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Content by Ann R. Thryft
Ann R. Thryft
Member Since: September 6, 2011
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Fasteners Get Tinier, Tougher, and Smarter
Blog 
3/4/2015  1 comment
New fastening and joining methods are making it possible to join multiple materials and thinner sheets in consumer and medical portable electronics, as well as automotive and aviation systems.
Jumpstart Your Motor Control Designs with MCUs & FPGAs
Blog 
3/4/2015  Post a comment
An upcoming Digi-Key Continuing Education Center class on designing motor control using MCUs and FPGAs will show you how to choose the best hardware and tools to speed up your development time.
3D Printer Gives You Fully Functional Electronics
Engineering Materials 
3/2/2015  2 comments
A new 3D printer that prints fully functional electronics -- like quadcopters -- will be available later this year from Voxel8, brainchild of Harvard prof Jennifer A. Lewis.
A Look at Job Prospects During Engineers Week
Blog 
2/27/2015  2 comments
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
9 New Adhesives Hold Things Together
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  Post a comment
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
Microscopic Nanobots Will Need to Self-Repair
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  1 comment
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
6 3D-Printable Metals from ExOne
Product News 
2/24/2015  Post a comment
Industrial 3D printer supplier ExOne has introduced six new metal powders that can be used with its multi-material M-Flex and recently introduced Innovent machines.
This Year's 10 Next-Gen Medical Materials
Engineering Materials 
2/23/2015  1 comment
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
Adhesives Get Tougher, Stronger, and More Versatile
Blog 
2/20/2015  1 comment
Engineers have more to pick from performance-wise when it comes to both structural and non-structural adhesives for many industries. New technologies for joining dissimilar materials can also reduce the need for fasteners and improve welds.
Smart Fabric Sensors for Wearables Inspired by Musical Instruments
Engineering Materials 
2/18/2015  Post a comment
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 
2/13/2015  Post a comment
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Materials Get Tough & Light at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/12/2015  Post a comment
Suppliers at MD&M West and PLASTEC West are talking about developing new materials and processes for wearable medical devices and more intricate compact devices, new sterilization methods, more applications where plastics replace metal, and expanding test data for selecting materials for single-use applications.
See the Latest in 3D Printing & AM at Pacific Design & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
2/9/2015  1 comment
3D printing and additive manufacturing are a major focus of technical sessions, presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, and industry tours at this week's Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif.. Here are some highlights.
10 Materials Suppliers You Shouldn't Miss at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/6/2015  Post a comment
Materials on exhibit at next week's MD&M West, PLASTEC West, and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif. will include several polymers, adhesives, and ceramics you should definitely see, as well as some new processes.
Deloitte Report Says 3D Printing Will Change Automotive Industry
Engineering Materials 
2/5/2015  5 comments
A new report from Deloitte University Press says incorporating 3D printing will transform automotive production, both in printed end-parts and in specialized tooling, by offering more control over both, as well as lighter-weight parts. Additional benefits include much faster production time and lower costs.
See the Latest in Robotics & Automation at the ATX West Robotics Innovation Tour
Blog 
2/3/2015  1 comment
A fun and free tour you can attend at next week's ATX West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and other events in Anaheim, Calif., is the Robotics Innovation Tour. It will be held twice during the show, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
Special Effects, AM, & Oak Ridge Lab Gurus to Keynote AM Users Group Meeting
Engineering Materials 
2/2/2015  Post a comment
Three additive manufacturing movers and shakers will be keynote speakers at the upcoming 2015 Additive Manufacturing Users Group Education & Training Conference: Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, Lonnie Love of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Todd Grimm, president of independent AM consulting firm T. A. Grimm & Associates and AMUG board member.
