Anyone who has tried to squeeze a transformer plug onto a power strip will immediately appreciate the Flexity PowerSquid's design, which places the female plugs on flexible electrical cords. Inventor Christopher Hawker came up with his "cephalopod design" after noticing that rigid power strips couldn't accommodate as many power bricks as they have open plugs. The first PowerSquids were simply power multipliers that connected up to five cords to one grounded outlet. Now, Flexity has developed advanced models that offer surge protection. They retain the squid form factor but also "have all the features you'd expect from a premium surge protector," says Hawker. These include MOVs with joule ratings from 1020 to 3280 joules, EMI/RFI filtering, and protection for coaxial cables and phone lines. The flagship Calamari model also features two neon glowing outlets, an audible alarm, and a 360-degree, rotating, flat-profile, male plug. For more information, visit www.powersquid.net. Or visit Hawker's design firm at www.trident-design.com for a look at his other products.
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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