The idea behind the new microPEM TackSert pin is to eliminate threaded hardware in small, compact electronics, like credit card readers, SIM card ejectors, and the growing class of wearables, increasingly important as electronics get smaller.
The microPEM pins are so tiny you can barely see them with the naked eye, at least with my eyes unaided by glasses. The sample Penn gives out is so small and lightweight--2 super thin 1.5in diameter disks fastened together--it kept flying out of the pocket in my notebook (not a computer, an actual paper device I use to take notes on). I was also impressed by the many uses of silicone for adhesives, coatings, and other apps: it's a truly versatile material.
Ann--I have used Penn fasteners and can "testify" they really do a great job depending upon the application. The micro-devices are ideal for the applications you mention in your post. I was very surprised at the shear and tensile some designs can tolerate. I'm really sorry I missed the show. Certainly seems like a great experience and I look forward to other posts you make relative to your visit.
Thanks for that input, bobjengr. I've done several posts from that show, as have the rest of us who went. Here are my others: igus plastic bearings http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=271925 3D printing http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=271813 Baxter Robot http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=271846 SABIC's carbon composites for medical devices http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=271732 Disease-fighting materials http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=271712
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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