Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 8/20/2014 8 comments 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.
SpaceX Reveals 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 8/19/2014 8 comments SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
How to Machine Aerospace-Grade Composites
News 8/18/2014 12 comments UK researchers have come up with a method for machining aerospace-grade, carbon fiber-reinforced composites, along with high-strength aerospace alloys, using an ultrasonically assisted machining device. It also works on high-strength aerospace alloys.
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: Sciaky to Sell Its Huge Metals 3D Printers
News 7/31/2014 6 comments Sciaky, provider of electron-beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) services, will start selling these machines commercially in September. The company has used its EBAM 3D printing technology for making very large, high-value, metal prototypes and production parts for aerospace and defense OEMs.
Robot Can Detect Gas Pipe Leaks
Engineering Materials 7/18/2014 21 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.
Video: Wear Your Own Pair of Robot Arms
Engineering Materials 7/10/2014 53 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 13 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 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.
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.
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.
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 people’s 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 Bill… 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.
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.
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.
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.
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
Since 1987, teams of engineers around the world have built solar cars to participate in a road race around Australia called the World Solar Challenge, being tested on the race time, kilometers traveled, practicality, and energy used by the vehicles they invent.
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.