NPR recently did an article about phones. The actual article was not very significant, but the host's (Robert Siegel, I think) lead-in comment was. He said the phone he was discussing had all the features you'd come to expect: a large touch screen, mult-megapixel camera, GPS. There was nothing about it being a good phone!
From the design engineering standpoint, I think many people underestimate the packaging and assembly challenges inherent in such a tightly constrained design. This certainly applies to the Android phones and Blackberrys as well (though with the latter, not as much as here and with Android). Add to this the requirement for robustness, and you have a tough set of engineering requirements across the board.
I couldn't agree more, Rob. It also continues to amaze me, even at the end of 2011, that so much intuitive, cool technology fits into something so small and thin. I can't wait to see what features are showcased on the iPhone 5!
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.
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