What's the most popular type of linear actuator? Pneumatic. That's according to a recent survey of Design News readers. Some 57% of the respondents reported that they specify, buy, or approve pneumatic linear actuators. Other top options: Lead-screw driven (48%), belt driven (42%), and hydraulic actuators (42%). What's the most important factor in selecting a particular type of linear actuator or positioning system? Number one answer: That the product meets performance requirements. Vendors take note that pricing was number five on the list.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.