Folks, the discussion here about SawStop potentially being applied to robots working with humans gave me an idea. Please check out this post about possibly starting a Design Ideas forum and tell us what you think: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=259964
78RPM, I agree about 3D printing making stuff that's too complex to do any other way. That's definitely one of its big draws. BTW, the photo in this story doesn't show the $70 titanium part that bone grows around; that's an acetabular cup. The photo shows a titanium bone rasp for hollowing out femurs, as the caption states.
Even more than changing the production lines, that sawstop works at the expense of saw functionality. Consider that it stops the blade with a ridgid stop lever jammed into the swas teeth. So it does stop fast enough to prevent an injury , which is within one tooths distance on the blade. So the blade attachment may be damaged, and for sure the blade is sort of reshaped a bit, and that expensive stop actuator must be replaced, since the high presure charge has been used. So your saw is out of business until the expensive part is replaced. That may be OK for a home experimenor but it will be a big problem for folks using the saw for making a living. Then there is the question about what if you don't replace the driver, but instead just remove it. That means that you have defeated a safety device, and can be attacked by the OSHA man.
So while the sawstop is an interesting device, it is a big burden as well. Next question is how many folks do cut off fingers every year? Not that many, I don't think.
It's also easy to see why the power tool industry resists the technology, William K. The idea of implementing this technology raises the possibility of having to invest gigantic amounts of capital to re-tool their existing production lines.
Charles, The interesting point associated with that SawStop invention came from the scientist that I was working with at a previous job. He pointed out that nobody makes any money off of safety devices until you can get the government to force everybody to use them. Examination of the safety things that we have today does show that it is absolutely correct. So in re3ality it is seldom about safety, it is always about profit.
If everybody really wanted the safest car possible we would all be driving Volvos, but as you can see some folks consider other aspects to be more important.
And some safety features only benefit those who should be limited to driving speeds of under 20MPH, specifically the new stability control systems that we will be forced to purchase in the near future. One more reason to stick with older model cars.
Agreed, William K. There are several reasons why saw manufacturers didn't rush to adopt SawStop -- another of which is the licensing fees. I have to admit, though, the story of the SawStop inventor is an intriguing one.
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.
A fun and informative tour you can attend at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, MD&M Minneapolis, and other events there, is the Materials Innovation Tour on Wednesday afternoon. I'll be leading it.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.