New Composites Institute Chief Talks About Grand Challenges
Engineering Materials 
1/30/2015  1 comment
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Comment:Re: Helpful - Ann R. Thryft-1/29/2015
Solar Impulse 2 Preps for Round-the-World Flight
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2015  9 comments
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
Comment:Re: Ah hem - Ann R. Thryft-1/27/2015
Feds Launch Composites Innovation Center
News 
1/26/2015  3 comments
A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Distributed Manufacturing and Standards
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2015  Post a comment
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
CES Panel on Drones Adds to Regulation Debate
Blog 
1/21/2015  13 comments
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
Video: Reconfigurable Robot Walks on Snake Legs
News 
1/19/2015  4 comments
Carnegie Mellon University's modular snake robot can be reconfigured to meet users' needs. Not only will this modular system enable completely new robot designs, say its inventors, it will also help speed up the pace of development and enable more flexible traditional industrial robots.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  6 comments
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
Engage Materials Suppliers Early to Reduce Vehicle Weight
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2015  Post a comment
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 
1/12/2015  3 comments
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
Cars & Medical Implants Will Drive Plastics in 2015
Engineering Materials 
1/8/2015  4 comments
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Squid Teeth Inspire 3D-Printable Biodegradable Thermoplastic
News 
1/6/2015  Post a comment
Proteins from the ring teeth on squid tentacles can be synthesized to make a versatile biodegradable thermoplastic that can be used for molding, extrusion, 3D printing, as an adhesive, or as a coating.
Seaworthy Composite Boat Folds Flat, Flexes to Meet Waves
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  11 comments
The use of glass fiber composites in boats is not news. But one that folds up flat in 40 seconds? The secret combines Kevlar and composite hinges, a lightweight PVC core, and strategic design.
4D Printing Self-Assembling, Self-Repairing Medical Implants
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  2 comments
Some market analysts are saying that medical device prototypes, especially implants, made with 4D printing techniques could appear as early as the end of 2015.
Comment:Re: Savior! - Ann R. Thryft-12/30/2014
Comment:Re: 3D - Ann R. Thryft-12/30/2014
Comment:Re: Ann - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
Comment:Re: Wacky? - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
Comment:Re: Savior! - Ann R. Thryft-12/29/2014
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 
12/19/2014  6 comments
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Parasite Drones Will Suck Up City CO2, Give It Back to Plants
Engineering Materials 
12/18/2014  37 comments
Polish design firm NAS-DRA has proposed parasitic robotic drones that capture carbon dioxide from the air during the day and release it at night to plants growing on their wings.
Elastomer Goes With the (Waves') Flow
News 
12/17/2014  Post a comment
DuPont's Hytrel elastomer long used in automotive applications has been used to improve the way marine mooring lines are connected to things like fish farms, oil & gas installations, buoys, and wave energy devices. The new bellow design of the Dynamic Tethers wave protection system acts like a shock absorber, reducing peak loads as much as 70%.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2014  10 comments
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA Installs Giant Composite Research Robot
Engineering Materials 
12/15/2014  8 comments
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
Video: ESA Plans 3D-Printed Moon Base
Engineering Materials 
12/12/2014  8 comments
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
3D-Printed Custom Spike Plates Outrun the Competition
Engineering Materials 
12/11/2014  3 comments
If there's one thing 3D printing's good for, it's customization. New Balance Athletic Shoe Company has begun using 3D printing to make customized spike plates for its running shoes made for members of its Team New Balance runners. They provide better traction and shave off a tiny bit of weight.
3D Printing Space-Worthy Satellite Parts
Engineering Materials 
12/9/2014  1 comment
Two teams, one based in the US and one in Europe, have 3D printed space-worthy support structures for satellite antenna arrays. These aren't prototypes: they're fully functioning antenna supports that will operate while exposed to the harsh temperatures and radiation of outer space.
3D Printing Stars at Euromold Show
News 
12/8/2014  3 comments
While most Americans were taking time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, 3D printer makers showed off their new systems, services, and materials at Germany's Euromold show.


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New fastening and joining methods are making it possible to join multiple materials and thinner sheets in consumer and medical portable electronics, as well as automotive and aviation systems.
An upcoming Digi-Key Continuing Education Center class on designing motor control using MCUs and FPGAs will show you how to choose the best hardware and tools to speed up your development time.
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