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Blogs
Content posted in August 2014
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Top 20 US Undergraduate Engineering Schools
Blog 
8/29/2014  49 comments
Take a look at the top 20 US undergraduate engineering programs. Then tell us -- did your school make the cut?
ASTM Proposes New Standards for Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
8/29/2014  6 comments
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.
Video: Temporary Tats Harvest Energy from Sweat
Blog 
8/29/2014  21 comments
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s 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 person’s sweat.
Renovo Hypes Electric Supercar
Captain Hybrid 
8/28/2014  40 comments
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.
Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 
8/28/2014  13 comments
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.
Model-Based Design of a Smart Emergency Response System
Guest Blogs 
8/28/2014  Post a comment
The Smart Emergency Response System capitalizes on the latest advancements in cyber-physical systems to connect autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles, rescue dogs, robots, and a high-performance computing mission control center into a realistic vision.
American Diesel Cars, Past & Present
Electronic News & Comment 
8/27/2014  44 comments
The diesel engine, long popular on European roads, is now piquing the interest of American automakers.
Video: 'Candy’ 3D-Prints Your Sweets
Blog 
8/27/2014  24 comments
A London-based company has added some sweetness to the versatility of the 3D printing market with a printer designed solely to print candy and confections.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 
8/27/2014  25 comments
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
Market Your Business Using Portable Display Stands
Guest Blogs 
8/27/2014  6 comments
Businesses cutting across industries are increasingly making use of portable display stands in the UK for marketing.
3D Printers That Are Changing the Industry
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/26/2014  9 comments
XYZ, Rabbit, and Disney innovate on the 3d printer in different ways -- from price point to using materials such as yarn.
5 Tips for Engineering Students
STEM Connection 
8/26/2014  23 comments
Materials engineer Dave Palmer shares his top advice for new engineering students; he wishes someone would have given him these tips.
Programs & Technology Boost Manufacturing's Return
Blog 
8/26/2014  3 comments
Programs to boost domestic manufacturing combined with technological advances are bringing production back to the US.
Google's Project Tango Tablet: From the Outside In
Blog 
8/25/2014  4 comments
Google's Project Tango is in its second iteration, this time taking the form of a tablet. Join us as we unravel the new goodies that Google has packed into the Project Tango Tablet.
Survey: Engineers Uncertain About CAFE Materials Choices
Engineering Materials 
8/25/2014  4 comments
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Analytics Becomes Big Data & Goes Mainstream
Blog 
8/25/2014  1 comment
Plants are using big data to improve equipment performance and optimize the entire production system.
Slideshow: EV Makers Look to New Battery Chargers
Electronic News & Comment 
8/22/2014  38 comments
As more electric cars and plug-in hybrids hit the highways, the need for battery chargers is growing.
Gull Wings Can Power Buildings
Blog 
8/22/2014  12 comments
Festo is developing small wind turbines for generating power to buildings. The model for the mini wind devices is the seagull wing.
Video: 3D Print on Top of Printed Objects
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/22/2014  6 comments
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
Student-Designed System for E-Motorbike Tops TI Challenge
STEM Connection 
8/22/2014  9 comments
A battery management system to support an electric motorcycle lithium-ion battery pack took first place in Texas Instruments' annual engineering innovation contest.
Gadget Freak Review: Bluetooth Padlock; System Tracks Sleep Behavior
Gadget Freak 
8/21/2014  22 comments
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
Siemens' Intosite Augments Tecnomatix PLM Platform
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/21/2014  4 comments
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
Video: Solar Car Drives Valuable Career Lessons Home
STEM Connection 
8/21/2014  38 comments
Since 1987, teams of engineers around the world have built solar cars to participate in a road race around Australia called the World Solar Challenge, being tested on the race time, kilometers traveled, practicality, and energy used by the vehicles they invent.
Slideshow: Jewelry Harvests Energy in the Blink of an Eye
Blog 
8/20/2014  35 comments
An Israeli design student has created a series of unique pieces of jewelry that can harvest energy from default movements of the body and even use human blood as a way to conduct energy.
