The difficulty of producing modern aircraft has gotten plenty of attention over the last year. On a large plane like the Airbus A380, one of the biggest challenges comes with wings. They are huge, carry thousands of gallons of fuel and they must be rigid yet slightly flexible.
Airbus turned to Electroimpact Inc. to get a material handling system that could provide a stable control system for wing assemblies. One of the key elements is to position six panel loader arms precisely. Integrated encoder position sensors from MTS Systems Corp.’s Sensors Div. help maintain precision down to 1 mm accuracy, checking position every 4 msec.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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