Routine questions for the makers of desktop 3-D printers: "what do you do with this thing?" and "why would you want one?" A study from Michigan Technical University answered that with some math: the researchers found that you could recoup the up-front cost of a 3-D printer in less than a year.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Samsung is "in the last stage of development" for flexible plastic OLED displays, and that the displays will be released in the first half of 2013. The idea with plastic flexible displays isn't that you can fold a phone up into an eighth of its size--it's more that they're both more durable and lighter than comparative glass displays. And given that top phones like the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are highly breakable, we could do with some durability. A release in the first half of 2013 sounds optimistic based on the prototypes we've seen, but here's hoping. [WSJ]
By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.17.2012 at 10:07 am 7 Comments
At Dalian Hoffen Bio-Technique Company in northern China, people turn other people into plastic. Plastination is a four-step process during which polymers replace water and fat molecules in biological specimens.
Pumping a body full of celldestroying chemicals sounds like a bad idea, but that’s what chemotherapy entails. The side effects of intravenous chemo for liver cancer, the third deadliest cancer in men, usually necessitate a four-day hospital stay with each treatment. As doctors try to target the chemicals by injecting high doses into an artery that feeds the tumor, the bloodstream inevitably carries them into the rest of the body. It’s an imprecise and painful process, but a plastic bead called a QuadraSphere could make it less so.
Skeletonics, a six-month-old Japanese student project, has resulted in an exoskeleton made of plastic and metal that's surprisingly dexterous and powered solely by the human embedded inside. As a bonus, the promo video looks something like a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog cutscene.
Four months and 9,000 miles after setting sail from San Francisco, Plastiki – the boat fashioned from 12,500 plastic bottles – has moored safely in Sydney Harbor, bringing the environmental awareness campaign to a successful climax.
Plastiki was created to bring greater attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of waste estimated to be the size of Texas that has collected just below the water's surface between California and Hawaii.
Could you live in a future without bottled water? In Concord, Mass., 82-year-old Jean Hill hopes so. Her campaign against what many see as an environmental evil has moved the town to vote for an outright ban, as the New York Times covers today.
Microelectromechanical devices (MEMS) have the potential to enable a wide range of nanomachines. Unfortunately, MEMS suffer from the critical drawbacks of an expensive manufacturing process, a high rigidity that restricts their use, and a limited pool of suitable materials for construction. Now, it seems that MIT scientists have accidentally solved all those problems by stamping gold MEMS into a sheet of plastic.
Lightning bolts may not bring Frankenstein to life, but their blood vessel-like patterns could form the foundation for artificial organs. That would rely on a known lab trick that imprints electricity patterns inside plastic blocks.
It's known that driving a nail into one end of an electrically charged block results in an electric discharge running throughout the plastic. PopSci previously examined this process of trapping lightning, so to speak.