Wiring Causes Constant Problems
Made by Monkeys 
8/20/2014  36 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
8/20/2014  8 comments
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Photo Editing Tool Manipulates in 3D
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/20/2014  4 comments
New software from Carnegie Mellon allows 2D objects -- digital photos, old photos, and even paintings -- to be manipulated in 3D using models found online.
Will Your Next Hard Drive Be Liquid?
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/19/2014  36 comments
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
Video: Robot Hitchhikes Across Canada
Blog 
8/19/2014  31 comments
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
SpaceX Reveals 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 
8/19/2014  9 comments
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
The ‘Holy Grail’ for Lithium-Based Batteries
Blog 
8/19/2014  9 comments
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Who Should Be the Next Rising Engineering Star?
Blog 
8/18/2014  12 comments
Help us recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community.
Early Morning Sparks New Idea
Sherlock Ohms 
8/18/2014  6 comments
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.
Gadget Freak Case #261: Dr. Seuss Themed Target Game
Gadget Freak 
8/15/2014  20 comments
Colorado State University students have created “One Shot Two Shot, Red Shot Blue Shot” -- a Dr. Seuss themed target game where the objective is to get the most points with six shots from the gun.
FPGAs Cut Subaru's Test Times
Electronic News & Comment 
8/15/2014  4 comments
If the design of Subaru’s XV Crosstrek Hybrid car is any indication, we may now be seeing the next new wrinkle in the evolution of automotive test simulation.
Injection-Moldable Composite Beats Metal Specs
Engineering Materials 
8/15/2014  18 comments
A new thermoplastic composite for high-speed, high-volume injection molding has tensile strength that's close to, and sometimes better than, either lay-up composites or metals.
Plastic Bearings Put to the Test in North American Tour
Guest Blogs 
8/15/2014  6 comments
Igus retrofitted a car with 56 of its plastic iglide bearings to celebrate the brand's 30th anniversary. The car is currently being driven across the US and Canada.
Big Stars Become Robots in the 2000s
Blog 
8/14/2014  13 comments
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
Enter Now for the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards
Blog 
8/14/2014  4 comments
Nominations are now open for our annual Golden Mousetrap Awards. Enter today!
Lawrence Livermore & MIT 3D-Print New Super-Light, Super-Strong Materials
Engineering Materials 
8/14/2014  9 comments
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 -- Unleashed
Blog 
8/13/2014  3 comments
Oculus VR, which took the world by surprise last year with the Oculus Rift, seeks to push the self-created envelope with the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2.
Rocket Scientist Designs Cookware Based on Jet Engines
Blog 
8/13/2014  18 comments
An Oxford rocket scientist has designed award-winning cookware that reduces the amount of heat needed by 40%.
The Iceberg Ship: A Cautionary Tale
Guest Blogs 
8/13/2014  3 comments
The first and most obvious lesson of the following story is to remember to consider creep, along with all other potential failure modes.
Did Cold Weather Cause Boeing Battery Meltdown? Probably Not
Electronic News & Comment 
8/12/2014  14 comments
Despite recent news reports to the contrary, cold winter weather was probably no more than a minor contributor to the Boeing 787’s lithium-ion battery fires last year.
Amazon’s Custom 3D Printer Store
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/12/2014  14 comments
Amazon has its very own 3D printing store, where anyone can customize and order 3D-printed objects. Who doesn't want a bobblehead of themselves?
Using Python to Program the Raspberry Pi
Blog 
8/12/2014  2 comments
The Continuing Education Center course looks at embedded programming with the Raspberry Pi using Python.
Top 16 Robots in Late-90s Film & TV
Blog 
8/11/2014  20 comments
Late-90s robots in film and TV included a wide range of mechanical and android-like creatures.
Video: Personal Electronic Circuit Board Factory
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/11/2014  16 comments
Squink, a circuit board printer, uses inkjet printing technology and conductive inks to print circuits.
The Next Generation of Design Challenges: Home Healthcare
Guest Blogs 
8/11/2014  11 comments
Medical devices will look and feel different in the next 20 years, because, as design and product development people, our criteria are changing.
Gadget Freak Case #260: Arduino Solar Charge Controller
Gadget Freak 
8/8/2014  19 comments
This solar charge controller, which is placed between a solar panel and a battery, regulates the voltage and current coming from your solar panel. It is used to maintain proper charging voltage on the batteries.
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