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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in August 2012
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54.5 MPG Comes With Trade-Offs
Captain Hybrid 
8/24/2012  227 comments
The White House's goal of a 54.5 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy could inspire innovation, but it could also lead to safety and costs trade-offs.
Breaking: 54.5 MPG Standard Finalized by Obama Administration
Captain Hybrid 
8/28/2012  88 comments
The Obama Administration announced today that it has finalized a fuel economy standard that calls for automakers to meet a 54.5 mile-per-gallon average by the year 2025.
Should the US Adopt Metric Standards?
Blog 
8/23/2012  72 comments
Metrication creeps forward in the US, but it's time to make the last 100-meter run and, to borrow Nike's slogan, just do it.
Engineer Pulls Trigger on 3D-Printed Gun
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/15/2012  72 comments
Inspired by the growing 3D printer-driven maker revolution, an engineer has created a working 3D printed AR-15 automatic rifle.
Long-Range EV Has Motors in its Wheels
Engineering Materials 
8/23/2012  72 comments
A Japanese prototype with motors in its wheels can go 218 miles on a single charge, 30 percent farther than other mass-produced EVs, due in part to engineering plastics.
GM to Idle Chevy Volt Production Again
Captain Hybrid 
8/30/2012  56 comments
General Motors says it will shut down the plant that builds the Chevy Volt for four weeks to match supply with demand and to accommodate its Impala production schedule.
Gadget Freak Case #223: Rocket Records Its Own Flight
Gadget Freak 
8/10/2012  50 comments
Doug Conner strapped a video camera to his PVC-based rocket to record its flight.
Do You Have a Right to Repair What You Own?
Blog 
8/8/2012  50 comments
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition has worked on a "right to repair" ballot initiative for the November 2012 election.
Slideshow: Microcars Provide a Glimpse of Yesterday's Fuel Efficiency
Captain Hybrid 
8/17/2012  49 comments
Long before lawmakers tussled over corporate average fuel economies, auto companies produced tiny, fuel-efficient vehicles. "Petite Performance: Microcars," a new exhibit at the Studebaker National Museum, offers a look at some of them.
This Isn't Your Mother's Iron
Made by Monkeys 
8/29/2012  43 comments
New irons are not like your mom's iron, which lasted forever. The new ones break even before the cord needs replacing.
Solar Cells Help Windows Generate Electricity
Engineering Materials 
8/15/2012  41 comments
A new kind of polymer solar cell that is almost 70 percent transparent to the human eye could give windows the ability to generate electricity by absorbing mostly infrared, not visible, light.
Video: Robots to Recycle Space Junk
Blog 
8/16/2012  40 comments
DARPA's Phoenix program plans to harvest the components of retired, nonworking geostationary earth orbit (GEO) communication satellites and reuse them, saving money, and cleaning up space junk.
Want to Track Sharks? There's an App for That
Blog 
8/28/2012  40 comments
A surfboard-like robot floating in the Pacific off San Francisco is following great white sharks and transmitting information about them back to shore.
Camcorder Needs a Good Smack
Made by Monkeys 
8/9/2012  36 comments
The Sony representative was surprised by problems with its camcorder. Online, customers were screaming that it needed a good smack.
Slideshow: Top 12 Most Fuel-Efficient EVs & Plug-In Hybrids
Captain Hybrid 
8/7/2012  36 comments
We collected 12 of the top fuel-efficient vehicles, as determined by the MPGe rating system. From battery-powered electrics to plug-in hybrids, we present some of the auto industry's best.
Case of the Data-Corrupting Pocket
Sherlock Ohms 
8/28/2012  34 comments
When transferring data from the control computer to the maintenance computer, you have to be careful how you carry the disk.
Microwave Door Latch Sticks at High Temp
Made by Monkeys 
8/17/2012  33 comments
When the summer heat enters the kitchen, you can't open this microwave.
Why Aren't Engineering Students Happier? Because It's Hard
STEM Connection 
8/29/2012  33 comments
The Princeton Review came out with its annual edition of "The Best 377 Colleges" last week, and engineering schools again did poorly in the area of student happiness.
Gadget Freak Case #222: Warming Up the Telescope
Gadget Freak 
8/3/2012  30 comments
Eric Chesak created a heating pad system to keep his telescope at a uniform temperature throughout his deep-space photography sessions.
Key Redesign Spells Trouble for Mower
Made by Monkeys 
8/23/2012  30 comments
Seems like the key to turn on a mower should be simple business. Not with this Black and Decker.
Tested in Virtual World, Curiosity Rover Preps for Mars Landing
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/2/2012  30 comments
To orchestrate the "Seven Minutes of Terror" landing on Mars, NASA relied on Siemens PLM and CAE tools to design and optimize the Curiosity's complex systems.
Slideshow: These Robots Soar
Blog 
8/27/2012  30 comments
Flying robots are generally small in size, but vary widely in design and purpose.
Battery Makers Roll Out Grid Storage
Electronic News & Comment 
8/9/2012  29 comments
Intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar, will need a backup to balance utility supply against consumer demand.
Video: Robots Climb Stairs, Walk Like a Human
Blog 
8/3/2012  29 comments
A pair of robotic legs modeled closely on human walking mechanisms walk with a biomechanically accurate gait.
