Here is a comment received by Geoffrey Orsak from an avid reader of his Design News column:
Your latest column entitled "From Treasure to Trash" hit a chord with me because last week I had an LCD monitor go out on my work computer system. Being an engineer I took it apart and found that the screen itself was the problem. Quickly I determined that I could replace the whole monitor a lot cheaper than fix the old one. What bothered me is how much perfectly good product I had to throw away as I lowered the old monitor into the e-waste dumpster. The stand and the mechanism that adjusted the height and swiveled and tilted was perfect and a really robust design. In fact everything but the failed component could have performed for many years to come. It is great that more companies are recycling their electronic waste but it still takes a lot of energy to create something that only lasts a few years.
Just like your article suggests, there should be value going forward in our society to engineer for the afterlife of a product. If the most likely to fail part of any product could be removed and replaced easily and inexpensively wouldn't it be great. We do it on some products like automobiles, light fixtures, and sponge mops. I think it's time we started making longer life electronic gadgets instead of "throwing away the baby with the bath water."
As energy efficiency becomes more and more a concern for makers of electronics devices, researchers are coming up with new ways to harvest energy from sound vibration, footsteps, and even electromagnetic fields in the air.
The government wants to study your brain, and DARPA wants to use similar information to give robots true autonomy beyond any artificial intelligence developed to date. Sound like science fiction? It's not.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is