Assembly technology is one of the hugely overlooked areas of component design. It’s often a last-minute thought, adding additional complexity and expense to a design. Consider assembly strategy early in the design process. You’d be amazed at the new technology, and amount of engineering, that is taking place in mechanical fastening. One example is in the hinge area. Applications have expanded to include many devices that provide tilt and swivel action, movable mounting arms for things like lights, cameras, and displays, as well as a lot of high tech mechanisms that would be a stretch to call hinges. I picked that up from a blog written by. Jim Ford, Southco’s Product Manager for Hinges and Positioning Technology, who has worked on “hinge” solutions for nearly two decades. Check out his blog. It’s a good read.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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