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Blogs
Content posted in August 2012
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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: 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.
What Is Embedded Vision & What Can I Do With It?
Blog 
8/30/2012  6 comments
Our Continuing Education Center course on embedded computer vision will tell you why you need to consider embedded vision as a key feature of your system, as well as show you how to incorporate it into your design.
The Shortcut That Shorted Out
Sherlock Ohms 
8/30/2012  5 comments
Sometimes the effort to be efficient can lead to problems that keep repeating themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slideshow: These Robots Soar
Blog 
8/27/2012  30 comments
Flying robots are generally small in size, but vary widely in design and purpose.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Video: Tool Is a Handy Replacement for a Mouse
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/24/2012  11 comments
A Purdue University research team has developed Handy-Potter, technology that lets users tap intuitive gestures and movements to create and modify 3D objects with their bare hands.
What You Need to Know About Design Engineers
Guest Blogs 
8/24/2012  10 comments
Design engineers must have a good grasp of architecture, understand the functions of various construction equipment or machinery, and be proficient in reading blueprints and drawings.
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.
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.
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.
TeamPlatform Spins Up Cloud-Based Design Collaboration
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/23/2012  7 comments
Blending cloud, 3D visualization, project management, and workflow capabilities, VisPower Technologies' TeamPlatform aims to facilitate product design and engineering collaboration among dispersed design partners.
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?
Joining Techniques Critical to Auto Composites
Engineering Materials 
8/22/2012  10 comments
Automating production isn't the only technical problem carbon composites face in mass manufacturing. There is also the lack of standards and technologies for joining techniques.
RobotExpert Brings Simplified Simulation to the Shop Floor
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/22/2012  10 comments
Siemens PLM Software has broadened its Tecnomatix digital manufacturing portfolio with RobotExpert, an out-of-the-box solution for shop floor robotic simulation and programming.
Rebuild the Fuel Pump, or It Won’t Work
Made by Monkeys 
8/22/2012  9 comments
In order to get this SUV's fuel pump to work correctly, you have to rebuild it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Satellite Station Motors Were Burning Up
Sherlock Ohms 
8/20/2012  7 comments
Out in the desert, the satellite station motors were burning up. It was time to check out the A/C.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slideshow: Scenes From NI Week
Blog 
8/16/2012  6 comments
The exhibit floor at NI Week featured a few demonstrations that were definitely noteworthy.
CD-adapco Unleashes Simulation on EV Battery Design
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/16/2012  4 comments
With its latest STAR-CCM+ Battery Simulation Module, CD-adapco brings simulation to bear on the design challenges around lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle market.
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.
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.
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.
Plug-In Modules Simplify Fieldbus Choices
Blog 
8/15/2012  9 comments
NetJACK makes it easy for equipment designers and users to configure equipment for a specific fieldbus.
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?
Circuit Protection Can't Be an Afterthought
Electronic News & Comment 
8/14/2012  11 comments
Time-challenged engineers need to start thinking about circuit protection at the beginning of a project, not the end.
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.
PTC Gets Serious About Service
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/14/2012  4 comments
With its latest $220 million acquisition of Servigistics, PTC is building out a service lifecycle management suite that can help manufacturers optimize service operations by leveraging product-related data.
NI Week: A Sit-Down With Dr. T
Blog 
8/14/2012  4 comments
A chat with National Instruments co-founder, president, and CEO James Truchard gives us a glimpse into the company's general business outlook, what it's like to work there, and how it feels about up-and-coming engineering talent.
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.
Dell Immerses 3D Technology in Mainstream Mobile Workstations
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/13/2012  9 comments
Continuing its push to bring high-end performance and 3D graphics to mainstream mobile workstations, Dell's next-generation Precision offerings feature NVIDIA's built-in immersive 3D technology.
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