With the introduction of the MC34940 sensor, Freescale expanded its line of electric-field (E-field) ICs beyond its current crop of automotive sensors to encompass appliances and industrial control panels. The single-chip IC generates a low-level electric field and then detects changes in that field and therefore, in essence, is a capacitance-based sensor. The new model offers a 33 percent smaller package size than some earlier versions and incorporates a bigger pitch for easier assembly. It can be used for proximity detection and three-dimensional E-field sensing. It can also trigger functions, such as turning switches on or off, or setting off alarms to indicate dangerous situations for devices such as coffee pots, hair dryers and lawn mowers. For more information on the MC34940 sensor, go tohttp://rbi.ims.ca/4928-501.
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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