The ‘Holy Grail’ for Lithium-Based Batteries
Blog 8/19/2014 5 comments Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
FPGAs Cut Subaru's Test Times
Electronic News & Comment 8/15/2014 4 comments If the design of Subaru’s XV Crosstrek Hybrid car is any indication, we may now be seeing the next new wrinkle in the evolution of automotive test simulation.
Can Plastic Bearings Outperform Metal Ones?
Blog 8/6/2014 7 comments Plastic bearings are replacing metal in some pretty tough jobs. Sometimes they're equally effective and reliable, and sometimes they actually outperform those parts. We'll tell you all about how this is possible in an upcoming Design News Focus on Fundamentals course.
Update: Intelligent Composites for Structural Monitoring
Engineering Materials 8/5/2014 5 comments Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Video: Fusion Window Loses 35% of Weight
News 7/22/2014 23 comments The rear window on Ford's Lightweight Concept vehicle, based on the Fusion model, is made with a material combination devised by SABIC that saves 35% of the weight. The car's overall weight is 25% lighter than a standard production 2013 Fusion.
10 of the World's Smartest Cities
Blog 7/21/2014 29 comments Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Mentor, XSe Aim to Accelerate Automotive Electronics Design
Electronic News & Comment 7/15/2014 3 comments Mentor Graphics acquisition of XS Embedded GmbH last week could be meaningful for automotive electronics engineers, potentially enabling them to accelerate design and verification of products ranging from infotainment packages to autonomous safety systems.
3D-Printed Steel Building Structures
Engineering Materials 7/2/2014 22 comments Structural engineers have developed a design method for 3D printing structural steel elements to be used in construction projects. Complex, individually designed pieces can be created far more efficiently, and costs and waste will be reduced.
15 Engineering Disciplines by Salary & Job Prospects
Blog 6/30/2014 33 comments Here’s a snapshot of the salaries and job prospects for engineering careers by discipline. These numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some professions such as biomedical engineering will see growth as high as 62% through 2020. Other disciplines do not look as promising.
Consumer-Grade 3D-Printable Metal Casting Resin
Engineering Materials 6/26/2014 12 comments MadeSolid is offering a 3D-printable casting resin for making small metal parts for things like jewelry. It costs a lot less than previous alternatives and can be used with multiple consumer-grade printers -- an industry first.
SABIC & Kringlan Develop Carbon Composite Wheel
Engineering Materials 6/25/2014 11 comments SABIC and Kringlan Composites are developing a thermoplastic carbon composite wheel with a matrix based on SABIC's ULTEM resin. Kringlan says its process is geared toward high volumes, short cycle times, and in-house recycling of production waste and end-of-life materials.
Use CFD to Design an Environmentally Friendly Car
Guest Blogs 6/23/2014 2 comments The use of CFD is more profound in automobile design because of the diverse physics involved. It can be used to optimize components for downsizing and reducing the environmental footprint while maintaining or improving operational efficiency.
Slideshow: igus's 3D-Printable Bearings Material
Engineering Materials 6/20/2014 5 comments igus is offering its tribological, integrated lubricant polymer in a filament for 3D-printing custom bearings, bushings, and prototypes. The Tribo-Filament is compatible with any filament fusion printer that has a heated nozzle and print bed, and uses ABS filaments.
Nissan Rolls Out Its 2nd Electric Vehicle
Captain Hybrid 6/19/2014 42 comments Taking aim at a market long believed to be well-suited for electric powertrains, Nissan Motor Co. has rolled out a battery-powered cargo van that it plans to sell in Europe and Japan.
Automotive Lightweighting Groups Get Serious
Engineering Materials 6/16/2014 7 comments Industry trade groups, materials manufacturers, and software companies are getting serious about helping automotive manufacturers with vehicle lightweighting. This spring, four different consortia and partnerships were formed.
Ford & Heinz Test Tomato-Based Plastic
Engineering Materials 6/13/2014 13 comments Ford and Heinz are testing bioplastics that use waste tomato fiber. Researchers have made some composites and are evaluating their properties, with the goal of making a strong, lightweight composite that can be used in a car's non-structural components.
Mobile Apps Speed Up Production
Guest Blogs 6/9/2014 4 comments A Detroit automaker was struggling with a semi-manual, labor-intensive parts receiving process. Workers had enter parts into a spreadsheet manually at a stationary workstation. This stopped the receiving process dead in its tracks. A better system was needed.
Slideshow: Make Way for Autonomous Cars
Electronic News & Comment 6/5/2014 29 comments Google’s recent announcement that it would produce approximately 100 self-driving cars came as a surprise to the general public, but it’s hardly a new idea within the confines of the auto industry.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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.