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Blogs
Content posted in August 2011
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Maytag Monkeys May Send Me Back to Hand Washing
Made by Monkeys 
8/31/2011  15 comments
The keyboard on the dishwasher failed time after time. The solution may be life without a dishwasher.
Renewable Energy's Achilles' Heel Is Storage
Electronics News 
8/31/2011  46 comments
There's a push to phase out nuclear power. But is renewable energy ready for prime time?
The Case of the Low-Efficiency Beacon
Sherlock Ohms 
8/31/2011  6 comments
Engineers found a trend of low efficiency in standard tests with numerous returned beacons. Sherlock intervened to solve the problem.
SGI Dives Into Open-Source CFD Software
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/30/2011  9 comments
Along with trying to broaden the reach of CFD, SGI's acquisition of the open-source CFD software provider OpenCFD is just another part of the plan to reinvent itself with integrated technical computing solutions.
Bad Service Prompts Low-Tech Purchase
Made by Monkeys 
8/30/2011  20 comments
After suffering repeated repairs on a new washing machine, this customer sought out a low-tech replacement.
Ahhaproject Designs Bridge Function & Aesthetics
Guest Blogs 
8/29/2011  8 comments
Korean-based design firm Ahhaproject is creating innovative product designs for Electrolux and others.
Fukishima Disaster Holds Lessons for Engineers
Electronics News 
8/29/2011  27 comments
Nearly six months after a devastating earthquake rocked the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, engineers say the design lessons are starting to come into sharper focus.
3D-Printed Plane Takes Flight
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/29/2011  12 comments
SULSA, an unmanned air vehicle project initiated by the engineering department in Southampton University, is the first aircraft in flight built with select laser sintering (SLS) technology.
The Case of the Missing Tee Piece
Sherlock Ohms 
8/29/2011  6 comments
Sometimes what you're seeking is right under your nose -- or maybe another body part.
Ford, Toyota To Collaborate On Hybrid Powertrains
Blog 
8/26/2011  6 comments
The Ford-Toyota hybrid partnership is a logical way for the two giant automakers to develop the technology they both need to compete in the truck market.
SpaceClaim Stakes Manufacturing Claim
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/26/2011  6 comments
The latest SpaceClaim Engineer 2011+ release takes aim at bread-and-butter manufacturing applications, including NC machining, jig and fixture design, and sheet metal and mold manufacturing.
Hidden Hose Stymies Homeowner
Made by Monkeys 
8/26/2011  21 comments
Yet another story of a fridge with a monkey'd up water and ice dispenser.
Dassault Puts Inventor's 'Ice Dream' to 3D Simulation Test
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/25/2011  15 comments
Dassault Systèmes lends its arsenal of 3D modeling and simulation tools to help prove an eco-entrepreneur's dream of harvesting and transporting icebergs to solve the world's water shortage issues.
What's the Ideal EV Battery Size?
Automotive News 
8/25/2011  32 comments
As battery prices drop, automakers are likely to use bigger EV battery packs. But how big is big enough?
Turbulent Flow Versus Laminar Flow for Cooling
Sherlock Ohms 
8/25/2011  13 comments
What's best for cooling electronic containers? CFM or LFM? Let's call Sherlock Ohms.
Hackers Probe Medical Implants
Blog 
8/25/2011  7 comments
Attendees of Black Hat Technical Security Forum seem to be leaving computers behind and probing arcane security concerns. But the hacking of a microcontroller-powered medical implant may not be as crazy as it sounds.
Thin Films Could Boost Car Battery of Future
Automotive News 
8/24/2011  8 comments
University of Illinois professor Paul Braun has developed a battery structure that offers high power without sacrificing energy.
Autodesk Fuels Early Analysis With Simulation Offerings
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/24/2011  3 comments
Autodesk continues to push accessible simulation capabilities earlier into the design process with a pair of new offerings: a plastic modeling tool that integrates with Pro/ENGINEER and a labs project that tackles interactive wind tunnel testing.
Airbag Indicator Light Irks Vehicle Owner
Made by Monkeys 
8/24/2011  20 comments
Just how heavy do you have to be to avoid the "airbag disabled" indicator? Ask the monkeys.
The Case of the Sunday Morning Squawking
Sherlock Ohms 
8/23/2011  10 comments
Every time the pastor used the church's new sound system, it squawked and crackled.
Wireless Sensor Nets Make Better Economic Case
Blog 
8/23/2011  11 comments
Wireless sensor networks are more reasonable to deploy in many vertical domains than they were a decade ago, but market analysts say the jury's still out on which domains will see sensor networks become commonplace soon.
Keep Your Engineering Skills up to Date
Mechatronics Zone 
8/23/2011  14 comments
Contributing Technical Editor Jon Titus shares his thoughts on how to stay current in a competitive job market.
Autodesk Launches AutoCAD Products for Mac
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/22/2011  5 comments
Citing overwhelming user demand, Autodesk launched a trio of AutoCAD products built specifically for Mac OS X Lion, including AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac, AutoCAD LT for the Mac, and AutoCAD WS for the Mac.
Manufacturers Should Also Practice Common Courtesy
Guest Blogs 
8/22/2011  4 comments
Blogger TJ McDermott says he is stymied by yet another system where LEDs indicating inputs and outputs "seem to have absolutely no correlation to program numbers."
