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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in July 2012
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How Would You Cope With High Gas Prices?
Captain Hybrid 
7/17/2012  95 comments
Imagine if gas prices shot up to $5, $6, or even $7 a gallon. How would you respond? Would you buy a hybrid? An electric car?
Tesla's CEO: 'Half of Cars Will Be Electric in 15 Years'
Captain Hybrid 
7/19/2012  81 comments
Tesla CEO Elon Musk expects half of cars to be electric in 15 years, despite the long odds against it.
Big Battery Means Big Range, Cost for Tesla's Model S
Captain Hybrid 
7/11/2012  39 comments
The recent introduction of Tesla Motors' Model S electric vehicle (EV) raises an important question: How is Tesla able to get a 300-mile range when other EVs are lingering around 100?
Missing Magnet Revives Washing Machine
Made by Monkeys 
7/5/2012  35 comments
A critical magnet -- that was not even indicated in the user manual to be part of the washer -- was missing.
Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS
Engineering Materials 
7/20/2012  33 comments
After a year-long pilot program, UPS plans to shift to composites and other plastics for many of the structural components in its brown delivery trucks.
There's a Heater in the Freezer
Made by Monkeys 
7/3/2012  31 comments
Design News' own Richard Nass recently ran into a problem with his refrigerator, leading him to believe it was made by monkeys.
Bioplastic Packaging Is Cheaper Than Cardboard
Engineering Materials 
7/5/2012  30 comments
Although bioplastic shipping containers may cost more per unit, they can be cheaper overall since they're reusable and can be recycled back into the supply chain in a closed-loop/reverse logistics setup.
Gadget Freak Case #221: Smart Toolbox Finds the Right Tool
Gadget Freak 
7/27/2012  29 comments
A team of student engineers at Colorado State University have designed a five-drawer toolbox that can locate tools and open the drawer when they are found.
Salt Container May Raise Your Blood Pressure
Made by Monkeys 
7/2/2012  28 comments
Flaws in the plastic injection molding process made the popcorn salt a mess.
Send Machines, Not People, to Space
Mechatronics Zone 
7/10/2012  28 comments
If we have an urge to explore outer space, let's leave people on Earth and conduct experiments and gather data at a distance.
Can Pneumatics Play a Bigger Role in Mechatronics Designs?
Mechatronics Zone 
7/17/2012  26 comments
It might seem like it's anyone's guess where engineers pick up the knowledge to apply pneumatics, but these links can help.
Crack Fix for Pesky Oven Bulb
Made by Monkeys 
7/24/2012  26 comments
The bulbs on this otherwise great dual cooker caused quite a problem when they needed to be changed.
Slideshow: Google's Nexus 7 Tablet Teardown
Blog 
7/10/2012  25 comments
Google introduced its first branded tablet, the Nexus 7, at its I/O conference June 27 with a price tag of $199, meaning it will compete directly with the Kindle Fire.
Engineers: Have You Ever Burned Off Your Fingertip?
Blog 
7/18/2012  25 comments
We want to hear about your engineering disasters. After all, what good is a scar if you canít show it off?
Slideshow: Rescue Robots Save the Day
Blog 
7/23/2012  24 comments
Like many robots deployed in military applications, robots used for post-disaster search-and-rescue missions will go places humans can't.
Loose Screw Sends Power Wagon Racing
Made by Monkeys 
7/19/2012  24 comments
One loose screw and the power wagon has a mind of its own, accelerating by itself.
Video: Maintenance Robots Climb Wind Towers
Blog 
7/27/2012  23 comments
Two different remote-controlled climbing robots have been developed to make wind tower maintenance easier, cheaper, and safer.
Video: Kit Turns Arts & Crafts Into Robots
Blog 
7/12/2012  23 comments
The Hummingbird kit is designed to get kids interested in engineering and robotics.
Modem Nearly Trashed Over Forgotten Password
Made by Monkeys 
7/16/2012  21 comments
To fix the modem, you needed a password. If you couldn't remember the password, you were told you had to replace the unit.
Robot-Guided Brain Surgery Performed at German Hospital
Blog 
7/18/2012  21 comments
The first robot-guided brain surgery has been performed at HSK Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany using Mazor Robotics' Renaissance robotic spine surgery system.
Petroski on Engineering: Checklists & Design
Guest Blogs 
7/2/2012  21 comments
A properly devised checklist for design could prevent mistakes from being made.
Mechanical Switches Solve Sprinkler Control Problem
Made by Monkeys 
7/11/2012  21 comments
Simple mechanical switches triumphed over an overly complicated "simple" user interface.
CFD Study Explores Cycling Drag
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/6/2012  20 comments
With the competitive cycling season underway, a new ANSYS CFD study reveals how to optimize the position of multiple cyclists to reduce drag and boost team performance.
Composite Ferry Pontoon Floats in Australia
Engineering Materials 
7/2/2012  19 comments
The first all-composite floating ferry pontoon has been installed at Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia.
Slideshow: Electronics Beef Up Auto Safety
Blog 
7/9/2012  19 comments
From airbags and vision systems to communications and safety cages, we present a few of the latest and greatest advances in auto safety.
Cars Could Lose Weight With Green Cavity Foam
Engineering Materials 
7/30/2012  18 comments
A renewable version of Dow Automotive Systems' polyurethane cavity sealing Betafoam system will help cars cut weight and noise.
