MR318 is the world's first commercially-available rotary
position sensor which can operate with complete "transparency" in
extreme electromagnetic fields such as MRI machines. An enabler for functional-MRI (fMRI)
research, the encoder allows medical researchers to develop MRI-compatible test
apparatus where measuring position, angle or speed is required. Doctors can monitor brain activity of stroke
and other impaired patients while pedaling, observing how brain and body adjust
to therapy and rehabilitation techniques.
Also enables development of phantom devices for MRI calibration and
teaching. Non-medical applications
include motion control where EMC "transparency" is required, including
radar scanners, anechoic chambers and DEW weapons. Prior to commercial availability of the MR318
encoder, engineers had no commercial solution for measuring continuous position
within an MRI chamber. Motors or
actuators could be hydraulic or pneumatic but no commercial position sensor
existed. A homemade fiber optic
proximity/limit switch was the best solution - but this was awkward to design,
package and only provided position information at discrete points. The company says the MR318 encoder is the world's
first and only commercially available, non-metallic rotary position sensor
which operates "transparently" in extreme electromagnetic
fields. There is no comparable product
on the market.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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