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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in December 2011
Laws of Physics Under Attack by Economics
Guest Blogs 
12/2/2011  63 comments
Investment in STEM programs at all levels is a stated national priority. But this vital education and economic policy objective has slammed into an economic headwind that apparently makes rational budgeting a political impossibility.
Harley Hindered by Lower Belt Guard
Made by Monkeys 
12/7/2011  62 comments
One tiny screw stands between a safe highway ride and disaster.
Bill Gates Funds 'Big Battery' Startup
Electronic News & Comment 
12/13/2011  55 comments
One of the great underappreciated issues of renewable energy isn't whether seagulls are banging into turbine blades, but whether intermittent sources of power have any real value in a world without energy storage.
Are Front-Load Washers Less Reliable?
Made by Monkeys 
12/1/2011  50 comments
Reliability seems to have slipped with front-loading washers.
Li-Ion Battery Costs Challenge Engineers on EV Safety
Captain Hybrid 
12/9/2011  43 comments
Lithium-ion battery costs are already high, and concerns about crashwortiness won't help.
EVs Seen Dumping Power to Grid, Spurring Renewable Energy
Captain Hybrid 
12/16/2011  35 comments
A new study suggests that automakers will begin to adopt vehicle-to-grid technologies in the next five years.
Top 5 Robotics Trends of 2011
Blog 
12/7/2011  34 comments
The five most important robotics trends of the past year enable volume manufacturing and aim at further integration of robotics with machine vision and automated systems.
The Ignition Problem Is Hiding
Sherlock Ohms 
12/28/2011  32 comments
No matter what was tried, this Ford Fairlane owner just couldn't fix the ignition problem until many years later.
Cadillac CUEs In-Car Entertainment
Electronic News & Comment 
12/1/2011  29 comments
Cadillac's CUE is an important addition to the infotainment scene, but its consumer-driven design process may turn out to be more important than the product.
Case of the Powerless Pump
Sherlock Ohms 
12/16/2011  27 comments
An indicator said a pump was down. Yet the pump kept running, seemingly without power.
Robotic Misfire on K Car Weld
Made by Monkeys 
12/27/2011  26 comments
Robots do a great job of welding, as long as they weld the right spot.
Slideshow: Focus Electric Vehicle Hits Production Line
Captain Hybrid 
12/20/2011  26 comments
Ford has launched production of its battery-powered Focus Electric.
Gadget Freak Case #201: Plug & Play Sprout Board
Gadget Freak 
12/22/2011  24 comments
Jared Bouck found that off-the-shelf monitor systems were lacking the features he needed and were cost-prohibitive, so he created the sprout board, which is 100 percent open-source and totally customizable to the needs of implementations.
Top 5 Automotive Trends of 2011
Electronic News & Comment 
12/6/2011  24 comments
In a year when Detroit launched a comeback, the real news in the automotive world came from Washington, D.C.
Ethernet for Vehicles Advances
Electronic News & Comment 
12/14/2011  23 comments
Ethernet in the car, once an unthinkable concept for the automotive industry, has been gaining momentum lately.
Do Engineers Have Appetite for Mobile Apps?
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/2/2011  22 comments
Unlike the consumer market, which is hungry for all things mobile, engineers remain slightly skeptical about the upside of design tool apps running on mobile platforms.
Slideshow: Best Gadget Freak Projects of 2011
Gadget Freak 
12/5/2011  22 comments
Here's a slideshow with links to our best homebrew engineering projects, drawn from the Design News Gadget Freak section.
For Dassault, 3D Sketch Is a Natural
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/12/2011  20 comments
CATIA Natural Sketch aims to help industrial designers fast-track 2D ideas into 3D models in a way that mimics paper sketching.
The Radio Is Buried in the Dash
Made by Monkeys 
12/29/2011  19 comments
The old car radio tubes had to be changed frequently. Unfortunately, the radio was buried in the dash.
What's the Toughest Challenge of the Year?
Wolfe's Den 
12/9/2011  19 comments
From the rise of the digital factory to energy efficiency, four trends are roiling the design and industrial space.
Case of the Too-Soft Epoxy
Sherlock Ohms 
12/20/2011  19 comments
You got bad parts on the line, so you shut it down. And then you get in trouble.