9 Things Engineers Need to Know About Embedded Development
Electronic News & Comment 
7/24/2012  18 comments
We've collected the recommendations of consultants and vendors who know some of the pitfalls and can offer strategies for avoiding them.
Gadget Freak Case #219: Watching the Alpha Sparks Fly
Gadget Freak 
7/6/2012  18 comments
John Iovine created a homemade alpha particle spark detector with a high-voltage power supply and radioactive materials.
Do We Need Indoor Navigation Apps?
Blog 
7/3/2012  18 comments
Researchers claim to have developed a way to get a GPS position fix indoors, which might let shoppers' cell phones tell them about products in front of them, or help parents locate their children in malls.
Oversampling Reduces Quantization Errors
Mechatronics Zone 
7/27/2012  18 comments
No matter how many bits an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) provides, the digital output can only approximate the original signal.
How Do You Educate Yourself?
Blog 
7/10/2012  17 comments
We asked our LinkedIn group, "How do you learn about new engineering technologies?"
Gadget Freak Case #220: Power Lock With a Secret Code
Gadget Freak 
7/20/2012  17 comments
To keep curious kids from playing with his workbench tools, William Grill created a lock that requires a secret code before power can go to the plug.
Case of the Strange Antenna Patterns
Sherlock Ohms 
7/10/2012  17 comments
When the plastic stand was replaced by a wooden stand during the testing of an antenna, everything went wrong.
3D Printer From Objet Serves Up Materials Mix
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/9/2012  17 comments
With its expanded palette including seven different materials and functional properties, the Objet30 Pro aims to give professionals a versatile platform for producing highly realistic parts at a desktop price point.
Solar Cells Printed on Aluminum Foil Cost Less
Engineering Materials 
7/16/2012  17 comments
Nanosolar's thin-film solar technology, which prints metallic, nanoparticle inks on huge rolls of aluminum foil, promises to be more efficient and cost less than alternate thin-film methods.
Aircraft Materials Lighten Up
Engineering Materials 
7/26/2012  16 comments
Engineers have a broader choice of metals and plastics to help lighten the load and beef up the strength of commercial aircraft designs.
Video: 3D-Printed Furniture Is 'Endless'
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/24/2012  15 comments
As technology innovations and price reductions advance the 3D printing cause, novel applications are springing up, including custom furniture and prescription drugs.
Sustainability Makes for Good Design
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/18/2012  15 comments
Compliance directives and user demand for greener products are upping the ante, and new capabilities in CAD and PLM tools are helping engineers embrace the practices as just another element of effective design.
BMW Engine Powered by Aluminum Piston
Engineering Materials 
7/13/2012  15 comments
An aluminum piston built to withstand the heat and strength requirements of very high-power diesel engines will go into the triple-turbo, 93kW/liter engine for the BMW M550d xDrive sedan.
3D Materials Expand Design Options
Engineering Materials 
7/12/2012  15 comments
New rigid and rubber-like digital materials for Objet's Connex 3D multi-material printing systems offer improved toughness, more shore scale values, and resistance to heat.
Robots Predict Humans' Moves
Blog 
7/11/2012  15 comments
An algorithm developed by MIT researchers aims to help robots adapt better to humans on the factory floor by predicting their moves.
Autodesk Snaps Social Video Into Picture
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/31/2012  15 comments
Reasoning that video has a key role to play in design collaboration, Autodesk is acquiring Socialcam, a mobile app and Web-based video capture, edit, and sharing service.
Video: Robots Develop Sense of Touch
Blog 
7/6/2012  14 comments
A new combination of sensors, actuators, and software will give them a sense of touch for identifying textures that's even more finely tuned than a human's.
Robot Servo Errors Were Only Human
Sherlock Ohms 
7/31/2012  14 comments
Many things can go wrong with the robot welders, but all of those problems come from the humans.
Corrupt Data Filled the Air Waves
Sherlock Ohms 
7/9/2012  14 comments
The answer to the problem of corrupted data was a room full of powered-up personal computers.
eDrawings App Launches on the iPad
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/2/2012  14 comments
SolidWorks has entered the mobile design app arena with an iPad version of its eDrawings lightweight collaboration tool.
It May Look Like 'Electronics for Dummies,' but It's Not
Blog 
7/19/2012  13 comments
Check out our Continuing Education Center course, "Introduction to Electronics." We can almost guarantee youíll learn something.
Video Over Fiber Gives Surgeons a Clearer Picture
Electronic News & Comment 
7/2/2012  13 comments
Surgeons who depend on video images in the operating room are about to get a big boost in picture resolution.
Pegasus XL Launch Rocket Flies on Composites
Engineering Materials 
7/9/2012  13 comments
A Pegasus XL air-launched rocket, and the NASA X-ray observatory satellite it has just sent into space, are both made partly from carbon composites.
My Wine Fridge Ate Its Fuse
Made by Monkeys 
7/30/2012  13 comments
The wine cooler looked great, but it wouldn't work. The fuse just wasn't up to its task.
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Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diegoís Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a personís sweat.
A Silicon Valley company has made the biggest splash yet in the high-performance end of the electric car market, announcing an EV that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and costs $529,000.
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
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