Content posted in August 2014
ASTM Proposes New Standards for Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 8/29/2014
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
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
Automotive News 8/28/2014
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
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
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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.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 8/27/2014
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.
Video: 3D Print on Top of Printed Objects
CAD/CAM Corner 8/22/2014
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.
Siemens' Intosite Augments Tecnomatix PLM Platform
CAD/CAM Corner 8/21/2014
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
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.
Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 8/20/2014
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.
Will Your Next Hard Drive Be Liquid?
CAD/CAM Corner 8/19/2014
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
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
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
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.
Early Morning Sparks New Idea
Sherlock Ohms 8/18/2014
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.
FPGAs Cut Subaru's Test Times
Electronics News 8/15/2014
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.
Big Stars Become Robots in the 2000s
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.
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.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicle’s parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but that’s just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Engineers at Festo were inspired by how a caterpillar builds its cocoon when designing its new 3D Cocooner printer.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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