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.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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