Content posted in March 2014
Slideshow: More Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 3/27/2014
This is the fourth blog in an occasional series on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This time, we'll tell you about architects 3D printing with ice and marble, some firsts in 3D printing titanium, and a university R&D team with a faster way to print multimaterial objects.
Slideshow: Drop-in Jet Biofuels Becoming a Reality
Engineering Materials 3/25/2014
Drop-in jet biofuels have started becoming a reality during the last year. Along with major deals between airlines, engine makers, and fuel producers, one main source may turn out to be renewable diesel already used in ground vehicles, which could make prices competitive with fossil jet fuels.
My Life as a FIRST Robotics Mentor
STEM Connection 3/25/2014
When you experience the energy of FIRST through the students you’re mentoring, you discover that it’s one of the more fun things you can do with your spare time. I encourage you to find a team and help out. You’ll discover that the students who participate are first-rate, dedicated, responsible, and creative. And if you’re already involved with a FIRST team, thank you.
Complete Your Security & Loss Prevention Strategy
Guest Blogs 3/24/2014
Cyber-attacks and security have become a regular topic in the media because criminal hackers pose a perpetual threat to any company’s secure data. They present a larger dilemma in that hackers persistently develop new methods to steal sensitive data by looking for any vulnerable spots in a system.
Obama Announces 2 New Innovation Hubs
In an effort to boost US manufacturing, President Obama recently announced the opening of two new manufacturing innovation hubs -- in Chicago and Detroit. The hubs will serve as institutions to increase manufacturing technology in the US and will create local jobs for middle-class workers.
Picking the Right Processor Is Crucial
We’ve put together a series of classes in our Continuing Education Center that looks at the PIC family of microcontrollers. The lecture series is named Pick (and Implement) the Right PIC MCU.
Misapplied Gauges Can Lead to Crisis
Guest Blogs 3/21/2014
A lot of safety appears to center on gauges. There's a reason for that, and it's in the name. In the engineering sense, when something is being gauged, it's usually a measurement relating to safe operating levels.
Video: Is the MX3D-Metal the Future of 3D Printing?
Unlike many of the 3D printers available, the MX3D printers can work around a part rather than building it straight up. Using such techniques, the printer can print objects on surfaces with angles and slopes or even directly onto walls. In addition, it can print curves and shapes with much more precision and accuracy.
Video: Virtual Reality Makes Human-Robot Interaction Safer
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to bridge the distance between humans and industrial robots, not in the real world, but in the virtual one. They have created a way to make these types of interactions safer through a virtual reality environment that enables humans to work closely with robots without being near them.
The Customer Is Not Always Right
Sherlock Ohms 3/20/2014
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
A research team in the lab of Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a prototype for a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable membrane that can give doctors feedback about irregularities occurring inside someone's heart.
Shrimp Shells Make Compostable, Moldable Bioplastic
Engineering Materials 3/18/2014
Wyss Institute researchers at Harvard have created a low-cost, biodegradable plastic made from shrimp shells that can be used to mass-produce 3D compostable consumer goods, using injection molding or casting processes.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 3/17/2014
Does it sound like magic? It's not. You can 3D-print with wood filaments right now, using a choice of colors and filament widths. Objects made from these materials range from things resembling plastic or lumber to stunningly beautiful art pieces that look just like the real thing.
EcoVolt Technology Transforms Beer Into Energy
Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed a solution called EcoVolt that uses bioelectrochemistry to treat wastewater so it can be turned into electricity. The company is targeting the beverage industry to convert waste from making beer and wine into energy breweries and wineries can use to run their operations.
Slideshow: 3D-Printed Carbon Composite Yacht Model
Engineering Materials 3/13/2014
CRP Technology has 3D-printed a 1:14 scale model of a yacht in carbon fiber composites to demonstrate the possibilities and give a boost to boat design. The material and process are also used for under-hood motorsport applications and in aerospace.
The Industrial Internet of Things may be going off the deep end in connecting everything on the plant floor. Some machines, bearings, or conveyors simply don’t need to be monitored -- even if they can be.
Wind turbines already are imposing structures that stretch high into the sky, but an engineering graduate student at the University of Notre Dame wants to make them even taller to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley's longest-running CEO, shares some of his thoughts on innovation, procrastination, and why you shouldn't put customers first.
Researchers at American University have produced chemically active structures that, not unlike living things, can actually do things on their own without an external power.
Former DARPA official and Google executive Dr. Kaigham Gabriel believes sensor companies think too much like suppliers and need to bring their products closer to the consumer.
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