainable fashion. As many people know, cotton makes up about a 3rd of the fiber consumption worldwide. Traditionally, cotton has a been a very unsustainable crop.
Around a billion tons of banana plant stems are wasted each year. In 2012, the Philippine Textile Research Institute stated that banana plantations in the Philippines alone can generate over 300,000 tons of fiber.
Eco-textile company Offset Warehouse has identified the banana’s potential in fabric production. They claim that producing the fabric is nearly carbon neutral and its soft texture has been likened to hemp and bamboo making it perfect for jackets, skirts and trousers.
Outdoor clothing companies Tog 24 and North Face are two brands adopting cocona – a textile operating under the name 37.5 Technology that is produced from a combination of coconut shells and volcanic materials – and becoming less reliant on synthetic materials as a result.
Pineapple leaves as a sustainable alternative to leather has been developed by Ananas Anam, producing Piñatex as an alternative to leather and petroleum-based textiles. The industrial process used to create Piñatex produces biomass, which can be converted into a fertilizer that farmers can spread into their soil to grow the next pineapple harvest. The material, which has a similar appearance to canvas, is also biodegradable.
Felt-like fiber Piñatex can be made into shoes, bags, chairs and even car upholstery.
I don’t know about you, but these pineapple leave products look pretty stylish! Would you be a convert?
This story featured in Smithsonian almost brought actual tears to my eyes. While a chocolate flavor crisis is not at the top of most peoples’ minds, my love of that particular food-stuff is unquenchable. Sooo – I thought I’d share this article, as well as links to some of the organizations that are working to keep chocolate chocolatey.
We’ve done a LOT of tinkering with food – chemicals, cloning, grain-free, organic, gluten-free, etc., etc. Undeniably, food shortages remain a CONSTANT source of concern world-wide. “Waste not, want not” are words to live by – but, if foods become “Taste not”, will that lead to ‘want not’, too? That’s the concern of food manufacturers…
What cookery wizardry can you add to the recipe? If you can bring out some new technology that’s safe for the Earth and helps save the flavor of foods, you’re sure to be popular!
Check out these programs dedicated to being “flavor savers”
Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative—a partnership between the FCIA and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
Wilbert Phillips-Mora is head of the Cacao Genetic Improvement Program at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica.