Mark Thoren and Jim Williams needed to test the temperature compensation scheme of a circuit they were designing. The lab had several temperature chambers, but they were always in use. In frustration, Jim grabbed a brand new toaster and plopped it down on Mark's desk, saying, "This will do." Not quite. The hysteresis of the oven's thermostat was 10C — too crude to measure the circuit. Mark and Jim scrounged about and found an auto-tuning temperature controller, some solid-state relays and a shiny platinum RTD probe. After some minor rewiring they had a test chamber, more than adequate and better than most of the "real" chambers that were never available when needed.
Sales of semiconductors, interconnects, and other electronic components in North America were flat through the second quarter of 2015, reflecting a pattern that’s been repeating itself for several years.
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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