Ever since electronics came on the scene, people have been predicting the demise of fluid power. But, in fact, the market remains bigreally big. Sales of pneumatic components are in the $3B range, according to the National Fluid Power Association. And it's becoming more of a global business: The volume of fluid products imported in and exported out of the U.S. has grown. Primary trading partners: Japan, Canada, and Germany.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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