Alumasc Dispense, one of Europe's leading producers of mountings for beer taps, faced a formidable engineering challenge: Design the mountings for the taps that were distinctive enough to overshadow the competition. Decision: Convert their 2D design process to 3D using VX CAD software (www.vx.com). Many of the designers working for Alumasc's customers use 3D systems such as Alias to get the styling right. "VX accepts the files and now we can take most things that are thrown at us, and we can work effectively exporting our designs to toolmakers," says Richard Oakley, Alumasc director. Oakley says existing designs have little re-use in his industry. "Yet, we have to go from concept to manufacturing in a matter of months," he adds. "That means our design-to-manufacturing process has to be slick." Alumasc is now using the software in design projects for Carlsberg Tetley and Scottis Courage breweries, both which are guaranteeing a pint with a perfect head, he says.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.