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).
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.
The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 1/23/2015 2 comments 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?
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 1/22/2015 Post a comment Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
Gadget of the Year Won’t Spill Your Drinks
Gadget Freak 1/21/2015 8 comments The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
10 Places to Visit to Interest Your Kids in STEM
STEM Connection 1/16/2015 16 comments Scientific and engineering history is evident everywhere you look in our modern world, and there are a plethora of institutions, museums, facilities and other places that celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ideas and innovations.
2015 Trend Watch: The IoT Booms but Needs Standards
Blog 1/14/2015 Post a comment Whether you call it the IoT, the IIoT, Industry 4.0, or Advanced Manufacturing, it's coming on big in 2015, and it’s going to change the very nature of manufacturing, according to Manufacturing Trends to Watch, produced by Frost and Sullivan's Gil Manufacturing Leadership group.
Will Cheap Oil Boost Manufacturing?
Blog 1/12/2015 13 comments At the moment a barrel of oil is under $50. It may soon be under $30, quite a collapse from the $112 per barrel we saw just last summer. The oil crash is prompting a question: will low energy costs result in a rise in US manufacturing? While headlines suggest a coming boom for manufacturing, the story is actually mixed.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 1/12/2015 3 comments 3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
When Good Companies Make Bad Decisions
Blog 1/6/2015 19 comments Nearly every engineer has a story or two about mind-bogglingly stupid management decisions. The universality of this experience is one reason why Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons have enjoyed more than 25 years of popularity.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 1/5/2015 6 comments Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
Agile Robots Will Rule in 2015
Blog 12/30/2014 37 comments 2015 may become known as the year of the robot, just as 2014 was the year of connected everything. The recent shift in robotics is not centered on mammoth packaging or welding machines, but rather on small agile machines that are safe around humans.
Video: First Store Staffed Entirely by Telepresence Robots Opens in California
Blog 12/19/2014 36 comments The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 12/19/2014 6 comments An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 12/16/2014 10 comments Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Finalists
Blog 12/15/2014 Post a comment UBM Canon, the world’s leading advanced design and manufacturing industry resource, and Design News, are pleased to announce the finalists in the 2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards, a program that celebrates the companies, products, and people who are energizing North American design, engineering, and manufacturing.
Web Applications Are Ripe for Attack
Blog 12/8/2014 Post a comment Protecting web applications is a constant race to make sure security practices are a step ahead of attackers. Writing secure web application requires discipline, deep knowledge of web technologies, and coordination across disciplines throughout the development lifecycle. Learn how to secure web applications during the Design News CEC course, "An Introduction to Web application Security."
Sci-Fi Writers Schooled in Science
Blog 12/5/2014 6 comments Most science-fiction writers come to their subject well-schooled in the liberal arts, not science. Phillip K. Dick studied philosophy. Roger Zelazny picked up an MA from Columbia in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. A surprisingly small handful started out as professionals in technology. Here’s a look at the few classic science-fiction writers who were actually trained in science, be it physics, math, or engineering.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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.
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