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.
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.
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.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 5/7/2014 10 comments There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
Migrating Legacy Devices to the IIoT
Guest Blogs 5/2/2014 3 comments Following on the heels of breathless coverage of consumer Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is now also garnering some well-deserved attention.
Fluid Power Is Alive & Well in the Era of Energy Conservation
Guest Blogs 5/1/2014 2 comments Despite what some people think, fluid power systems are capable of very high-performance motion control. A well-designed, closed-loop hydraulic actuator can do things that motors can't do economically and reliably, such as positioning very heavy loads with a 10-micron resolution or better.
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.
Turtle Inspires 3D-Printed Car Frame
Engineering Materials 4/22/2014 6 comments German engineering firm EDAG Group showed a single-piece, 3D-printed car body design inspired by a turtle at the Geneva Motor Show. It came about after an assessment of how additive manufacturing could be applied to making industrial components, modules, and complete vehicle bodies.
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.
Industry 4.0 Is Really My IIoT
Blog 4/15/2014 3 comments Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
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.
Slideshow: New Carbon Composites for Volume Car Production
Engineering Materials 4/9/2014 21 comments At the JEC Europe 2014 composites show in Paris, many companies showcased their carbon fiber composite products, especially for volume automotive manufacturing. Some companies touted their contributions to BMW's all-carbon composite body-in-white. Others introduced automotive products and processes.
Women in Industrial Design
Guest Blogs 4/8/2014 Post a comment The first Women in Industrial Design show is coming to San Francisco Design Week this June. The show is the first exhibit organized by the Women in Design section of the Industrial Designers Society of America, and the first exhibit to feature female industrial designers.
Slideshow: Bioplastics Concept Car Runs on Biofuel
News 3/28/2014 26 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: More Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 3/27/2014 9 comments This is the fourth blog in an occasional series on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This time, we'll tell you about architects 3D printing with ice and marble, some firsts in 3D printing titanium, and a university R&D team with a faster way to print multimaterial objects.
Video: Is the MX3D-Metal the Future of 3D Printing?
Blog 3/20/2014 11 comments Unlike many of the 3D printers available, the MX3D printers can work around a part rather than building it straight up. Using such techniques, the printer can print objects on surfaces with angles and slopes or even directly onto walls. In addition, it can print curves and shapes with much more precision and accuracy.
Video: Virtual Reality Makes Human-Robot Interaction Safer
Blog 3/20/2014 19 comments Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to bridge the distance between humans and industrial robots, not in the real world, but in the virtual one. They have created a way to make these types of interactions safer through a virtual reality environment that enables humans to work closely with robots without being near them.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 3/17/2014 42 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.
Carbon & Fiberglass Composite Compound Is Cheaper
Engineering Materials 3/5/2014 9 comments A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Coatings Stand Up to Harsh Environments
Features 3/4/2014 8 comments Engineers are using additive manufacturing with powder metals to cut costs and cycle times in materials R&D, new product development, low-volume manufacturing, and in-service product repair.
Baxter Shows Off His Moves at ATX West
Engineering Materials 2/26/2014 16 comments Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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