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Content tagged with Materials & Assembly posted in May 2014
Structural Techniques Promise Better Ultracapacitors
Blog 
5/29/2014  6 comments
George Washington University's Micro-Propulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory have created high-performance ultracapacitors using a combination of nanotubes and graphene.
Fog-Harvesting Mesh Provides Clean Drinking Water
Blog 
5/28/2014  26 comments
MIT researchers developed a process through which people “harvest” portable water by collecting water droplets from fog. MIT’s spin on traditional methods is expected to increase efficiency 500 times over, bringing clean, drinkable water to the arid regions that need it most.
A Soldering Conundrum
Sherlock Ohms 
5/28/2014  15 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.
Slideshow: Airbus Launches All-Composite, All-Electric Plane
Engineering Materials 
5/27/2014  79 comments
Airbus Group's all-electric, all-composite training aircraft took its first public flight last month during the company's E-Aircraft Day in Bordeaux, France. The experimental aircraft was designed and built as a technology demonstrator for small planes used to train pilots.
20 Ways to Boost Fuel Efficiency
Electronic News & Comment 
5/21/2014  47 comments
From turbochargers and electric motors, to motor-generators and air conditioning compressors, we present some of the best fuel-sipping innovations.
This Watch Lets You Feel the Time
Blog 
5/21/2014  9 comments
If you or someone you know is vision impaired, you know how difficult it can be to do something as simple as check the time. Eone Timepieces recently developed a universal timepiece to address this issue, which will likely change the way watches are designed for the blind.
BMW Unveils Solar-Energy Harvesting Carport
Blog 
5/21/2014  26 comments
BMW and Solarwatt have unveiled the Solarwatt Carport System, which includes a rooftop and a micro-generation system for households in addition to generating solar energy to charge the vehicles.
Parts Commonality Can Make for Big Recall Headaches
Electronic News & Comment 
5/20/2014  12 comments
Economies of scale can cut manufacturing and development costs, but engineers who grow too fond of using common parts would do well to consider the recent recall numbers of General Motors.
BASF Reveals More BMWi3 Materials
Engineering Materials 
5/20/2014  9 comments
The BMW i3's carbon fiber composite breakthroughs include contributions from several suppliers. BASF, which already announced its carbon composite rear seat pan, recently said more of its plastics and composites play a role in several parts of the car, some of which are firsts in a production vehicle.
Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary
Blog 
5/19/2014  52 comments
Here are the top 15 engineering schools, ranked by the average starting salaries of their graduates. The list also show each school's mid-career average salary.
3D Printing Needs to Open Up
Engineering Materials 
5/19/2014  13 comments
The prototyping-based models 3D printing has used for 30 years must change if the industry is to continue growing and shift to production parts, says a new Lux Research study.
Slideshow: Plastics Showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo
Engineering Materials 
5/16/2014  15 comments
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 show in Hamburg, many companies got a chance to showcase their plastics for a variety of applications in aircraft interiors. Some introduced new materials. Others announced new applications or qualifications for their products.
Video: World's Fastest RC Racer
Blog 
5/16/2014  9 comments
Nic Case has beat his own land speed record with the world’s fastest RC car. This time he hit 188 MPH!
Video: Microsoft Reveals Motion Sensor Keyboard
Blog 
5/14/2014  8 comments
Combining simple proximity sensors into a keyboard, Microsoft Research creates a type-hover-swipe keyboard. Unfortunately, it's just a prototype.
TinkerBots Gives Tots a Robotic Building Kit
STEM Connection 
5/14/2014  21 comments
Two German engineers have created a kit that lets kids build robots from individual modules in much the same way they snap Legos together.
Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau
Engineering Materials 
5/13/2014  18 comments
Not long after 3D printing leader Stratasys bought two service bureaus, rapid prototyping service bureau extraordinaire Proto Labs has embraced the technology by buying a service bureau focused solely on additive manufacturing. Before this acquisition, Proto Labs has concentrated on CNC machining and injection molding.
Video: Connecticut Science Center Exhibit Gets Second Wind
Blog 
5/13/2014  11 comments
An exhibition that simulates what it’s like for people to use wind to steer sailboats at the Connecticut Science Center got some new wind in its sails, literally, courtesy of a technology facelift by ebm-papst.
