NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 9/30/2013 8 comments NASA is on a mission to involve commercial suppliers in advancing human space flight. Jacobs Engineering, NASA's partner in getting technologies and materials human-rated for space, will give details at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Texas show.
Video: Baxter 2.0 Extends Robot's Reach
Engineering Materials 9/27/2013 14 comments A new software upgrade to Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot extends the innovative bot's reach, makes it easier to program more precisely, improves overall performance, and expands its uses in the small to medium-sized companies it was designed for.
Siemens Helps Student Engineers Race in the Outback
Guest Blogs 9/25/2013 6 comments Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan has built an electric vehicle, and are currently preparing for the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students will be blogging for Design News throughout the race.
Super-Slippery Coating Inspired by Carnivorous Plant
Engineering Materials 9/25/2013 21 comments A durable, completely transparent, super-slippery coating can turn regular glass into a material that doesn't stain, resists scratches, and repairs itself. It was inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant, coated with an ultra-slippery surface that slides insect victims into its depths.
Engineers Eye the Prize in Solar Car Road Challenge
STEM Connection 9/23/2013 6 comments Next month, a team of cars will travel 3,000 km in searing desert heat across Australia as part of a global road challenge. This contest is a bit different -- instead of using the usual combustible engines, all the cars in this challenge are solar-powered.
Spreading Excitement About Space Exploration
STEM Connection 9/20/2013 21 comments It's commonplace to hear engineers lament the small size of the NASA budget, the lack of a successor to the Space Shuttle, and the lack of a US heavy launch vehicle. We need to teach young people to have an optimistic view of the future of human space exploration.
Slideshow: 3D Printing in the Medical Cloud
Engineering Materials 9/19/2013 24 comments Medical professionals can use 3D Systems' secure cloud-based Bespoke Modeling service to create, edit, share, and print sophisticated, full-color, 3D anatomical models from CT scans, MRI scans, or other digital imaging and communications data.
Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures
Engineering Materials 9/17/2013 21 comments NASA is funding technology that would use robotics and 3D printing to construct parts of very large spacecraft and other structures in space. Doing this could reduce the cost and risk of building and launching systems and allow for bigger structures.
ESD Affects People, Too
Guest Blogs 9/13/2013 12 comments Electro-Static Discharge, while not necessarily permanently harmful to people, is still a pain. When possible, a machine design should handle ESD to prevent discharge through people or other equipment.
Slideshow: 3D Print, Scan, Copy & Fax in 1 Machine
Engineering Materials 9/10/2013 40 comments What if you could 3D scan and copy objects and fax your files as well as 3D print them – using only one machine? AIO Robotics' Zeus 3D printer, funded on Kickstarter, also scans objects, copies them, and faxes .STL files to a remote Zeus for printing.
Battery-Free AGVs Do the Heavy Lifting
Guest Blogs 9/5/2013 9 comments There will always be a need for battery-powered AGVs, especially where paths vary unpredictably and loads are light. But when heavy lifting is required and paths vary on a predictable basis, battery-free AGVs are best.
STEM 101: Give Students Access to 21st Century Tools
STEM Connection 9/4/2013 25 comments By freshman year of high school, more than 57 percent of students lose interest in pursuing STEM-related careers, and a recent report prepared by the White House indicates a lack of preparation and inspiration as key reasons why students lose interest in STEM.
3D-Printed Eyeglasses Are Fit for a King
Engineering Materials 9/3/2013 16 comments Dutch company LUXeXceL has developed a proprietary process to print plastic lenses and other non-imaging optical-quality components. The company has 3D-printed complete pairs of eyeglasses.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
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