When Toyota announced its decision to enter into a joint
venture with California-based Tesla Motors Inc., it was a boon to lithium-based
battery technology. The venture is likely to deliver lithium battery technology
to a wider audience than the high-end specialty market. Nissan has also made a
commitment to lithium technology with its all-electric Leaf
which starts as low as $20,000 after rebates. The technology was first
mass-produced in the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid which arrived in U.S. showrooms last
year. Toyota and Nissan are expanding the use of this technology by adding lithium
batteries to lower-end vehicles.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.