TinkerCAD costs $19 per month for the Personal edition and $100/month for the Startup edition. I'd buy a basic CAD package rather than "rent" one month to month. Three-dimensional printers might appeal to more people at a lower cost, but as the cost goes down I expect more small companies to offer 3-D printing services--perhaps even the UPS Store or local Kinkos-Fedex store could make my prototypes.
I no longer make my own printed-circuit boards because I can get a 2-day turnaround from local shops that welcome small orders. And some PCB quick-turn companies also provide the schematic-capture and board-layout tools for free. Watch the same thing happen with 3-D printing.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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