MakerBot Makes It Even Easer to Set Up Your Own 3D Printing Lab

MakerBot is now offering a new package for its popular 3D printers called the Starter Lab aimed at making set-up of a 3D printing lab for organizations and schools even easier. The package comes with everything you would need to make a 3D printing lab come to life including hardware, materials and accessories, software and support.

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The Starbucks guy handed Ax a paper cup. Ax took it. He looked around to see what other people were doing. Like them, he put a lid on his cup.

Then, still mimicking the others, he attempted to drink.

'Um, Ax?' I said. 'You have to drink where the little hole is in the lid.'

'A hole! In the lid! No spills! Ills!'

This was the coolest thing Ax had ever seen. I guess coffee cup technology hasn’t advanced very far on the Andalite home world. Probably because they don’t have mouths, and so drinking is not a big concern. But whatever the reason, Ax wouldn’t shut up about it.

'So simple! Imple. And yet so effective!'

'Yeah, it's a real miracle of human technology,' I said.

—  Book #5: The Predator, pg. 32 (by K.A. Applegate)

Mars once had an ocean with more water than the Arctic – NASA

Analysis of water residue in Martian ice caps indicates that the Red Planet was once – at least partly – blue. Billions of years ago, Mars had a body of water that held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to a NASA study published Thursday.

 “Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars  once had, by determining how much later was lost to space,”  said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space  Flight Center and lead author of the paper.

Seeking SciNote, Chemistry: Polyester


What is polyester?

Asked by anonymous



Polyesters are a class of plastics made out of synthesized polymers. The name “polyester” is used in common parlance to refer to polyester fibers used to make textiles and many other applications such as home furnishings, industrial fabrics, data-recording tapes, and electrical insulation.

Polyester is a chemical term that is derived from the prefix poly-, meaning many, and ester, a fairly basic organic chemical compound. In organic chemistry, a polyester is a polymer, i.e. a chain of repeating chemical units, where the individual units, known as monomers, are held together by ester linkages:

There are two primary types of polyester -- polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and poly-1,4-cyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate, or PCDT. The image above is a simplified look at the structure of PET. PET is the more popular type, since it is applicable to a very wide variety of uses. PET is also stronger than PCDT, while PCDT is more elastic and resilient than PET. Therefore, PCDT is utilized in heavier consumer applications such as draperies and furniture coverings.

The principal ingredients used in synthesizing the most common polyester, PET, are ethane-1,2-diol (also known as ethylene glycol) and benzene-1,4-dicarboxylic acid (commonly called terephthalic acid). PET is manufactured via condensation polymerization in two steps:

First ethane-1,2-diol reacts with the acid to form a simple ester:

The -OH on the acid group (-COOH) and the -H on the alcohol group (-OH) come together to form a water molecule, leaving the two molecules they came from linked together into an ester behind it.

This ester is then heated with a catalyst for the polymerization process:

Half the ethane-1,2-diol is regenerated in this process, and the polyester is also formed in its molten state.

The molten PET can then be formed into plastics that can later be recycled. In fact, many plastic bottles are recycled by reheating and using them to make polyester fibers. This recycling process helps to keep polyester out of landfills.

PET is a highly malleable material and can be utilized in several applications such as in making drink bottles (using injection blow molding), food trays, hoses, and recyclable containers. PET plastics are quite resilient, resistant to biological damage such as mold and mildew, and are nigh impervious to damage to the elements. Unfortunately, they are also highly flammable and non-biodegradable.

PET can also be used to make fibers that are used in products such as automobile upholstery, quilts, and textiles. Molten PET is forced through an extruder or spinneret to produce very fine threads of polyester. These fibers are then brought together to form a single strand. At this stage, other chemicals may be added to the molten PET solution to impart color or to make the resulting fibers flame-retardant, antistatic, or easier to dye.

The still-soft polyester strands are then stretched and elongated to up to five times their original length. This process is called drawing, and it forces the polyester molecules to align in parallel formation. This ensures that when the strands dry out, the fibers become solid and strong rather than brittle.

When it is being used to make things like bottles, polyester is usually called PET. When it is being used as a fibre to make clothes, it is often just called polyester. It may sometimes be known by a brand name like Terylene.

Polyester clothing is usually slippery and silky in feel, although it has been known to cause skin irritation for some wearers. The fibers can be knitted or woven to make clothing, although most are knit, to maximize the flexibility of polyester. Polyester is occasionally blended with other fabrics to provide more loft or stretch or to minimize skin irritation.

Polyester is also used to make polyester resin, which is used in molding compounds and laser printer toner. It is also used in fabricating rigid wall panels reinforced with fiberglass. This is known as fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), and is used in applications that require low-maintenance rigid surfaces that can easily be washed and cleaned. Some forms of polyester resin are almost as strong as Kevlar, and are also used to create composite materials for cars and aircraft, as well as in composite body armor (e.g. Kevlar).

More information:

Answered by Shreniraj A, Expert Leader 


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AnOther Digital Magazine Has LED Moving Cover featuring Rihanna

Some may think print is dying, but print may just become digitized and updated with novel technology, which is what AnOther Magazine is touting. Working with PCH, AnOther’s Spring/Summer 2015 issue is the first of its kind with a customized LED screen in lieu of a traditional printed cover. A high definition Rihanna, shot by Inez and Vinoodh, graces the cover with an accompanying soundtrack by John Gosling for a fully immersive experience. The issue pays homage to Alexander McQueen, and is available to buy now. 

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