The XL-80 interferometer from Renishaw Inc. is lighter and more portable than its predecessors, making it simpler for quality control and maintenance technicians to calibrate manufacturing and laboratory equipment. The instrument can measure distances as long as 260 ft, yet it still provides measurement speeds of up to four meters per second.
Both speed and accuracy have been upgraded substantially. It runs at 50 kHz, compared to only 5 kHz for Renishaw units that are now in the field. Resolution is 1 nanometer, while accuracy is 0.5 ppm, substantially better than its predecessor's 0.7 ppm. Weight including cables, power supplies and sensors is under seven lbs. The unit can employ optics from previous generation hardware, helping keep costs down.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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