I always thought that the glass body lined air cylinder with the soft carbon piston was a great patent. Stiction in the Airpel cylinders I used was extrordinarily better than traditional actuator seals.
There is a ~75-year-old patent on this subject...my Dad's (Wallace M. Jones, Westinghouse Corp), regarding stick-slip reduction of piston O-rings. This allows the O-ring to rotate 1/4 turn in its groove. This was used in radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns.
I would be surprised if this problem was not solved by others decades ago. The USPTO should be an important tool for every design engineer.
Excellent article. It's always great to see engineering refinements that end up tackling difficult issues such as reducing friction, lowering energy consumption and reducing in traditional products like pneumatic cylinders. These improvements have a very positive effect on new product designs.
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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