Slideshow: More Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 3/27/2014 9 comments This is the fourth blog in an occasional series on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This time, we'll tell you about architects 3D printing with ice and marble, some firsts in 3D printing titanium, and a university R&D team with a faster way to print multimaterial objects.
Slideshow: Drop-in Jet Biofuels Becoming a Reality
Engineering Materials 3/25/2014 16 comments Drop-in jet biofuels have started becoming a reality during the last year. Along with major deals between airlines, engine makers, and fuel producers, one main source may turn out to be renewable diesel already used in ground vehicles, which could make prices competitive with fossil jet fuels.
My Life as a FIRST Robotics Mentor
STEM Connection 3/25/2014 4 comments When you experience the energy of FIRST through the students you’re mentoring, you discover that it’s one of the more fun things you can do with your spare time. I encourage you to find a team and help out. You’ll discover that the students who participate are first-rate, dedicated, responsible, and creative. And if you’re already involved with a FIRST team, thank you.
Complete Your Security & Loss Prevention Strategy
Guest Blogs 3/24/2014 5 comments Cyber-attacks and security have become a regular topic in the media because criminal hackers pose a perpetual threat to any company’s secure data. They present a larger dilemma in that hackers persistently develop new methods to steal sensitive data by looking for any vulnerable spots in a system.
Obama Announces 2 New Innovation Hubs
Blog 3/24/2014 3 comments In an effort to boost US manufacturing, President Obama recently announced the opening of two new manufacturing innovation hubs -- in Chicago and Detroit. The hubs will serve as institutions to increase manufacturing technology in the US and will create local jobs for middle-class workers.
Picking the Right Processor Is Crucial
Blog 3/21/2014 30 comments We’ve put together a series of classes in our Continuing Education Center that looks at the PIC family of microcontrollers. The lecture series is named Pick (and Implement) the Right PIC MCU.
Misapplied Gauges Can Lead to Crisis
Guest Blogs 3/21/2014 8 comments A lot of safety appears to center on gauges. There's a reason for that, and it's in the name. In the engineering sense, when something is being gauged, it's usually a measurement relating to safe operating levels.
Video: Is the MX3D-Metal the Future of 3D Printing?
Blog 3/20/2014 11 comments Unlike many of the 3D printers available, the MX3D printers can work around a part rather than building it straight up. Using such techniques, the printer can print objects on surfaces with angles and slopes or even directly onto walls. In addition, it can print curves and shapes with much more precision and accuracy.
Video: Virtual Reality Makes Human-Robot Interaction Safer
Blog 3/20/2014 19 comments Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to bridge the distance between humans and industrial robots, not in the real world, but in the virtual one. They have created a way to make these types of interactions safer through a virtual reality environment that enables humans to work closely with robots without being near them.
The Customer Is Not Always Right
Sherlock Ohms 3/20/2014 17 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.
3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
Blog 3/19/2014 24 comments A research team in the lab of Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a prototype for a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable membrane that can give doctors feedback about irregularities occurring inside someone's heart.
Shrimp Shells Make Compostable, Moldable Bioplastic
Engineering Materials 3/18/2014 15 comments Wyss Institute researchers at Harvard have created a low-cost, biodegradable plastic made from shrimp shells that can be used to mass-produce 3D compostable consumer goods, using injection molding or casting processes.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 3/17/2014 42 comments Does it sound like magic? It's not. You can 3D-print with wood filaments right now, using a choice of colors and filament widths. Objects made from these materials range from things resembling plastic or lumber to stunningly beautiful art pieces that look just like the real thing.
EcoVolt Technology Transforms Beer Into Energy
Blog 3/13/2014 21 comments Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed a solution called EcoVolt that uses bioelectrochemistry to treat wastewater so it can be turned into electricity. The company is targeting the beverage industry to convert waste from making beer and wine into energy breweries and wineries can use to run their operations.
Slideshow: 3D-Printed Carbon Composite Yacht Model
Engineering Materials 3/13/2014 7 comments CRP Technology has 3D-printed a 1:14 scale model of a yacht in carbon fiber composites to demonstrate the possibilities and give a boost to boat design. The material and process are also used for under-hood motorsport applications and in aerospace.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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