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 morning’s liftoff of NASA’s 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. Here’s 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 Here’s 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 you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” 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 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.
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.
Europe’s Great Forest Drone Race
Blog 10/27/2014 8 comments Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s 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 you’re designing a handheld device or industrial machine that will employ a user interface, then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center course, "Engineering Principles Behind Advanced User Interface Technologies.”
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, “in some cases from weeks down to hours.”
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.
China's Emerging 3D Printing Market Will Grow 4X
Engineering Materials 10/10/2014 12 comments Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
How to Think Like an Engineer
Blog 10/8/2014 31 comments Most engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve design problems, but not much time thinking about how we think. Using analogies can help you come up with more, and possibly better, design ideas.
IAPD Plastics Expo Gives Engineers Alternatives
Engineering Materials 10/8/2014 8 comments You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Top 20 US Graduate Engineering Programs
Blog 10/7/2014 8 comments As promised when we listed the top undergraduate engineering schools, here are the top 20 US engineering schools based on their graduate programs. We looked at a number of rankings and created an overall list based on an average.
Is Your Star Rising?
Blog 10/7/2014 1 comment Help Design News recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community. Nominate a Rising Engineering Star today.
Engineering Disasters: NASA’s Genesis Probe Got it Backwards
Blog 10/6/2014 22 comments The Genesis was a NASA probe designed to gather a sample of solar wind and return it to earth -- the first mission designed to bring samples back since the Apollo Program. Launched on August 8, 2004, the probe did a great job getting close enough to the sun to collect samples. But the return ride turned into a disaster.
Littelfuse Takes Its Message to EE Students
Electronics News 10/6/2014 8 comments In an attempt to deal with the insidious problems of over-voltage and over-current, engineers from Littelfuse Inc. are taking their message about circuit protection to engineering schools.
The Job Market: Robots vs. Humans
Engineering Materials 10/3/2014 6 comments Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
What makes this movie stand out from the typical high school sports story is that the teenagers are undocumented immigrants, and the big game is a NASA-sponsored marine robotics competition. Like many other Hollywood movies, however, Spare Parts only tells part of the story. What the film shows -- and doesn’t show -- raises important issues affecting STEM education in the US.
Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
Load dump occurs when a discharged battery is disconnected while the alternator is generating current and other loads remain on the alternator circuit. If left alone, the electrical spikes and transients will be transmitted along the power line, leading to malfunctions in individual electronics/sensors or permanent damage to the vehicle’s electronic system. Bottom line: An uncontrolled load dump threatens the overall safety and reliability of the vehicle.
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