How it Works: E-Cigarettes
Blog 10/22/2014 10 comments In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
30 Seconds With Stratasys
Electronic News & Comment 10/22/2014 Post a comment Mac Cameron of Stratasys describes the company’s Connex3 technology, which allows users to 3D-print complex parts in one build with no assembly required.
Kindle Fire HD 6 Teardown
Blog 10/21/2014 4 comments Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
3D-Printed Telescope Takes (Nice!) Pix of the Moon
Engineering Materials 10/21/2014 8 comments The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
30 Seconds With Optimal Design
Electronic News & Comment 10/21/2014 1 comment At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
5G Will Drive Test Equipment Surge
Blog 10/21/2014 1 comment The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Lithium Battery Charges 70% in 2 Minutes
Blog 10/21/2014 13 comments Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 10/20/2014 18 comments Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
The Singing Telephone Switch
Sherlock Ohms 10/20/2014 9 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.
30 Seconds With 3DP Unlimited
Electronic News & Comment 10/20/2014 2 comments Melissa Cavanagh of 3DP Unlimited talked to Design News about the company’s large format 3D printer, during Medical Design and Manufacturing Midwest.
Gadget Freak Case #264: Drink Delivery Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum
Gadget Freak 10/17/2014 18 comments The DDV-IP is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on hot summer days. 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 user.
30 Seconds With iFixit
Electronic News & Comment 10/17/2014 7 comments Eric Doster of iFixit talks about the most surprising aspect of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 teardown. In a presentation at Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, iFixit gave the Surface Pro 3 a score of one (out of a possible 10) for repairability.
Get Your Gadget Freak On
Gadget Freak 10/16/2014 1 comment Design News and Allied Electronics have raised the stakes for our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000. Don't delay, enter today!
Corvette Z06: 0 to 60 in 2.95 Seconds
Electronic News & Comment 10/15/2014 43 comments Time was when a talented driver with a manual transmission could beat any car with an automatic transmission in a straight-line race. No more, though. In tests at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds near Detroit, the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 equipped with an automatic has turned 0-60 mph times of 2.95 seconds, making it about a quarter of a second faster than the same vehicle with a manual trans.
Top 3 Reasons to Outsource 3D Printing
Guest Blogs 10/14/2014 2 comments As additive manufacturing (including 3D printing) becomes increasingly popular among businesses as a quick and easy solution to creating and evaluating prototypes and end-use products, the debate about whether to outsource production or to purchase equipment for in-house use is at the forefront of industry discussions.
Sherlock Ohms Discovers the Backward ICs
Sherlock Ohms 10/13/2014 11 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.
Video: Tiny Humanoid Robot Flies Plane
Engineering Materials 10/13/2014 9 comments A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
China's Emerging 3D Printing Market Will Grow 4X
Engineering Materials 10/10/2014 12 comments Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
3D-Printed Robot Thwarts Drug Smugglers
Blog 10/10/2014 8 comments MIT researchers have used 3D printing to develop an underwater robot about the size of a football that can protect ports by scanning the hulls of ships for suspicious or illegal cargo.
How to Design an Embedded Web Server
Electronic News & Comment 10/9/2014 1 comment If there’s a microcontroller-based Web server in your future, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, "How to Build An Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial.”
NI's Online Condition Monitoring Improves Equipment Maintenance
Blog 10/9/2014 2 comments NI InsightCM Enterprise is a software solution National Instruments recently introduced to help companies gain insight into the health of their equipment. With years of experience in condition monitoring, NI developed NI InsightCM Enterprise as its first end-to-end software solution that addresses big analog data challenges and builds on the Industrial Internet of Things.
LEDs to Light Up Super Bowl
Electronic News & Comment 10/8/2014 16 comments More than 100 million viewers will see the Super Bowl in a new light in 2015, as the game is illuminated for the first time by light-emitting diodes.
How to Think Like an Engineer
Blog 10/8/2014 30 comments Most engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve design problems, but not much time thinking about how we think. Using analogies can help you come up with more, and possibly better, design ideas.
Top 20 US Graduate Engineering Programs
Blog 10/7/2014 7 comments As promised when we listed the top undergraduate engineering schools, here are the top 20 US engineering schools based on their graduate programs. We looked at a number of rankings and created an overall list based on an average.
Is Your Star Rising?
Blog 10/7/2014 1 comment Help Design News recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community. Nominate a Rising Engineering Star today.
What's the Big Deal About the Totem Headset?
CAD/CAM Corner 10/7/2014 12 comments Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are getting ready to explode onto the market and it appears all the heavy tech companies are trying to out-develop one another with better features than their competition. Fledgling start-up Vrvana has joined the fray.
Engineering Disasters: NASA’s Genesis Probe Got it Backwards
Blog 10/6/2014 22 comments The Genesis was a NASA probe designed to gather a sample of solar wind and return it to earth -- the first mission designed to bring samples back since the Apollo Program. Launched on August 8, 2004, the probe did a great job getting close enough to the sun to collect samples. But the return ride turned into a disaster.
Littelfuse Takes Its Message to EE Students
Electronic News & Comment 10/6/2014 7 comments In an attempt to deal with the insidious problems of over-voltage and over-current, engineers from Littelfuse Inc. are taking their message about circuit protection to engineering schools.
The Job Market: Robots vs. Humans
Engineering Materials 10/3/2014 6 comments Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
Stratasys Adds 3D Printing to Next-Gen Smart Appliances
Blog 10/3/2014 6 comments Stratasys will lend its 3D printing expertise to GE’s community effort to build the next-generation of home appliances. The 3D printing manufacturer and service provider is providing 3D printers as part of a new partnership of FirstBuild, an affiliate of GE that aims to use the ingenuity of technologists in an online community to build more intelligent appliances.
Flexible Solar Cell Can Be Woven Into Energy-Harvesting Fabric
Blog 10/2/2014 1 comment Many scientists have been working battery-free ways to power wearable electronics that can replace bulky battery packs, particularly through the use of energy-harvesting materials. Now a team of researchers in China have upped the game by developing a lightweight and flexible solar cell that can be woven into two-way energy-harvesting fabric.
Chew On This: Chin Strap Harvests Energy
Blog 10/1/2014 20 comments Researchers in Canada have developed a chin strap that harvests energy from chewing and can potentially power a digital earplug that can provide both protection and communication capabilities.
Siemens Furthers STEM Initiative in NC
STEM Connection 9/30/2014 2 comments Siemens PLM Software has made an in-kind donation of software to Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina for its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) Division.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.