Rick Crammond created a gadget for cutting Halloween pumpkins that is powered by the faucet in a kitchen sink. The water pressure drives a stack of CDs that has been converted into a turbine. Crammond's Tesla CD Turbine uses two principles developed by Nikola Tesla in the early 1900s. The turbine uses flat discs rather than blades or cups. In Crammond's gadget, the discs are CDs or DVDs stacked in their case. Crammond adds a few other household items — such as Krazy Glue® and glue sticks — and hooks it all to a kitchen faucet using a garden hose. The result is a surprisingly powerful turbine. Crammond uses that turbine power to drive a skill saw blade for easy pumpkin cutting.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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