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Blogs
Content posted in October 2012
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Gadget Freaks That Go Bump in the Night
Gadget Freak 
10/31/2012  10 comments
To get into the spirit, we have pulled together some of our freakishly great Halloween-inspired gadgets.
Video: Wearable Sensor Builds Maps on the Fly
Blog 
10/31/2012  9 comments
MIT researchers have created a prototype of a wearable sensor that can create maps of a person's environment as they move through it. Researchers envision emergency responders using the device to navigate disaster sites.
Snafus With the Speakers
Made by Monkeys 
10/31/2012  38 comments
The owner of this audio equipment manufacturer discovered monkeys in his assembly operation.
Undersampling Shifts Signal Bandwidths
Mechatronics Zone 
10/31/2012  3 comments
In some cases, you can take advantage of aliasing and use it with a technique called under-sampling or bandwidth sampling.
Design Your Own Keynote for DESIGN West
Blog 
10/30/2012  4 comments
Preparations for DESIGN West, the center of the engineering universe, are well underway, and we want to know –- who would you like to hear deliver the keynote address?
Patent Pushes Back Against 3D Printing Piracy
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/30/2012  13 comments
A broad patent filed by Microsoft vet Nathan Myhrvold's company centers on a "manufacturing control system" that establishes digital rights management for 3D printing.
Plastic Return Containers Speed Automotive Assembly
Engineering Materials 
10/30/2012  10 comments
Closed-loop/reverse logistics systems using plastic return containers, which are fairly common in the auto industry, can even help speed assembly.
Docking Stations Let Sea Robots Recharge Batteries
Blog 
10/30/2012  9 comments
Battelle has developed a docking station where unmanned vessels can recharge batteries and share data with researchers during missions.
Slideshow: 'MEMS Inside the Machine'
Blog 
10/29/2012  8 comments
MEMS Technology Showcase, being held November 8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., highlights "MEMS Inside the Machine."
What's Your First 'Engineering' Story?
Blog 
10/29/2012  28 comments
Brand Director Rich Nass recalls his first engineering experience, in which he built a color organ with his dad. Do you remember yours?
PTC Quietly Releases Free Mathcad Version
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/29/2012  11 comments
Engineers looking to beef up their stockpile of free design tools should take a peek at PTC's new Mathcad Express, a free, somewhat limited version of its engineering calculation software.
Slideshow: MCU Fun With SparkFun
Blog 
10/26/2012  7 comments
SparkFun's Department of Education spent an evening in Boulder, Colo., this week, teaching people how to solder a microcontroller.
I Fixed My Broken Corvette for $0.00
Sherlock Ohms 
10/26/2012  25 comments
Rather than running up a huge repair bill, one savvy car owner found a Corvette forum and fixed the car himself.
The Datsun's Wiring Was a Mess
Made by Monkeys 
10/26/2012  19 comments
The Datsun 1200 was one wiring problem after another.
Implementing '5S' Programs in Manufacturing Facilities
Guest Blogs 
10/26/2012  9 comments
Many manufacturing facilities are following the path toward a "5S" workplace organizational and housekeeping methodology as part of continuous improvement or lean manufacturing processes.
3D Printing Shapes Factory of the Future
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/25/2012  14 comments
Shapeways is opening a state-of-the-art 3D printing facility that gives small engineering shops and hobbyists an affordable way to produce their designs.
Composite Conducts Heat to Remove Salt From Seawater
Engineering Materials 
10/25/2012  27 comments
A new composite material for saltwater desalination plant pipelines may help bring down the cost of the process.
MCUs Simplify Resolver-Based Motor Control Systems
Blog 
10/25/2012  13 comments
You can buy resolver-to-digital converters, but a fast microcontroller can do the job just as well.
Automated Requirements Traceability & Verification of Software: Who Cares? I Do
Guest Blogs 
10/25/2012  4 comments
Today’s device manufacturers face conflicting demands: Get the product out the door. Minimize development cost. Meet ever-changing customer requirements. Certify your device. The list goes on.
Vortex Surfing Technique Conserves Fuel
Blog 
10/24/2012  10 comments
Most people think of surfing as something done on water, but the Air Force is surfing the air to help its aircraft conserve fuel.
Glue & Sealant Gunk Up the Line
Sherlock Ohms 
10/24/2012  24 comments
The hot glue was a problem on the line, then came the goof-up with the sealant.
Products to Watch For
Blog 
10/24/2012  3 comments
In the Product Showcase section, we’ve just posted some products from IAR Systems, LDRA, and Analog Devices that need a little highlighting.
Slideshow: Scenes From Convergence 2012
Captain Hybrid 
10/23/2012  14 comments
The Society of Automotive Engineers' Convergence 2012 conference in Detroit provided a glimpse of future automotive electronics.
Lack of Qualified Engineering Candidates
Blog 
10/23/2012  59 comments
You have a 10V ideal voltage source in parallel with a 5Ω resistor. What is the impedance?
Disastrous Automotive Soldering Connections
Made by Monkeys 
10/23/2012  23 comments
Car after car had the same running lights problem -- poor soldering joints.
Materials Buyers Are Multitaskers
Engineering Materials 
10/23/2012  14 comments
Our recent Materials Survey shows that design engineers will be setting the parameters of many designs. Today's engineers have cross-discipline expertise and are involved in multiple job functions.
