Cone Drive gear units, which promise improved seal arrangement, is now in control of the giant shutters that protect the Keck 1 telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, the world's largest optical and infrared telescope. The units come with modified input shafts, hollow shafts, housings, special output mounting flanges, and keeper plates in hollow bores. They also feature 14 custom 8-inch center distance HP double enveloping worm reducer units with a special ratio of 9.75:1. According to the maker, the units use taconite seal arrangements on both input and output shafts while expansion chambers provide sealed unit. Four gearboxes have been installed and commissioned on the bottom telescope shutter. Eight more will be installed on the top shutter in the next two years. For more info, go to www.textronpt.com.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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