Wearable Tech Meets the IoT Meets the Cloud
Blog 
5/12/2014  4 comments
A number of tech trends, including the IoT, cloud computing, and wearable technology, are converging as they expand.
Aerospace-Grade Composites Will Repair Themselves
Engineering Materials 
5/12/2014  35 comments
Wouldn't it be cool if fiber-reinforced composites could repair themselves? Engineers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology think they've found a way to do it.
Video: Carbon Dioxide-Powered Robo Fish Moves Like the Real Thing
Blog 
5/12/2014  7 comments
A new soft robot that moves like a fish represents a key breakthrough in the movements and safety of robots, according to the team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that designed the robot.
Shrimp Club Inspires Stronger Aerospace Composite
Engineering Materials 
5/9/2014  6 comments
The carbon-fiber-reinforced composite is both stronger and resists impact better than similar materials typically used in aircraft.
Video: Product-Design Grads Target Medical Woes
Blog 
5/9/2014  3 comments
Inventions for people suffering from asthma, seasonal affective disorder, and arthritis are among those developed by the 2014 graduates of Drexel University’s first Product Design Program. The program requires its senior class to create products that can solve real-life problems.
10 Epic Flaws in Product Design Revealed
Blog 
5/8/2014  88 comments
You can’t please every consumer 100% of the time, and that is certainly the case when it comes to product design. No matter how carefully something is developed or packaged, and no matter how many times its designers test and retest it, there is often some flawed design element in the product that only rears its ugly head with prolonged consumer use.
Slideshow: Recyclable 3D Printing Material Beats ABS & PLA
Engineering Materials 
5/8/2014  4 comments
What if you could get a 3D printing filament that's strong like ABS, but easier to use like PLA, and more flexible than both? Better yet, what if it was also recyclable? Startup independent 3D printing materials company MadeSolid offers that material: PET+.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 
5/7/2014  10 comments
There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
No Matter Your Expertise, You Belong on the Vehicle Design
Blog 
5/7/2014  6 comments
Design News recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
Slideshow: Robotic Renovation at International Space Station
Blog 
5/6/2014  22 comments
Last month, NASA launched the rocket carrying the SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Robots aided in its berthing on the ISS, and satellite-launching robots will be sent up later this year.
21 Cars That Drove Into Movie History
Electronic News & Comment 
5/5/2014  34 comments
In some movies, the cars are the stars. American Graffiti and Fast and Furious, to name a couple, drew much of their audience appeal from their use of noisy internal combustion engines. But cars needn’t be racy to play prominent roles.
RoboClam Digs Deep to Monitor Ocean Floor
Engineering Materials 
5/5/2014  6 comments
A robotic razor clam -- actually a digging robot -- burrows into sand with high efficiency.
Manufacturing Jobs Keep Coming Back
Blog 
5/5/2014  27 comments
Using the term "reshoring" to describe the phenomenon, the Reshoring Initiative has been busy promoting a small but growing trend: the return of manufacturing to the US.
Inside Google's Project Tango Smartphone
Blog 
5/2/2014  7 comments
Project Tango, an Android-based phone prototype developed by Google, is designed to make 3D maps of the user's environment for integration into apps.
Blood Recycling Machine Uses 3D Printer
Blog 
5/2/2014  20 comments
Brightwake has collaborated with Stratasys to use the company’s Dimension 1200es 3D printer to create a machine called the Hemosep, which can collect blood spilled during surgery, concentrate the blood cells, and then transfuse them back into the patient.
12 Engineering Toys for Your Youth
Blog 
5/1/2014  30 comments
A review of some of today's top engineering toys shows a wide range of possibilities for budding engineers.
Video: Robotic Rock Star Jam Session
Blog 
5/1/2014  5 comments
The talented swarming robots that danced to light and music at Cannes in 2012 have learned how to play Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Star Spangled Banner, and The Carol of the Bells.
City X Sparks Interest in 3D Printing
CAD/CAM Corner 
5/1/2014  3 comments
The City X Project uses Cubify 3D printers in a three-day workshop to inspire kids' interest in making and 3D printing.




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It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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