Nissan's Robotic Car Parks Itself, Picks You Up
Blog 
10/22/2012  36 comments
Nissan's NSC-2015 can find its own parking spot and return to pick you up after being summoned via mobile app.
Biosynthetic Micro-Robot Will Combine Cells, Electronics
Blog 
10/22/2012  14 comments
The Cyberplasm micro-robot will combine engineered cellular devices, electronics, and new methods of communicating and interfacing between biological and electronic components.
A Part Failure, Not a Design Flaw
Sherlock Ohms 
10/22/2012  6 comments
On the surface, it looked as if the scope failed due to a design flaw. Actually, it was a part failure.
Sourcing New Ball Screw Manufacturers
Guest Blogs 
10/22/2012  3 comments
Here are some key points that designers should be keenly aware of when sourcing new ball screw manufacturers.
Gadget Freak Case #228: Super LED Flashlight Hits 3,000 Lumens
Gadget Freak 
10/19/2012  47 comments
John Duffy, a 15-year-old Gadget Freak, has put together a powerful LED flashlight that runs at almost 30W and 3,000 lumens.
Engineer Solves Glass Slipper Dilemma
Blog 
10/19/2012  16 comments
What qualities would the glass in Cinderella's slippers need to have in order for her to walk and dance comfortably, and hold her weight?
Undersampling Changes Bandwidths
Mechatronics Zone 
10/19/2012  9 comments
Before you choose a frequency, you should understand how each upper and lower sampling frequency affects aliasing of signals in the 8MHz bandwidth.
Sea Turtle Robot Will Swim Autonomously
Blog 
10/19/2012  16 comments
Engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have built a robot modeled on a sea turtle that is capable of underwater autonomous navigation.
Addressing Ergonomics & Repetitive Motion Injuries in Manufacturing Facilities
Guest Blogs 
10/19/2012  8 comments
In today’s manufacturing environment, ergonomics and repetitive motion injuries are major issues that every business must address to insure production levels remain at expected levels, and employee injuries remain as infrequent as possible.
Video: MABEL Mimics Human Gait
Blog 
10/18/2012  6 comments
MABEL is a new humanoid robot developed by researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Michigan that can walk and climb stairs like a human.
Biofuel From Seaweed Saves Water, Land Area
Engineering Materials 
10/18/2012  16 comments
Making biofuels from seaweed is one of the latest ideas for creating sustainable fuels that don't compete with food crops. Two different teams, one US-led and one in India, are working on solutions.
Driving Efficiency With Hydraulic & Pneumatic Systems
Blog 
10/18/2012  7 comments
Hydraulic and pneumatic systems are delivering energy efficiency for plants. Find out more in a Design News Webcast on the topic.
SpaceClaim 2012+ Zeros In On Four Areas of CAD Use
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/18/2012  6 comments
Continuing its charter to open up 3D modeling to more uses cases, SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ adds enhancements in the areas of manufacturing, simulation, concept development, and mesh remodeling.
Rising Engineering Stars: Message Received Loud & Clear
Blog 
10/17/2012  11 comments
Design News is looking for rising engineering stars -- those who are influencing or have the potential to influence the design engineering community.
Battery Management Technology Could Boost EV Performance
Captain Hybrid 
10/17/2012  18 comments
Researchers are working on a math-based battery management technique that could dramatically cut charging times for electric vehicles, while boosting useable battery energy and power.
Siemens PLM Software Puts Acquisition Plans in Motion
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/17/2012  3 comments
Siemens PLM Software acquires Kineo CAM in a move that bolsters its PLM suite with motion optimization, collision avoidance, and path planning capabilities for both product design and manufacturing applications.
Interfacing Intelligent Sensors With Industrial Ethernet Networks
Blog 
10/17/2012  6 comments
While Industrial Ethernet has become the kingpin and standard for automation control networks, some devices such as smart sensors and actuators are relying on a simpler, point-to-point communications protocol to save on the cost, size, and complexity that an Ethernet solution requires.
Slideshow: Evolution of the Robotic Canadarm
Blog 
10/16/2012  29 comments
Canada's main contribution to the US Space Shuttle program has been the Canadian Space Agency robotic manipulator arms, Canadarm and Canadarm2. See how they have evolved.
Not So Simple Mirror Replacement
Made by Monkeys 
10/16/2012  34 comments
Replacing the side view mirror on the Nissan Frontier looks easy, until you have to find the cable connector.
3D Systems Bulks Up Scanning Piece of Its 3D Vision
CAD/CAM Corner 
10/16/2012  6 comments
In a bid to build out its vision for 3D content-to-print solutions, 3D Systems acquired Raidform, adding 3D scan-to-CAD and inspection software to its burgeoning arsenal of 3D tools.
3D Printing Flies High
Engineering Materials 
10/15/2012  15 comments
Materials and processes for creating 3D printed production parts from plastics, metals, and even carbon composites are on the horizon for aerospace applications.
These Fuses Melt in Water
Sherlock Ohms 
10/15/2012  32 comments
The new building came with a slew of electrical problems -- blown fuses and faulty phone lines.
Why Can't Engineers Get Good Jobs?
Blog 
10/15/2012  23 comments
In his new book, Peter Cappelli says many companies, overwhelmed by the flood of résumés they receive for each job posting, rely on computers to weed out the unqualified. This is hurting many applicants.
Slideshow: Machine-Made Cocktails
Blog 
10/12/2012  17 comments
The Inebriator, powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 microprocessor project board, makes mixing up the perfect cocktail seem effortless.
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