Ed Nauman had a bad habit of leaving
his workshop at night without turning off the heater. His wife would get up in
the morning and find - to her consternation - the workshop was plenty toasty.
In the interest of keeping peace in his household, Ed decided to create a
gadget that would save the energy spent through forgetfulness. He knew he could
buy an off-the-shelf solution, but as he says, "Where's the fun in that?"
Instead, Ed turned to the world of thermostats and microcontrollers.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.