Want to Live in a Wind Turbine?
Blog 2/16/2015 29 comments Ever look at the base structure of wind turbines and think it would be a cool place to live? Probably not, but a German designer from Dusseldorf has, and developed a concept to use that space to build apartments sustained by electricity generated by the turbines themselves.
Low Power Optimization Is Just Too Complicated
Guest Blogs 2/13/2015 Post a comment Remember when design decisions for optimizing low-power MCU applications were simple? All you needed to do was select when to put the MCU into the low-power mode and when to wake it up. Once it was awake, you just ran the required code as quickly as possible. Simple, right? Well, these days designing for power efficiency isn’t so simple. Why is that the case?
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 2/13/2015 Post a comment As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
IIoT Top of Mind at Manufacturing Show
Blog 2/12/2015 1 comment Manufacturing professionals at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim this week discussed the opportunities and dangers of the Industrial Internet of Things.
Materials Get Tough & Light at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 2/12/2015 Post a comment Suppliers at MD&M West and PLASTEC West are talking about developing new materials and processes for wearable medical devices and more intricate compact devices, new sterilization methods, more applications where plastics replace metal, and expanding test data for selecting materials for single-use applications.
IIoT Blooms with Applications and Possibilities
Blog 2/11/2015 3 comments Mass customization has already arrived. Buildings only light rooms when people are present. The farm soil will tell you when it needs water -- in fact, it will water itself. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is exploding with possibilities, and the deployment is now, not is some highly developed future.
What Do You Want to Know About Motor Control?
Guest Blogs 2/9/2015 2 comments Now is your chance to tell us what you would like to learn during the March 9-13 Continuing Education Center Class, "Implementing Motor Control Designs with MCUs and FPGAs: An Introduction and Update."
Apple Invests $2B in Solar-Powered Command Center
Blog 2/5/2015 18 comments Apple is turning a facility that was planned for sapphire-screen production into a solar-powered data center near Phoenix, Ariz. The company is investing $2 billion to turn the facility in Mesa into a command center for its data-center operations that relies 100% on renewable energy. The move is part of Apple’s larger plan to have all of its data centers run purely on clean energy in the next few years.
Deloitte Report Says 3D Printing Will Change Automotive Industry
Engineering Materials 2/5/2015 5 comments A new report from Deloitte University Press says incorporating 3D printing will transform automotive production, both in printed end-parts and in specialized tooling, by offering more control over both, as well as lighter-weight parts. Additional benefits include much faster production time and lower costs.
User Interface Designers: Start Seeing Colorblind People
Blog 2/3/2015 17 comments User interface designers ignore the fact that some form of colorblindness affects as much as 10% of the male population at their own risk. Relying on users to distinguish between colors that are fairly close together in the spectrum is a good way to ensure that at least some of them will have difficulties.
Get Your Wireless Demo Boards at Gadget Freak Workshop
Gadget Freak 2/2/2015 4 comments Followers of Design News’ Gadget Freak blogs will have the opportunity next week to take home a wireless remote demo package that can be used to build garage door openers, tire pressure monitors, keyless entry systems, and much more.
A Revealing Quiet
Sherlock Ohms 2/2/2015 4 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.
Special Effects, AM, & Oak Ridge Lab Gurus to Keynote AM Users Group Meeting
Engineering Materials 2/2/2015 Post a comment Three additive manufacturing movers and shakers will be keynote speakers at the upcoming 2015 Additive Manufacturing Users Group Education & Training Conference: Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, Lonnie Love of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Todd Grimm, president of independent AM consulting firm T. A. Grimm & Associates and AMUG board member.
New Composites Institute Chief Talks About Grand Challenges
Engineering Materials 1/30/2015 1 comment The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Solar Impulse 2 Preps for Round-the-World Flight
Engineering Materials 1/29/2015 9 comments The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
Milestones in VR and Augmented Reality
Blog 1/28/2015 10 comments With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
How to Handle Design Disagreements
Blog 1/28/2015 11 comments Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Learn How to Write Simple Embedded C Applications
Electronics News 1/28/2015 3 comments If you’re developing an embedded monitoring and control application, then you’ll want to take note of the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Embedded Development Using Microchip Microcontrollers and the CCS C Compiler."
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Two issues have been the bane of the plastics industry for as long as one can remember: The ban on plastic grocery bags and whether the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics such as polycarbonate and PVC is harmful to humans.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.