Yesterday's articles included one about rare earth metal shortages caused by China cutbacks. The product described in this article uses a neodymium magnet. Is its component materials sourced from China? Could this product have been made with a magnet that was not rare-earth, or something other than neodymium?
TJ: I don't know if they could have used a different magnetic material, but I do know that they wanted a very powerful coupling force between the magnets because they are phyically separated by the plastic tube. It takes very strong hands to pull them apart. That's why they wanted neodymium.
I love these examples of small, relatively simple medical device applications that can deliver such big value and comfort to patients. Chuck, you say that the device has already been used on upwards of 1,000 patients. Does that mean it's an available offering that's cleared the requisite FDA approval process?
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.