Thanks, jmiller. I forwarded that info to my husband for dealing with our oven--maybe. He works in the paint department of a hardware store. He says the controls for his paint mixers have gone from standard toggle switches (and pot dials) over to touch pads. Where once he could change out a switch, he is now "stuck with the infernal pads." The springs weaken, but worse, the electronics board on which they rest stared to flex backward over the years. When the first repair tech came through to deal with this problem, his "solution" to an inoperable pad was to cut a hole in the plastic which overlays the button to grant the switch more travel. Eventually, my husband says he glued little plastic bumpers to the buttons to be able to use them at all.
I will warn people because I'd hate for someone to try and fix something and not be able to get it back together. However, often if you can get the touch pad out of any machine and then take it apart you will find the plastic parts, springs etc. inside the machine and these can be modified to solve the issue. For instance if you are getting a stuck button error message you can shave off a little plastic to provide some clearance and prevent the stuck button. Be careful not to shave to much. You really can't glue plastic shavings back onto a spring. If there is a button that will not push you can use a peice of tape or a sticky note as a shim by placing it on the bck side of the touch pad. Just some of the tricks of the trade to get machines out the door when the parts aren't exactly what you ordered.
I'd love to be able to do that, in particular to get rid of car noises that tell me the door is open (duh) or the seatbelt isn't fastened (duh again since I'm OCD about that item). For PC noises, I've always just disabled the sound in the control panels. At least on the Mac you can easily do that, don't know about a Win machine.
jmiller, I remember being told exactly the same thing back in the 90s, but as a member of the press. What arrogance. Also, in many cases, how inaccurate. Also, thanks for the info about the touchpad. That's what my husband said. Of course, the answer is infuriating, because that means we can't fix it ourselves and basically, we've been given a poor design and told to live with it.
It's interesting how when you look underneath those touch pads it's just the same plastic pieces behind the membranes. Unfortunately, the mechanical spring has been removed and without a good ole metal spring the plastic just can't handle the lifetime load. I guess someone should have realized that plastic deforms when it gets a little warm and without a metal spring the buttons going to quit working.
I was actually told by one of these "marketing" people that the American consumer will like what we tell them to like. Therefore, they had the right to tell us what to make because the consumer would like it. Funny how often the consumer doesn't necessarily like what they are told to like.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.