Solar Impulse 2 Preps for Round-the-World Flight
Engineering Materials 1/29/2015 3 comments The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
Feds Launch Composites Innovation Center
News 1/26/2015 3 comments A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
Itís 2015. Whereís My Mr. Fusion?
Blog 1/20/2015 7 comments A quick look out the window confirms that flying cars and levitating skateboards, while they actually exist, are still not commonplace. We donít have transparent aluminum yet, either.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 1/16/2015 4 comments A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
Lightweight Metals Research and Innovation Center Opens Today
News 1/15/2015 5 comments A lightweight metals research consortium formed last year as part of President Barack Obamaís national manufacturing innovation initiatives will open its research facility in Detroit today, marking the official start of a federally supported effort to commercialize new, advanced manufacturing technology in the automotive, military, and aerospace industries.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 1/12/2015 3 comments 3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
NASA Installs Giant Composite Research Robot
Engineering Materials 12/15/2014 8 comments NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
Video: ESA Plans 3D-Printed Moon Base
Engineering Materials 12/12/2014 8 comments The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
3D Printing Space-Worthy Satellite Parts
Engineering Materials 12/9/2014 1 comment Two teams, one based in the US and one in Europe, have 3D printed space-worthy support structures for satellite antenna arrays. These aren't prototypes: they're fully functioning antenna supports that will operate while exposed to the harsh temperatures and radiation of outer space.
3D Printing Stars at Euromold Show
News 12/8/2014 3 comments While most Americans were taking time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, 3D printer makers showed off their new systems, services, and materials at Germany's Euromold show.
Orion Takes One Small Step Toward Mars
News 12/5/2014 19 comments This morningís liftoff of NASAís Orion is the first step in what is expected to be a long and fabled history for the spacecraft. The deep-space craft, launched into orbit on a Delta IV rocket at 7:05 a.m. today, could put astronauts back on the moon in 2020 and take them to Mars by 2030.
Sci-Fi Writers Schooled in Science
Blog 12/5/2014 6 comments Most science-fiction writers come to their subject well-schooled in the liberal arts, not science. Phillip K. Dick studied philosophy. Roger Zelazny picked up an MA from Columbia in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. A surprisingly small handful started out as professionals in technology. Hereís a look at the few classic science-fiction writers who were actually trained in science, be it physics, math, or engineering.
20 Great Engineers of the Early 20th Century
Blog 12/1/2014 22 comments Hereís a look at some of the notable engineers who contributed significantly to engineering advancements during the first half of the 20th Century, a period often called the golden era of engineering. Some well-known engineering figures such as Edison, Tesla, and the Wright Brothers are on the list, but we have also included a few lesser-known but still significant engineers.
HP's 3D Printing Plans Still Seem a Little Out of Reach
Engineering Materials 11/24/2014 5 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.
Team Sigma's Steady-Cam Quadcopter
DNTV 11/21/2014 2 comments This video was the culmination of a 10-week project assigned to small groups of mechanical engineering students at Cal Poly Pomona to complete their Advanced Machine Design class.
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.
Class Aims to Explain Analog Design Issues
Electronics News 11/11/2014 2 comments If youíre an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then youíll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, ďAnalog Design for the Digital World,Ē running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
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.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 11/6/2014 30 comments This is the article your manager doesnít want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Donít keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Festo Builds a Better Dragonfly
Electronics News 11/6/2014 6 comments Combining nine electric motors with sensors, a microcontroller, and a lightweight carbon-fiber frame, engineers from Festo Corp. have created a mechanical dragonfly that can master more flight maneuvers than an airplane, helicopter, or glider.
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).
HP Finally Reveals 3D Printing Plans
Engineering Materials 10/31/2014 8 comments After a year or so of missteps, false starts, retractions, and postponements, inkjet office printer giant Hewlett-Packard has finally revealed just what it plans to do in 3D printing.
Windowless Planes: The Future of Flight or Fright?
Blog 10/28/2014 76 comments Would you fly in a plane that had no windows? British developers at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) believe that taking out the tiny porthole windows in planes and replacing them with giant flexible OLED screens is the future of flight, and posit it could even become a reality in less than 10 years.
10 Talented Robot Arms & Hands
Engineering Materials 10/27/2014 14 comments We've found an amazing variety of robot hands & arms in medicine, space, and service robots, as well as R&D and assembly. Some are based on industrial designs modified for speed or dexterity, while others more closely emulate human movements, as well as human size and shape.
Europeís Great Forest Drone Race
Blog 10/27/2014 8 comments Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, itís two drones racing each other through a forest, and it is, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. Not seeing the forest for the trees can be a bad thing in life, but for drones, it turns out to be a decidedly good thing.
Metal & Ceramic Matrix Composites Beat the Heat
Features 10/24/2014 2 comments Engineers are looking more to metal matrix and ceramic matrix composites to solve design & materials problems in thermal management and lighten up industrial turbines and jet engines, as well as traditional aerospace & defense uses.
How to Design Better User Interfaces
Electronics News 10/24/2014 3 comments If youíre designing a handheld device or industrial machine that will employ a user interface, then youíll want to check out the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center course, "Engineering Principles Behind Advanced User Interface Technologies.Ē
Plastics Can Do Almost Any Job -- Even Yours
Engineering Materials 10/22/2014 6 comments 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.
3D-Printed Telescope Takes (Nice!) Pix of the Moon
Engineering Materials 10/21/2014 22 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).
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 10/20/2014 26 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.
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!
MSC Software Spiffs Up Its CAE
Blog 10/16/2014 2 comments A recent example of a major CAE revamp is MSC Apex, released last month by MSC Software Corp. In a discussion with Design News, MSC executives noted that its next-generation platform is designed to substantially reduce CAE modeling and process time, ďin some cases from weeks down to hours.Ē
Understanding the Hardness of Metals
Blog 10/13/2014 8 comments When designing metal parts, it's important to specify their hardness. However, many engineers have only a shaky understanding of what hardness actually is, or how it's measured. This article helps clear up that confusion.
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.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that donít. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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