Slideshow: CAD Jockey's Holiday Gift Guide
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/21/2011  18 comments
From high-end mobile workstations to novel input devices and a reasonably priced 3D printer/CAD software bundle, there's an array of new products designed to bring holiday cheer to any CAD user.
Little Robots Forge Automated Welding Cells
Engineering Materials 
12/2/2011  17 comments
Industrial robots that do welding and metal fabrication are getting both a lot smaller and a lot larger, depending on the size of the company using them and the type of welding configurations they need.
Case of the Anti-Seize Backfires
Sherlock Ohms 
12/13/2011  16 comments
The ignition problems with your car could track back to the anti-seize compound you used to loosen the plugs.
Jobs Still Engineers' Top 2011 Concern
Wolfe's Den 
12/5/2011  16 comments
Design engineers know as well as anyone that tough times mean that only the toughest and most capable technical folks survive and thrive.
3D CAD Brings Battleships to Life
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/16/2011  16 comments
Donn McKinney is hoping to spark the public's interest in large battleships by leveraging SolidWorks to create a full-scale 3D CAD model of the USS Missouri, which will provide a foundation for building a 1/32nd scale operational replica.
CAD Upstart Gives Designers Holographic View
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/5/2011  15 comments
Using virtual-holographic 3D imagery, Infinite Z's new zSpace immersive 3D environment lets users interact and explore 3D models as if they were real, physical objects.
Case of the Vintage Furnace Blower
Sherlock Ohms 
12/21/2011  14 comments
Sometimes the best solution is the one that gets you through the short term, especially if it keeps the heater blowing.
Composite Aircraft Repair Advances
Blog 
12/6/2011  14 comments
Ease of repair is reportedly one of the main reasons Bombardier Aerospace has chosen not to use carbon- or glass-fiber composites in the main fuselage of its composite-heavy CSeries aircraft.
Car Composites on Fast Track
Blog 
12/15/2011  13 comments
GM, Teijin agreement will move carbon-fiber composites into mainstream automotive manufacturing.
Does Machine Vision Need 10-Gigabit Ethernet?
Blog 
12/12/2011  12 comments
Some machine vision vendors have begun talking seriously about running GigE Vision-equipped cameras and other hardware over 10GigE backbone links in video networks.
Satellite Miscommunication
Sherlock Ohms 
12/19/2011  12 comments
All the training in the world sometimes can't fix the simplest problem.
Murphy & Ohms Lost This One
Sherlock Ohms 
12/1/2011  12 comments
Sometimes a manufacturer's error is just the right error.
Gadget Freak Case #200: The Sun Lights Up the Deck at Night
Gadget Freak 
12/12/2011  12 comments
To provide nighttime safety for his deck, William Grill used a 40W regulator and solar panel to create an application to shine light all night.
Autodesk Puts PLM in the Cloud
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/6/2011  11 comments
Autodesk is finally planting a stake in PLM territory with its new Autodesk 360 for PLM offering, a hybrid cloud approach that promises a faster-to-deploy, less expensive alternative to traditional systems.
Subscription-Based CAD Tool Offered
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/15/2011  10 comments
As part of its co-creation approach to vehicle design, Local Motors has teamed up with Siemens PLM Software to offer its crowdsourcing community Solid Edge Design1, a fully featured CAD tool priced with a $19.95 monthly subscription fee.
Case of the Constantly Dying Car
Sherlock Ohms 
12/14/2011  10 comments
Sometimes the car dies. Sometimes it works fine. How do you fix that?
Case of the Furnace With No Flame
Sherlock Ohms 
12/5/2011  8 comments
Sometimes a problem has multiple sources. Fix one problem, and two more crop up.
Mechatronics by Design: What Is IT?
Guest Blogs 
12/6/2011  7 comments
The technology of information enables mechatronic problem solving.
Where Does FFT Process Gain Come From?
Mechatronics Zone 
12/7/2011  6 comments
A look into digital signal processing via some chips which implement Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs).




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Researchers in Canada have developed a chin strap that harvests energy from chewing and can potentially power a digital earplug that can provide both protection and communication capabilities.
In case you haven't heard, the deadline to enter the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards is coming up fast Oct. 28! Have you entered yet?
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
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