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This year Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson’s annual “Pitch to Rich” competition has been dominated by start-ups working in, or with, 3D printing, writes James Snodgrass in this feature... As an entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, and his UK-based Virgin organisation, has made unpredictable choices and disrupted markets long before people started to use the word “disruptive”. 11 November 2014
Aimplas, the Technological Institute of Plastics located in Valencia, Spain, has helped with the construction of a new composite lighthouse in the city, which will highlight the use of composites in the construction industry. The lighthouse consists of carbon fibre several-centimetres-thick tubular profiles support a set of fibreglass floors slabs and their bracings. 4 November 2014
An unusual cycling helmet made of expanded polypropylene (EPP) has been designed to collapse for easy storage when not in use. A sort of flat-pack design allows the cyclist to reduce the helmet’s height by more than 50% when he or she takes it off.  4 November 2014
Australian scientists have developed a new material that can strengthen porous plastics by slowing their aging process. 3 November 2014
Piping Systems, the pipe division of Germany-based Georg Fischer, has introduced a range of full plastic pressure-regulating valves. The compact valves – using a non-rising spindle – are designed to suit confined spaces. 11 September 2014
A strange-looking Australian-designed polycarbonate swimming training device has helped an Aussie swimmer win gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. 27 August 2014
A standardised label has been designed by Euromap, the technical body for European plastics and rubber machinery makers, which shows the energy efficiency class of the processing machine to which it is fixed. The label, which should come into force by 1 October 2014, is part of a programme intended to make it easier for customers to compare energy efficiency between the products of different machine manufacturers. 15 August 2014
The second Plastic Technologies Award, the international competition, has been launched by Promaplast in partnership with Poli.design, Consorzio del Politecnico di Milano. 8 July 2014
Michael Tougher, a 4th year student at Glasgow School of Art, won the Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) 2014 award for his ‘Dots’ stackable buttons that encourage music comprehension, creation and play. 8 July 2014
The plastic SimGas bio-digester developed in collaboration with design agency VanBerlo has been announced as a finalist for an American IDEA award. An environmentally friendly and self-sufficient alternative for farmers burning wood to cook, is to produce biogas from the manure collected from their own herd.
7 July 2014
In what could be a Holy Grail moment for beer in plastics, Sidel Group has launched what it calls the world’s pasteurizeable lightweight PET beer bottle with a standard “champagne” base — not a petaloid-shaped base with feet. 3 July 2014
JSP, the manufacturer of the expanded polypropylene Arpro material, has announced that furnisher Herman Miller has launched a ‘living office’ made from the lightweight material. Made completely from Arpro, the Metaform Portfolio has been designed to be used in office-spaces. 30 June 2014
A consortium, which includes Aimplas (the Technological Institute of Plastics located in Valencia), has secured €2.07m of EU funding to improve anti-slip properties of general purpose flooring. 27 June 2014
Stratasys 3D printing technology helped to produce the iconic RoboCop suit and helmet created by Hollywood special effects company, Legacy Effects, for the 2014 RoboCop film. Using Stratasys' high resolution Objet Connex multi-material 3D printing technology, Legacy Effects produced every aspect of the RoboCop suit from the helmet to the boots as master mould patterns.  16 June 2014
US researchers have developed a technology that could see plastics replace lithium in battery design. The findings open the door on an array of power applications that could be both lighter and safer than conventional technologies. 13 June 2014


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