The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century
Blog 4/24/2015 4 comments The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
UX Design: The Age of Voice Is Here
Guest Blogs 4/24/2015 Post a comment The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
What Does It Take to Evolve from 2D to 3D CAD Modeling?
Guest Blogs 4/23/2015 1 comment Despite the astronomical benefits offered by 3D modeling, it is quite surprising that nearly 75% of the manufacturing industries still perform design operations using 2D CAD systems. What is the reason that keeps companies hesitant from adopting 3D technology?
6 New Bio-based & Renewable Plastics
Engineering Materials 4/23/2015 Post a comment Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
The Best and Greenest Cars of 2015
Automotive News 4/22/2015 7 comments If there’s a single theme to Kelley Blue Book’s list of the best green cars -- published just in time for Earth Day -- it’s that fuel efficiency alone isn’t enough.
Sustainability Expert: Solar Energy Can Help Alleviate Drought
Blog 4/22/2015 21 comments Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
BASF Pushes Sustainable Materials, Design
Engineering Materials 4/22/2015 Post a comment BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Using Energy Harvesting to Power MCUs and FPGAs
Guest Blogs 4/22/2015 Post a comment Energy harvesting in particular seems to be moving at an accelerating pace. We now seem to be at a point where it is possible to run low-power systems primarily from energy harvesting sources. This is a big shift from even just a couple of years ago. Three key trends seem to have accelerated this dramatic shift.
Top 10 3D Printing Projects
Blog 4/21/2015 Post a comment From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Bayer MaterialScience Gets Green with PU Foams
Engineering Materials 4/21/2015 Post a comment Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Automation Tools Bring Viability to Renewables
Blog 4/21/2015 Post a comment Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
NSA Encourages Trash Picking for Earth Day
Blog 4/21/2015 8 comments In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
8 New Materials & Designs for Lightweighting Planes, Trucks, Cars
Engineering Materials 4/20/2015 1 comment A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Teardown
Blog 4/17/2015 6 comments Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
The 5 Biggest IoT Adoption Issues
Blog 4/17/2015 3 comments In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
Origami-Inspired Solar Panels Could be Headed for Space
Blog 4/17/2015 Post a comment NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
11 Not-to-Miss Composites, Software, and Processes from JEC Europe
Engineering Materials 4/16/2015 Post a comment At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
The 10 Best Cities to be a Biomedical Engineer
Blog 4/16/2015 Post a comment Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
Toyota's ‘Global Architecture’ Strategy to Drive Development & Design Integration
Blog 4/15/2015 6 comments The world’s biggest automaker plans to introduce this year its first vehicles based on its new, sweeping product development strategy, called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Under TNGA, the carmaker will design and produce common parts for major automotive systems in order to realize efficiencies and cost-savings across all of its vehicular products.
Smart Windows Harvest Energy From Wind and Rain
Blog 4/15/2015 4 comments Windows are supposed to let the sun in and keep the fiercer elements of nature out. Now a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology has gone one step further, creating windows that not only protect against the elements -- specifically wind and rain -- but also use them to create energy.
A STEM Lesson from an IoT Electronic Thermometer
STEM Connection 4/15/2015 Post a comment The business and educational opportunities of Internet of Things (IoT) are abundant. Cisco’s forecast of every device being connected by 2025 -- the Internet of Everything -- is achievable by applying today’s embedded development tools to wireless innovations of tomorrow.
What’s the Future of the World’s Costliest Fighter Jet?
Blog 4/14/2015 12 comments The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is the most advanced military aircraft developed by the US. It is also the most expensive in history, with a lifecycle cost of $1 trillion. With the fighter jet inching toward initial operating capability in 2017, we asked Bill Sweetman, an editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology, to discuss its engineering advances but also setbacks.
Embedded Vision Is Guiding the Path of Smart Industrial Machinery
Guest Blogs 4/14/2015 2 comments The Internet of Things (IoT) is frequently defined by consumer or healthcare applications. It’s important to remember, however, that IoT offers at least as much potential to industry. One of the most promising subsets of industrial IoT is embedded vision -- or machinery that can see, interpret data, and act accordingly.
Want to Be an Engineer? Brush Up on 3D Printing
Blog 4/14/2015 9 comments It used to be that budding engineers just needed a solid grasp of physics, math, and their own healthy scientific curiosity, but these days, you need a fairly good working understanding of 3D printing too, apparently.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
Soft starter technology has become a way to mitigate startup stressors by moderating a motor’s voltage supply during the machine start-up phase, slowly ramping it up and effectively adjusting the machine’s load behavior to protect mechanical components.
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
If you’re developing a product with lots of sensors and no access to the power grid, then you’ll want to take note of a Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Designing Low Power Systems Using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources."
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