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Blogs
Content posted in July 2011
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How Do We Engineer Autos for 54.5 MPG?
Wolfe's Den 
7/29/2011  123 comments
Lighter automotive materials and hybrid engines are two engineering approaches towards meeting the Obama administration's goal of 54.5 mpg CAFE standards for automakers by 2025.
The Case of the Hot Desk
Sherlock Ohms 
7/28/2011  10 comments
Called to a mechanical calculator that was giving off tingle shocks, Sherlock found an unexpected problem.
Putting a Chill Into Battery Thermal Runaway
Electronic News & Comment 
7/28/2011  4 comments
Thermal runaway is never far from the minds of design engineers who use lithium-ion batteries.
The Maytag Repairman Is Plenty Busy
Made by Monkeys 
7/27/2011  23 comments
Maytag used to pride itself on high-quality appliances. Lately they've been showing up in the Monkeys blog.
Design Tool Sector Soars
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/27/2011  6 comments
The product lifecycle management (PLM) and design tool sector has returned to peak growth levels, according to a new CIMdata report.
Salary Survey Says You Make $93,465
Wolfe's Den 
7/26/2011  8 comments
The results of Design News annual salary survey are in and they say design engineers received their first increase in average base salary in two years.
Gadget Freak Case #191: The FaceMelter3000
Gadget Freak 
7/26/2011  5 comments
Joe Groele wanted to create some unique electric guitar sounds.
Embedded Multicore Goes Mainstream
Blog 
7/26/2011  4 comments
Multicore designs of four or more processors on a single chip are cheap enough for embedded and industrial applications, but not all multicore processors are appropriate for the task.
Crumbled Plastic Intake Manifold Strands Motorist
Made by Monkeys 
7/25/2011  12 comments
The monkeys came out when Ford engineers were designing the company's 4.6-liter engines.
What's Your Favorite Engineering Movie?
Electronic News & Comment 
7/25/2011  41 comments
Design News looks at the best and worst science and engineering movies.
Design Apps Hit the iPad
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/25/2011  10 comments
While we're starting to see a steady stream of design-oriented apps for the iPad and other mobile devices, the majority remain focused on simple viewing and collaboration functions.
Convert Garbage to Electricity at Home
Gadget Freak 
7/22/2011  8 comments
Trevor Nestor built a gasifier out of some steel cans and camping pans. The basic idea of a gasifier is that you burn wood, trash, or other unwanted organic items in an environment low on oxygen.
Gyroscopes Still Seem a Bit Like Magic
Mechatronics Zone 
7/22/2011  2 comments
Engineers who once found the magic in gyroscope toys will be interested in new sensors that rely on devices that use MEMS to create accelerometers and gyros.
3D Systems Acquires Alibre
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/22/2011  6 comments
Alibre and 3D Systems believe the combination of CAD and 3D printer technology will democratize 3D printing and bring affordable solutions to students, engineering hobbyists, and the growing maker community.
Monkeys Designed My Ford E-150 V-6 Motor
Made by Monkeys 
7/21/2011  5 comments
Finally, an honest used car dealership – they were willing to take my monkey-infested van back.
EV Sets Record at Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Captain Hybrid 
7/21/2011  8 comments
Using a powertrain designed by AC Propulsion, an electric placed 21st out of a field of 71 cars at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Local Motors Shifts Crowd-Sourcing Into High Gear
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/21/2011  11 comments
Billing itself as an open-source car company, Local Motors is challenging the traditional automotive design paradigm with a new model that leverages the collective design power of a community to "co-create" limited-run vehicles.
3D Printer Kit Ordering Woes
Blog 
7/21/2011  6 comments
Guest blogger and additive manufacturing maven Todd Grimm describes the sometimes frustrating process of ordering a kit to produce three-dimensional parts from common plastics.
Old Tires & Soy Seed Ford's Gaskets
Engineering Materials 
7/20/2011  7 comments
Ford continues its leadership in development of natural automotive materials with use of recycled tires and soy oil to make seals and engine gaskets.
Gates Tags Toilet as Top Tech Challenge
Wolfe's Den 
7/20/2011  10 comments
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is challenging the engineering community to develop innovative toilets that can neutralize or extract energy from human waste.
E-Waste Research Bill Proposed
Green Scene 
7/20/2011  6 comments
Congressman John Sarbanes has introduced a House bill that would seek innovative ways to recycle e-waste.
The Case of the Missing 13,000 Watts
Sherlock Ohms 
7/20/2011  10 comments
When the radio station was missing 13,000 Watts, it knew it was time call in Sherlock Ohms.
Gadget Freak Case #190: Test Your Knowledge, Win a Gumball!
Gadget Freak 
7/19/2011  3 comments
Here’s a gadget that lets you flip a switch and win gumballs based on your trivia expertise.
A New Modeler From Spatial?
Blog 
7/19/2011  6 comments
Spatial's recent announcement of its Convergence Geometric Modeler may not be a major product release, but it's still big news.
Do Mechatronics Degrees Make Sense?
Mechatronics Zone 
7/19/2011  13 comments
Twelve colleges have created mechatronics programs, mostly by adding mechatronics classes to a standard mechanical-engineering curriculum.
