Nitinol Devices and Components recently had an idea for changing the design of stents used to open blocked blood vessels: Make them out of a shape-memory alloy rather than stainless steel. Question: Would the alloy stand up to the rigors of the human body, including the average 40 million beats the human heart has per year?
Prototype testing to see if it would work would have been tough. So Nitinol used Abaqus software to simulate the behavior of the material within a blood vessel. Result: the material acted as expected. The stents are available now and, says Nitinol, working well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
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