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).
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 3 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?
Babak Parviz Goes Through the Glass
Chris Wiltz 1/22/2015 3 comments Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award winner Babak Parviz on his new gig at Amazon, the origins of Google Glass and the Smart Contact Lens, and why humanities, not tech, is the future.
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.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 1/16/2015 6 comments A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
How Do You Get Started Designing with FPGAs? Here’s How
Guest Blogs 1/16/2015 2 comments If you are interested in adding FPGA technology to you engineering toolkit, grab some free tools and an evaluation kit and get started on your own FPGA project. It never hurts to expand your engineering toolbox, and FPGAs are only going to become more popular over the next few years.
Tiny Bots Teach Your Kid to Code
STEM Connection 1/14/2015 3 comments While many would balk at the idea of robots looking after children not many could argue against robots educating the younger generation to code. After all, the world they are growing up in depends on it, and it’s still not -- for the most part -- being taught or mandated in schools. There’s even an argument to be made that computer literacy is becoming as important in today’s world as traditional literacy.
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.
CES 2015: Jamstik – the Guitar for iOS
Blog 1/7/2015 Post a comment Remember when Guitar Hero used to be a thing? No? Well, that might be because you fancy yourself a real musician. But for those who want something in between the completely simulated and completely authentic guitar experience, there’s Jamstik, ¬a MIDI guitar controller designed to interface with the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
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!
Cold Flow Analysis for Diesel Engine Optimization
Guest Blogs 12/23/2014 3 comments The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
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.
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.
Video: ESA Plans 3D-Printed Moon Base
Engineering Materials 12/12/2014 8 comments The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
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