The IoT Comes to Your Backyard
Blog 11/26/2014 1 comment The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Engineer Comic Works in PowerPoint
Blog 11/26/2014 1 comment If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
Engineering Disasters: Galloping Gertie – the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Blog 11/25/2014 5 comments The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
AutoDesk, Artec Make 3D Modeling Easier
Blog 11/25/2014 1 comment AutoDesk has teamed up with 3D scanner provider Artec to link CAD software and 3D scanners to make it faster and easier to create accurate 3D mesh models for printing or digital use.
HP's 3D Printing Plans Still Seem a Little Out of Reach
Engineering Materials 11/24/2014 2 comments HP revealed more of its 3D printing plans in a recent webinar. Senior vice president of inkjet and graphics solution business Stephen Nigro spoke about how the technology works and expanded on HP's vision of open collaboration to commercialize its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology for end-production, and open collaboration on new materials. He also said HP will create software to help users decide when to use Multi Jet Fusion versus conventional subtractive manufacturing.
van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 11/21/2014 19 comments The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
Desert Scorpions Inspire Abrasion-Resistant Surfaces
Blog 11/20/2014 4 comments For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
Video: Bamboo-Based Hybrid Wind Turbine Aimed at Developing World
Blog 11/20/2014 Post a comment Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
Take a Teardown 'Voyage' With Kindle
Blog 11/18/2014 6 comments Look and be amazed! Amazon has added a new tablet to its e-reader lineup, and this one aims to perfect the reading experience. But can it beat Amazon's rocky repairability record?
Keeping It Together With Bolted Joints
Blog 11/18/2014 5 comments It's not uncommon for thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be held together by $.10 screws. Because of their low cost and high degree of standardization, screws, studs, bolts, and nuts tend to be thought of as commodity products. As a result, bolted joints too often fail to receive the level of attention they deserve in engineering design.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 11/17/2014 9 comments Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
Video: German Kids Can Build Better LEGO Robots
STEM Connection 11/17/2014 4 comments Google has teamed up with the German research institute Fraunhofer IAIS to develop and offer OpenRoberta, which simplifies programming for LEGO Mindstorm robots for German kids and teachers and lets them control the robots from mobile devices.
Engineering Disasters: A Deadly Mistake in Kansas City
Electronics News 11/13/2014 50 comments More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 11/13/2014 4 comments At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
How Did a Concept Car Shed 26 Pounds?
Engineering Materials 11/12/2014 19 comments A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Do Good Engineers Make Good Engineering Managers?
Blog 11/11/2014 20 comments Being a good engineer is a prerequisite for being a good engineering manager. However, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition: not every good engineer will make a good engineering manager, or even want to be one in the first place. This is why good engineering managers are few and far between.
Would You Let Your Kids Play With Atomic Energy?
STEM Connection 11/10/2014 25 comments In the early 1950s, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab offered young people the opportunity to watch radioactive decay with a spinthariscope, measure the radioactivity of uranium ore with an electroscope, watch the tracks formed by alpha particles in a cloud chamber, and even prospect for uranium using a Geiger counter. Yikes!
3D Printing Super-Hard Metal Matrix Composites
Engineering Materials 11/7/2014 6 comments The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
30 Seconds With Festo's AquaJelly
Electronics News 11/7/2014 1 comment Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 11/6/2014 21 comments This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Astronauts to Get Out-of-this-World Java
Blog 11/5/2014 7 comments Dubbed ISSpresso, the world’s first galactic coffee machine has been designed by Italy's famous coffee company Lavazza, and engineered by a Turin-based engineering company, Argotec, to be rocketed into space early next year.
Students: NASA Wants You to Design its Next Space Tool
STEM Connection 11/5/2014 1 comment The winner of NASA's Design a Space Tool Challenge will watch the winning tool being printed on the 3D printer launched to the International Space Station in September. Students in grades K through 12 have until December 15 to submit entries.
Engineering Job Prospects 10 Years Out
Blog 11/4/2014 19 comments Job prospects for US engineers in the coming decade is a mixed bag, with some disciplines seeing a 27% growth rate (biomedical engineering), while others are flatlining (materials engineering).
How GM Failed Me
Blog 11/4/2014 31 comments I’m willing to believe that Mary Barra is sincere in her desire to fix GM’s mistakes. I’m even willing to forgive GM for the defective ignition switch. However, after the abysmal service my daughter and I received, it’s hard for me to imagine ever buying another GM product.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
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