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GE Aviation, Lockheed & Optomec Star in Metal 3D Printing Project
Engineering Materials 
7/25/2014  1 comment
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
3D Printing Ultra-Strong Polymers for End Production
Features 
7/24/2014  Post a comment
3D printing production-grade parts faces major challenges in processes and qualification to support engineering materials like carbon composites. Here are some novel solutions.
Will Robots Give Jobs or Take Them Away?
Engineering Materials 
7/21/2014  30 comments
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
Robot Can Detect Gas Pipe Leaks
Engineering Materials 
7/18/2014  16 comments
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
3D-Printed Rocket Engine Fires Up
Engineering Materials 
7/14/2014  19 comments
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Slideshow: Electric Motorcycles Get Revved
Electronic News & Comment 
7/10/2014  34 comments
From superbikes to cargo cycles, we offer a glimpse of the strange new world of electric motorcycles.
Video: Wear Your Own Pair of Robot Arms
Engineering Materials 
7/10/2014  49 comments
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
DARPA Brings Mobile Hotspots to Soldiers
Blog 
7/9/2014  5 comments
In an effort to bring a mobile hotspot to soldiers serving in remote locations, DARPA is looking to outfit UAVs with a "millimeter-wave communications backhaul network" capable of providing 1 Gbps.
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.
10 Nautical Robots Brave the High Seas
Engineering Materials 
7/1/2014  8 comments
Some of the latest nautical robots take a variety of forms. They can look like small boats, tiny four-wheeled vehicles, or realistic fish. One design from Sandia Labs will be able to transform itself from a swimming robot to one that flies through the air or uses wheels on land.
15 Engineering Disciplines by Salary & Job Prospects
Blog 
6/30/2014  33 comments
Hereís 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.
Design Renaissance in Manufacturing
Features 
6/30/2014  4 comments
Technology has long been a critical factor in designing products for manufacturing, and that technology has come into full bloom in the last couple years.
Video: Roombots Transform Into Reconfigurable Furniture
News 
6/23/2014  17 comments
The Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed robotic blocks that autonomously self-assemble to form reconfigurable, adaptive furniture.
The IIoT: Itís Everywhere
Blog 
6/18/2014  8 comments
The Industrial Internet of Things is becoming an important factor in the growing efficiency and optimization of plants.
Hands Up! Your Money or Your Data
Electronic News & Comment 
6/17/2014  45 comments
Ransomware can lock up your data unless you pay to get it back. But there's nothing you can do about it.
10 Uses for Drones That Could Change Your Opinion of Them
Blog 
6/12/2014  52 comments
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are still largely tied in public image to their use to deliver deadly missiles during military engagements. This has tarnished their reputation for many people, but that is currently changing as drones move beyond their military use and more and more into the commercial sector.
Climb Glass Walls Like a Gecko With DARPA Tech
Engineering Materials 
6/12/2014  8 comments
For the first time ever, a human has scaled a glass wall using an adhesive inspired by gecko feet. The DARPA-funded research that developed the polymer microstructure technology on handheld paddles is part of the agency's Z-Man program to help soldiers in urban environments.
Covert Planes Rely on Stealth Band Pass Filter Designs
Features 
6/11/2014  1 comment
For stealth airplanes and ships, detection avoidance methods need to work with all the critical onboard instruments. Simulation is making it easier for the Altran Group to design an optimized frequency selective surface pattern.
10 Robots You Don't Want to Mess With
Engineering Materials 
6/10/2014  75 comments
Our current crop of military robots includes small, tank-like unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), more specialized types like large autonomous vehicles, and both large and small winged robots, one carrying its own fuel cell.
Memory Polymers Are Stronger, Cheaper & Recyclable
Engineering Materials 
6/6/2014  7 comments
Stronger, lighter, cheaper, self-healing, and recyclable, too? IBM says they're all true about its new family of industrial thermoset polymers.
Lockheed & RedEye Team to 3D-Print Rocket Fuel Tanks
Engineering Materials 
6/2/2014  21 comments
Lockheed Martin and RedEye have 3D-printed two huge rocket fuel tank prototypes, the biggest of which is 6.75 ft. long. The project took much less time than traditional manufacturing methods, at about half the cost.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 
5/20/2014  50 comments
Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and peopleís lives. Here are 10 of them.
3D Printing Needs to Open Up
Engineering Materials 
5/19/2014  13 comments
The prototyping-based models 3D printing has used for 30 years must change if the industry is to continue growing and shift to production parts, says a new Lux Research study.
Slideshow: Plastics Showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo
Engineering Materials 
5/16/2014  15 comments
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 show in Hamburg, many companies got a chance to showcase their plastics for a variety of applications in aircraft interiors. Some introduced new materials. Others announced new applications or qualifications for their products.
10 Cyber Attacks That Wreaked Havoc
Blog 
5/14/2014  24 comments
Most of the significant cyber attacks -- think Stuxnet -- have occurred in just the past eight years. Here are the highlights of attacks that have disrupted business, nabbed IP, or forced plants to go haywire.
