- Changing the color of 3-D printed objects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, January 29, 2018, EurekAlert -- Researchers have created a new method, dubbed ColorFab, for repeatedly changing the colors of 3-D printed objects after fabrication. One big issue with 3-D printed objects is that once they’re printed, it’s final. If you need to change it, you’ll need to reprint the whole thing. The team used their own 3-D printable ink, which changes color when exposed to UV light, to recolor a multi-colored object in 20 minutes. Currently, the project is focused on plastics and other common 3-D printed materials. However, according to the researchers, the technology could eventually allow people to instantly change the color of their clothes or other items. The team reports that they could speed up the process by using a more powerful light or adding more light-adaptable dye to the ink. This is the first 3-D printable photochromic system that has a complete printing and recoloring process and it’s said to be easy to use. For the full article visit EurekAlert.
- Quantum Race Accelerates Development of Silicon Quantum Chip, Delft University of Technology, January 29, 2018, Scientific Computing -- The worldwide race to create better and more reliable quantum processors is on. A team of scientists made an important discovery when they showed that quantum information of an electron spin can be transported to a photon in a silicon quantum chip. Quantum superpositions and entanglement of quantum bits (qubits) make it possible to perform parallel computations. The core of quantum chips is made of silicon, which is widely used in transistors and can be found in all electronic devices. Silicon is also a promising material for quantum technology, ensuring that information in the qubit can be stored for a long time. The team achieved their breakthrough in a relatively short period of time and under great pressure. The next step is to transfer the information via a photon from one electron spin to another. For the full article check out Scientific Computing.
- Recycling and Reusing Worn Cathodes to Make New Lithium Ion Batteries, University of California, January 29, 2018, Wireless Design & Development -- Nanoengineers have developed an energy-efficient recycling process for used batteries. The process restores old cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries and makes them work like new. The process works by harvesting the degraded cathode particle from a used battery and then boiling and heat-treating them. Researchers then built new batteries using the regenerated cathodes. During tests, the charge storage capacity, charging time and battery life were all restored to their original levels. With the rise of electric vehicles and the depletion of resources like lithium and cobalt, we could see millions of tons of lithium ion battery waste in the future. This method also works on NMC, which is a popular lithium cathode, containing nickel, manganese and cobalt and used in most electric vehicles. Overall the recycling process uses 5.9 megajoules of energy, equivalent to about ¾ cups of gasoline, to restore one kilogram of cathode material. Other lithium ion battery cathode recycling processes use at least twice that amount. For the full story visit Wireless Design & Development.
- Falcon Heavy Rocket Successfully Completes Static Fire Tests, Aniqa Ajmal, January 28, 2018, Wonderful Engineering -- The world’s largest operational rocket, called Falcon Heavy, is ready to make its debut launch. If everything goes according to plan, the rocket will take off in early February. The Falcon Heavy will become the most powerful rocket to take flight since the Saturn V rocket, which was part of the Apollo missions. Falcon Heavy is the evolution of SpaceX’s Falcon 9. The rocket has three of the cores bound together generating a maximum thrust of 5.1 million pounds, which is equivalent to eighteen 747 engines. The engines were first ignited at Cape Canaveral in a static test fire for launch preparations. So far, all tests have been completed successfully. According to SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, if the rocket flies to a height where the damage to the launchpad can be avoided, it will be considered a success. For more information and a video showing the static fire tests in action, visit Wonderful Engineering.
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