Rolls-Royce Tests Electric Car
Automotive News 
8/19/2011  14 comments
Early feedback on the new Rolls-Royce electric concept car shows that drivers like the power and quiet performance, but consider driving range to be an issue.
The Case of the Buried Electrical Box
Sherlock Ohms 
8/19/2011  16 comments
The drywall crew buried the electrical box, so Sherlock had to figure out how to find it without ripping up the drywall.
ASU Gets Hands-On With Engineering Curriculum
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/19/2011  15 comments
To provide students with a practical approach to aerospace engineering education, Arizona State University has modified its curriculum with a hands-on approach to learning, including employing The MathWorks tools for real-world problem solving.
Bringing FPGAs to Mechanical Engineers
Electronics News 
8/18/2011  1 comment
Xilinx Inc. and National Instruments are trying to make it easier for mechanical engineers and other "domain experts" to employ field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
My Robot Nation Advances 3D Printing
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/18/2011  14 comments
To address the content creation bottleneck surrounding the democratization of 3D printing, Z Corp has teamed up with Kodama Studios and Offload Studios on a new browser-based service that makes it easy to create and produce 3D printed designs.
Do You Sympathize With the Automakers?
Automotive News 
8/17/2011  38 comments
California's zero-emission vehicle mandate could hurt automakers, but do we care?
If It Isn't Broken, Don't Replace It
Made by Monkeys 
8/17/2011  15 comments
The engineering on new appliances seems to be more monkey-prone than the engineering on older ones.
Gadget Freak Case #192: The Ultimate Wireless Volume Control
Gadget Freak 
8/17/2011  19 comments
Andrew Morris decided the usual wireless volume controls don’t offer enough functionality, so he created the ultimate volume control that connects between a computer or MP3 player and an amplified speaker system.
An Unexpected Failure Mechanism
Mechatronics Zone 
8/17/2011  20 comments
The most solid part of a device can fail even though we test it thoroughly and don't expect it to fail over the life of a product.
Video: Our Prius Plug-In Test Drive
Automotive News 
8/16/2011  20 comments
Design News editor Chuck Murray drove a pre-production version of the Prius plug-in, and the good news is that it’s a sensible alternative-fuel vehicle.
Road to ESC Boston: Samsung Galaxy Tablet Teardown
Wolfe's Den 
8/16/2011  2 comments
Here's a Samsung Galaxy Tablet teardown video, as a teaser for ESC Boston, which is coming to the Hynes Convention Center, September 26 through 29.
The Case of the Shortened Thermocouple
Sherlock Ohms 
8/16/2011  9 comments
The heat weld stopped working. The factory shut down. Time for Sherlock to investigate the cause.
Parallels Advances Virtualization for Engineering Apps
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/16/2011  2 comments
Parallels Workstation 6 Extreme leverages Intel's direct assignment technology to make virtualization a more viable option for graphics-rich CAD and CAE applications.
Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
Made by Monkeys 
8/15/2011  17 comments
Three months after my girlfriend’s daughter purchased a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 45,000 miles in 2009, per our recommendation, the power steering stopped working, intermittently.
Vistagy Survey Benchmarks Composites Best-Practices
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/15/2011  4 comments
While use of composites is on the rise across industries, a good number of companies still need to boost their knowledge and domain expertise around design and manufacturing, according to a recent survey.
Shape-Shifting Materials Are Packages of Future
Wolfe's Den 
8/15/2011  14 comments
Intel is developing transparent silicon dioxide hemispheres that can shift their shapes under control of electric currents.
3D-Printed Stool Holds 220 Pounds
Engineering Materials 
8/12/2011  9 comments
In a demonstration of the rapidly growing capabilities of the 3D printing process, Objet printed a stool that folds and holds more than 220 pounds.
The Dawning of the Office Robot
Electronics News 
8/12/2011  11 comments
Anybots' QB wants to be your avatar - and make business travel obsolete.
Large Manufacturers Need Common Sense, Too
Guest Blogs 
8/12/2011  10 comments
A major industrial controls manufacturer is lacking some basic common sense.
SparkFun Inventors Kit Is 'Clever'
Gadget Freak 
8/12/2011  7 comments
Gadget Freak blogger Steve Ravet recently picked up a SparkFun inventors kit for Arduino. Though his preferred development hardware is mbed, he was impressed.
The Case of the Missing Machines
Sherlock Ohms 
8/11/2011  7 comments
Sometimes the requirements of a large, tier-one customer are demanding, but this challenge was over the top.
PTC Adds 2D Sketch Tool to Creo Lineup
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/11/2011  4 comments
PTC has released Creo Sketch, a free app that mimics the "napkin sketch" as a way to help users quickly and easily capture ideas and design concepts.
Composite Mesh Could House Solar Panels
Guest Blogs 
8/11/2011  5 comments
A functional composite woven textile mesh may be used to transform a major Australian eyesore into a design masterpiece at a cost of around $16.5 million.
Science Grabs Spotlight in Deadliest Warrior
CAD/CAM Corner 
8/10/2011  4 comments
The latest season puts a greater emphasis on the science, engineering, and testing that goes into ultimately deciding each episode's winner.
Engineering Schools Dominate 'Unhappiness' List
Electronics News 
8/10/2011  14 comments
According to a Princeton Review survey, long study hours and poor communication lead to student gloom.
My BMW Remembered Bad Settings
Made by Monkeys 
8/10/2011  11 comments
The memory settings for mirrors and seats on the 2002 BMW X5 SUV are a mess tangled up by monkeys.
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