3D Pictures of Huge, Self-Assembled DNA Structures
Engineering Materials 4/15/2014 3 comments Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
Fraunhofer Designs Flexible Energy Harvesters for Wearable Tech
Blog 4/2/2014 2 comments The increasing interest and development of wearable electronics also is calling for new types of power sources that are flexible and compact enough to fit into these devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany are working on this problem with the design of a flexible energy harvester that can be manufactured through a low-cost printing process.
Slideshow: Bioplastics Concept Car Runs on Biofuel
News 3/28/2014 25 comments Plastics have been a big deal in automotive lightweighting for quite a while, but bioplastics not so much. Until now. The Biofore Concept Car, using biomaterials from Finnish manufacturer UPM and running on UPM's biodiesel, premiered at the Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month.
Slideshow: Drop-in Jet Biofuels Becoming a Reality
Engineering Materials 3/25/2014 16 comments Drop-in jet biofuels have started becoming a reality during the last year. Along with major deals between airlines, engine makers, and fuel producers, one main source may turn out to be renewable diesel already used in ground vehicles, which could make prices competitive with fossil jet fuels.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 3/17/2014 36 comments Does it sound like magic? It's not. You can 3D-print with wood filaments right now, using a choice of colors and filament widths. Objects made from these materials range from things resembling plastic or lumber to stunningly beautiful art pieces that look just like the real thing.
EcoVolt Technology Transforms Beer Into Energy
Blog 3/13/2014 21 comments Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed a solution called EcoVolt that uses bioelectrochemistry to treat wastewater so it can be turned into electricity. The company is targeting the beverage industry to convert waste from making beer and wine into energy breweries and wineries can use to run their operations.
Slideshow: Considering the History of Electric Cars...
Captain Hybrid 3/6/2014 37 comments California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
Hospitals Require Efficient, Low-Cost Electrical Power Distribution
Guest Blogs 2/28/2014 1 comment Engineers use efficiency enhancing products in hospitals that help cut down on utility costs and increase the efficiency of power distribution across the board. These installation devices can be high-voltage transformers and other circuits that enable a facility to get continuous power supply.
The Tesla Fires Are Fixable
Captain Hybrid 2/21/2014 57 comments By now, most followers of the electric car market know that another Tesla Model S caught fire in early February. The blaze happened in a homeowner’s garage in Toronto. After parking the car, the owner left his garage. Moments later, the smoke detector blared, the fire department was called, and the car was ruined. To date, no one knows why.
Slideshow: Pickups Roll at Chicago Auto Show
Electronic News & Comment 2/20/2014 38 comments The Chicago Auto Show has long been a haven for truck introductions, and this year’s edition was no exception. Chevrolet, Nissan, and Toyota all showed off new trucks, while competitors rolled out concept cars and production vehicles.
Obama Ratchets Up Support of Natural Gas Vehicles
News 2/6/2014 36 comments President Obama's State of the Union address last week contained a surprising reference to natural gas cars and trucks and omitted any mention of electric vehicles, leaving some to wonder whether the administration is embracing a slight shift in policy.
2013: Innovations in Automation & Control
Blog 1/27/2014 2 comments Each year, the Golden Mousetrap Awards offer the Design News editorial staff a chance to review the most innovative products of the previous year. In the automation and control area, the process also normally reveals some of the major trends in products and technologies that are making the biggest impacts in manufacturing, since the Golden Mousetrap is all about innovation and forwarding looking designs.
Bio-Battery Leverages Viruses to Power EV
Blog 1/3/2014 10 comments Scientists at MIT have developed a new bio-battery leveraging viruses that has two to three times better energy density than currently developed lithium-air batteries, the latter of which is being eyed as a top contender to power the future electric car.
Slideshow: Composites Go to Mars on MAVEN Spacecraft
Engineering Materials 12/13/2013 3 comments A spacecraft on its way to Mars is carrying core structures made with carbon-fiber composites. Launched November 18, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the first designed for exploring and understanding the red planet's upper atmosphere.
Report: Gasification R&D Focuses on Non-Recycled Plastics
Engineering Materials 11/26/2013 41 comments A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Is Cheap & Green for Plastics
Engineering Materials 11/11/2013 15 comments A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
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.
Linear Introduces Multi-source Energy-Harvesting Chip
Product News 9/16/2013 9 comments Linear Technology, a provider of circuits and power-management technology, has released a new multi-source energy-harvesting chip, the LTC3330, which can deliver up to 50mA of continuous output current to extend battery life when harvestable energy is available.
These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
PowerStream is deploying the microgrid at its headquarters to demonstrate how people can generate and distribute their own energy and make their homes and businesses more sustainable through renewables.
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