Low-cost CAD provider Alibre has joined the flock of companies testing the waters of social product development. The company’s new AlibrePowered.com social media website targets designers, digital fabricators and do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) to connect and share their latest designs within a community of like peers. The site encourages members to post their designs in albums, which can be viewed by other visitors to the site. Participants can also announce new product launches, share design information, ask questions and publicize their products and developments within the community. One week into the site’s launch, and Alibre says hundreds of users have logged on, posting designs ranging from a golf putter to a regulator watch, along with smaller creations like guitar picks and jewelry.
To kick off the new website, Alibre announced the Alibre 2010 Design Contest, offering up prizes from $250 to $1,000. Participants post their designs along with a description of what the design is and what it does on the AlibrePowered.com site, and winners will be selected by online voting. The contest runs through October 15, 2010.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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