Terrafugia Transition Inches Closer to Flight
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/18/2011  17 comments
The so-called flying car reached another milestone, having been granted key exemptions by government safety agencies that were critical due to the engineering challenges around a dual-purpose design.
Heard on the Automation & Control Beat
Wolfe's Den 
7/18/2011  6 comments
July 18 edition of weekly news roundup from the world of engineering automation and control.
Looking for the Inside Story on Injection Molding?
Engineering Materials 
7/18/2011  3 comments
Plasticstoday.com is holding a virtual event on plastics molding technology September 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.
Hot Off the Presses: Design News July Digital Issue
Wolfe's Den 
7/15/2011  6 comments
Design News's July issue is available in digital form, as an online e-magazine or a downloadable pdf.
Cancer-Fighting Device Is Tough to Swallow
Guest Blogs 
7/15/2011  10 comments
A self-propelled, remote-controlled capsule endoscope developed jointly by two Japanese institutions allows scanning of the entire digestive tract for signs of cancer and other ailments.
A Visit to TI's Motor Lab
Mechatronics Zone 
7/15/2011  3 comments
TI's employees use Kilby Labs to research and develop new ideas that may turn into products.
The Case of the Jumping Gyro
Sherlock Ohms 
7/14/2011  4 comments
A remote-controlled underwater vehicle had a heading servo referenced to a gas-rate gyro, which had a trimmable dc offset. Every once in a while, the heading took a jump of 10 to 15 degrees.
California Should Mandate the Purchase of EVs
Captain Hybrid 
7/14/2011  25 comments
Is it time for California to tell its residents they have to buy electric cars?
European Machinery Isn't Safer
Guest Blogs 
7/14/2011  8 comments
Europe makes its machinery seem safer – but is it?
Alcoa Makes DFMA Case for Aluminum's Sustainability
Engineering Materials 
7/14/2011  12 comments
A team at the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh analyzed several tools and chose DFMA as a way to prove that aluminum is a better sustainability option than other materials for select applications.
ANSYS Acquires Apache Design Solutions
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/14/2011  2 comments
With its $310 million acquisition of Apache Design Solutions, ANSYS is poised to deliver more of a systems-level approach to integrated circuit design, delivering simulation capabilities from initial IC prototyping to system signoff and design.
Automakers Balk at California ZEV Plan
Captain Hybrid 
7/13/2011  10 comments
A looming California emissions plan and a proposed federal fuel economy standard are combining to create consternation among automakers.
Are You an Interdisciplinary Engineer?
Wolfe's Den 
7/13/2011  9 comments
Are specialist designers on the wane, being replaced by generalists who can work comfortably across the boundaries of hardware, software, and embedded?
Final Shuttle Flight Creates Opportunity
Guest Blogs 
7/13/2011  13 comments
Watching the space shuttle Atlantis take flight invoked a sense of optimism that it opens up an opportunity to build even better spacecraft that are more affordable, better integrated, better manufactured, and better supported.
Lead-Free Solder Is Holding Up
Lead-Free Zone 
7/13/2011  5 comments
Lead-free solder hasn’t been failing like critics warned. Maybe the transition has been successful.
Sawstop Inventor Still Struggling to Save Fingers
Electronic News & Comment 
7/12/2011  22 comments
Stephen Gass may finally be on the verge of changing the power tool industry. Then again, this isn’t the first time he has believed that.
Monkeys Messed Up My HP Scanjet, Big Time
Made by Monkeys 
7/12/2011  14 comments
The HP Scanjet 5590 was just one monkeyed-up problem after another.
Let's Make Plastics From Our Southern Scourge
Engineering Materials 
7/12/2011  8 comments
It's time to get creative about the feedstocks we want to use as a replacement for oil and natural gas.
Is There No Room in Machine Safety for Common Sense?
Guest Blogs 
7/12/2011  8 comments
How far are machine builders expected to go to protect people who do not protect themselves?
Are Smart Grids on the Verge of Viability?
Blog 
7/12/2011  5 comments
California utility "grand plans" headline a summer of new smart grid activity, but have we really seen much progress since the 2008-2009 boom and bust?
CATIA Revision Supports Functional Mockups
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/12/2011  2 comments
New systems engineering functions in CATIA V6R2012, along with a partnership with aerospace giants EADS and Astrium, are propelling Dassault Systèmes's emerging vision of a Functional Digital Mock-Up (FDMU).
EU Updates Hazardous Substances Guidelines
Lead-Free Zone 
7/11/2011  6 comments
The European Union has published a revised RoHS that casts a wider net and offers fewer exemptions.
Automation & Control Getting iPhone App Enabled
Wolfe's Den 
7/11/2011  9 comments
Programmable logic controllers are beginning to connect beyond the confines of the factory floor, via iPhone Apps that display status data or even control PLCs directly via the over-the-air commands.
Pushing the Limits of 3D Printing Technology
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/11/2011  3 comments
Researchers are experimenting with novel ideas -- using chocolate, sun, and sand to push 3D printing technology even further, broadening its appeal to mainstream consumers.
How Engineering Progress Precipitates Crime
Blog 
7/11/2011  4 comments
Innovation is occurring so rapidly that criminals are often able to exploit vulnerabilities before they’re even known to the manufacturer or designer.
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