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MM: The World's Largest 3D Printed Object, And Making Pesticides Stick To Plants

In this episode, we examine making pesticides stick to plants and Guinness World Records certifying the world’s largest 3D-printed object.

Making Pesticides Stick To Plants

When farmers treat crops with pesticides to keep the bugs away, about 98 percent of those chemicals just roll right off the plants and end up in the groundwater. It’s wasteful and the run off chemicals just pollute the environment.

Now researchers at MIT have come up with a cheap, effective way to make those pesticides stick to the crops. Since liquids tend to bounce right off of plants, a lot of chemicals are needed to protect a plant. The new technique from MIT introduces two polymer additives as the pesticide is being sprayed. One of the additives is given a positive charge, while the other receives a negative charge.

When the drops meet on the surface of the plant, the oppositely-charged drops attract to each other creating a hydrophilic water-attracting film that adheres to leaves, in turn trapping the pesticide droplets as well. 

The biodegradable additives are cheap to make and will mean farmers can use far less chemicals.

Could this lead to a reduction in chemical pollution and increased profits for farming? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

The World’s Largest 3D-Printed Object

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is known for 3D printing some seriously cool objects, a replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra being just one example.

But now, they’ve outdone themselves by creating what Guinness World Records certified to be the world’s largest solid 3D printed item: a trim-and-drill tool.

This massive tool is made of carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic composite materials, and it weighs an incredible 1,650 pounds.

The world-record holding trim-and-drill tool was printed in 30 hours, which is particularly impressive considering its metal counterpart takes a solid three months to manufacture.

The 3D-printed tool will now be used in a new Boeing factory in St. Louis, where Boeing says it will come in handy when working on the wings of the 777X airliners.

Do you think this world record speaks to the amazing potential of additive manufacturing?

Let me know your thoughts below or tweet us @MnetNews.

That’s all the time we have today, but tune in every Tuesday and Thursday for your next Manufacturing Minute.

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