Congress Is Working on an Energy BillÖ Again
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  6 comments
Congress is once again working on the bi-partisan Shaheen-Portman bill that will bring forth many energy efficiency measures to add as many as 190,000 jobs and save as much as 12 quads of energy by 2030.
Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau
Engineering Materials 
5/13/2014  18 comments
Not long after 3D printing leader Stratasys bought two service bureaus, rapid prototyping service bureau extraordinaire Proto Labs has embraced the technology by buying a service bureau focused solely on additive manufacturing. Before this acquisition, Proto Labs has concentrated on CNC machining and injection molding.
Aerospace-Grade Composites Will Repair Themselves
Engineering Materials 
5/12/2014  35 comments
Wouldn't it be cool if fiber-reinforced composites could repair themselves? Engineers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology think they've found a way to do it.
Shrimp Club Inspires Stronger Aerospace Composite
Engineering Materials 
5/9/2014  6 comments
The carbon-fiber-reinforced composite is both stronger and resists impact better than similar materials typically used in aircraft.
Slideshow: Robotic Renovation at International Space Station
Blog 
5/6/2014  22 comments
Last month, NASA launched the rocket carrying the SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Robots aided in its berthing on the ISS, and satellite-launching robots will be sent up later this year.
RoboClam Digs Deep to Monitor Ocean Floor
Engineering Materials 
5/5/2014  6 comments
A robotic razor clam -- actually a digging robot -- burrows into sand with high efficiency.
3D-Printed Bioplastics Coming Soon
Engineering Materials 
4/25/2014  27 comments
Bioplastics formulator and manufacturer Sierra Resins and distributor 3D Printlife are working together to introduce a new biofilament for 3D printers.
QNX Tech Powers VisLab's Autonomous Car
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/23/2014  8 comments
VisLab joins the autonomous car effort with the DEEVA prototype.
Composite Rocket Fuel Tank Will Explore Deep Space
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2014  8 comments
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
Stratasys Expands 3D Printing Materials Options
Engineering Materials 
4/21/2014  6 comments
Stratasys is buying assets of a key player in materials testing and R&D for its FDM filament printers, and there's a new polypropylene material for the PolyJet series of 3D printers.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Blog 
4/21/2014  18 comments
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
10 Ways Robots Are Better Than Us
Blog 
4/16/2014  32 comments
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
Video: 3D-Printed Drone Flies High
Engineering Materials 
4/16/2014  8 comments
3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV. University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
3D Printing High-Strength Carbon Composites Using PEEK, PAEK
Engineering Materials 
4/14/2014  6 comments
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
Stratasys Buys 3D Printing Service Bureaus to Expand End Production
Engineering Materials 
4/11/2014  3 comments
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
World Industrial Robot Demand Falls
Engineering Materials 
4/10/2014  9 comments
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots decreased by 4% in 2012 over 2011. The biggest hit was electrical/electronics manufacturing, down by 13%; but by region, the Amerficas did well.
Embedded Computer Offers Faster Performance, Less Heat
Product News 
4/9/2014  7 comments
Engineers searching for a smaller embedded computer that combines high performance with extended temperature operation may now have a solution.
Students Design Space Habitats, Tech for NASA
Blog 
4/9/2014  5 comments
NASA is once again calling upon college students to help the space agency design solutions for future space habitats and exploration systems through its Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.
Robots Aid in Search of Missing Malaysian Jet
Blog 
4/8/2014  22 comments
An underwater robot dispatched by Bluefin Robotics is on deck, ready to aid in the intensive search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing in March.
Problems Loom Large for Autonomous Cars
Electronic News & Comment 
4/3/2014  18 comments
The coming era of self-driving cars will call for a major change in engineering culture, an embedded design expert said this week.
Report: Biofuels in Transition to Next-Gen Feedstocks Will Slow Growth
Engineering Materials 
3/31/2014  8 comments
The biofuels industry is about to make the transition to next-generation, non-food-based feedstocks. The bad news is, this transition will slow capacity growth by a lot. But that means growth slows, not that capacity declines.
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.
Slideshow: Itís a Simulated World
Blog 
3/24/2014  10 comments
Here's a quick look at the wide array of applications for simulation software tools.
Complete Your Security & Loss Prevention Strategy
Guest Blogs 
3/24/2014  5 comments
Cyber-attacks and security have become a regular topic in the media because criminal hackers pose a perpetual threat to any companyís secure data. They present a larger dilemma in that hackers persistently develop new methods to steal sensitive data by looking for any vulnerable spots in a system.
Obama Announces 2 New Innovation Hubs
Blog 
3/24/2014  3 comments
In an effort to boost US manufacturing, President Obama recently announced the opening of two new manufacturing innovation hubs -- in Chicago and Detroit. The hubs will serve as institutions to increase manufacturing technology in the US and will create local jobs for middle-class workers.
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Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Texas Instruments is rolling out a new microcontroller that could make the design of sensor networks and data logging systems simpler and less costly.
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