Salakazi Racing’s KTM nitro methane motorcycle/dragster does the quarter mile in 6.7 sec, with a terminal velocity of 196 mph. One key for reaching these speeds is an automatic three-disc, four-stage clutch fitted with a Proworx digital controller. That controller is pre-programmed for optimal speed given the racing conditions it encounters. Inside this clutch, there are a few tiny but critical devices. Among them are a pair of RM22 encoders from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom-based Renishaw. The encoders are both fast and precise enough to monitor speeds up to 30,000 rpm. One monitors the position of the crankshaft in the engine, while the other measures the clutch speed. When these two values are compared, clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can be determined with high precision.
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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