Air Travel Appears to Be Behind the Times
Blog 
8/14/2012  28 comments
A CNN story claims a vehicle can fly at Mach 6, or more than 4,500 miles/hr. Does this mean we will see faster commercial airplanes?
Blowing Fuses & Exploding Circuit Panels
Sherlock Ohms 
8/7/2012  28 comments
If the fuse keeps blowing, the problem may not be a power surge.
Glue Troubles Run Hot & Cold
Sherlock Ohms 
8/13/2012  27 comments
First, it was trouble with the hot glue applicator. Then, the cold glue system started acting up.
Robot Assists Heart Surgeons
Blog 
8/21/2012  27 comments
The CorPath200 robotic system helps cardiologists with a procedure that restores blood flow to blocked arteries.
Folding Car Is the Ultimate City Vehicle
Guest Blogs 
8/29/2012  26 comments
The 100-percent electric Hiriko Fold is 2.5m long and has a range of 120km.
Gadget Freak: Ear Muff Headphones
Gadget Freak 
8/30/2012  24 comments
Sylvie Barak created a custom pair of earmuff headphones to keep her ears warm while she listens to music.
Slideshow: Beyond the Mouse
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/8/2012  23 comments
New input technologies, from 3D mice to haptic devices, bring a new level of freedom, flexibility, and control to working with 3D design tools.
Gates Foundation Flushes Out Winning Toilet Designs
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/20/2012  22 comments
A year after it announced grants for its "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge," the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation picked winning toilet designs that have the most potential for bringing cost-effective and safe sanitation to developing countries.
Gadget Freak: LED Message Board
Gadget Freak 
8/24/2012  20 comments
Rich Quinnell's LED message board traces out a message in mid-air.
If I Had Known Then What I Know Now...
Blog 
8/10/2012  19 comments
What advice would you give to a student just starting out in engineering, whether about academics, careers, or just practical living? What do you wish that you had known back in the beginning?
One-Piece Carbon Composite Wheel Drives Cars
Engineering Materials 
8/13/2012  19 comments
Carbon Revolution says it has made the first one-piece, all-carbon fiber composite wheel for cars as well as planes.
Teardown: BlackBerry Playbook LTE
Blog 
8/21/2012  18 comments
The BlackBerry Playbook LTE is unlikely to reverse the current tide of negativity that comes with any news from the Waterloo, Ontario, manufacturer.
Blowing Things Up & Other Reasons Why I Love My Job
Blog 
8/22/2012  18 comments
We found out what makes Littelfuse engineers tick. What do you love most about your job?
Flexible Batteries Power Flexible Displays
Engineering Materials 
8/28/2012  18 comments
New materials for batteries can make them flexible and energy-dense enough to power displays on bendable, implantable, and wearable electronics.
Botched Construction Job Leads to Finger Pointing
Sherlock Ohms 
8/21/2012  16 comments
An engineer is accused of poor workmanship after a fire protection system he designed malfunctioned.
Learn How to Photograph Your Product
Blog 
8/27/2012  16 comments
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a good photo must have a value many times that number.
My Opinion On Hacking on the Factory Floor
Blog 
8/7/2012  16 comments
Networks are vulnerable, and security has to be implemented as part of the development process.
Gadget Freak: LED Matrix Helmet
Gadget Freak 
8/17/2012  15 comments
This silver chrome helmet has a full LED matrix display on the front that illuminates words and patterns.
Shim Fixed the Mower’s Metal-to-Metal Problem
Made by Monkeys 
8/15/2012  14 comments
The mower and mulcher were metal-to-metal. The only solution was a homemade wooden shim.
CNC Control in Electrically Noisy Environments
Sherlock Ohms 
8/14/2012  14 comments
For $30 and a little searching, one engineer saved his CNC mill from eBay.
3D Systems Enhances Content Creation Play
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/2/2012  13 comments
3D Systems' acquisition of Viztu gives it technology that lets users create 3D content from ordinary digital photos and videos, extending the capabilities of its Cubify.com content creation community.
3D Technologies Help Custom Prosthetics Hit Their Stride
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/21/2012  13 comments
A growing number of researchers and manufacturers are tapping 3D printers and 3D CAD software to build highly customized, next-generation prosthetics in a more cost-effective manner.
Slideshow: Australian Kayak Team Aims for Digital Gold
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/6/2012  12 comments
Propelled by 3D scanners and 3D design software, the Australian Olympic kayak team created custom fitouts for its athletes in its race toward a competitive edge.
SolidWorks Syncs Electrical, Mechanical Design Silos
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/27/2012  12 comments
SolidWorks Electrical connects mechanical and electrical engineering teams, allowing them to plan and integrate electrical systems into overall 3D mechanical models.
Video: Volkswagen Engineers Underwater Car for Shark Week
Blog 
8/20/2012  12 comments
The Beetle is made from tubular aluminum, with alloy wheels, propellers, and an inbuilt air system that allows the driver (diver?) to plug into before taking it for a spin, under the surf.
Study: Plastics, Garbage Fuel Texas Cement Kiln
Engineering Materials 
8/9/2012  11 comments
A study has shown that fuel created from nonrecycled post-consumer plastics and other waste can power energy-intensive commercial and industrial operations.
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