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December 18, 2012Volume 08 Issue 47


Image - 2013 COOL PARTS CALENDAR
2013 COOL PARTS CALENDAR
Designed by designers and engineered for engineers, our annual Proto Labs Cool Parts Calendar features the visions of product developers across the nation and around the world. It features monthly contests, part applications, industry tradeshow dates, and (of course) those elusive days of the week.

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In this issue of Designfax

  • Soldier-inspired Army ammo pack
  • Super car, super engine: McLaren MP4-12C
  • Wheels (and rockets): NASA inflatable heat shield
  • Can a smart hand router rival CNC machines?
  • Wheels: Aluminum welding breakthrough
  • Self-guided bullet prototype developed
  • Wheels: Kenworth simultaneous design/manufacturing
  • Spray-on battery materials created
  • Formula One design using CADdoctor
  • Army refines airburst technology
  • Wheels: Audi manufactures car sounds
  • Best Products: Enable Internet of Things
  • Best Products: Self-regulating heating cables
  • Best Products: Ceramic fasteners
  • Best Products: Adaptive 2-finger gripper
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Impressive: Sand Flea robot jumps 30 ft up
    • 3D printed exoskeleton for 4 year old
    • Mesmerizing flying inversion object
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Inflatable heat shield developed by NASA's Space Technology Program [Image: NASA]

News

Photovoltaic cells developed to tap underwater solar energy

Ford and Dow team up to bring low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber composites to next-gen vehicles

DARPA tests UAV-to-UAV refueling at 45,000 ft

Autodesk introduces industry's first cloud-based, pay-as-you-go simulation solution for designers

The tough get tougher: Plastic parts can now be injection molded with steel cord reinforcement



Image - What does Designfax want for the holidays? New engineering subscribers
What does Designfax want for the holidays? New engineering subscribers
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Feature articles

Image - Soldier-inspired Army ammo pack is 'game-changer' on battlefield
Soldier-inspired Army ammo pack is 'game-changer' on battlefield
Like something right out of the movie 'Predator,' the Ironman backpack ammo-carriage system lets a machine-gunner run solo with plenty of rounds at the ready. The invention resulted from the innovative thinking of Iowa National Guardsmen serving in Afghanistan.
Read the full article.

Image - Super car, super engine: McLaren MP4-12C
Super car, super engine: McLaren MP4-12C
Insider Look: How British engineering consultancy Ricardo helped McLaren design and develop the world's greenest supercar engine -- and created a super-lean assembly facility to build it in the process.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels (and rockets): <br>Hypersonic inflatable heat shield successfully tested by NASA
Wheels (and rockets):
Hypersonic inflatable heat shield successfully tested by NASA

A large inflatable heat shield developed by NASA's Space Technology Program successfully survived a trip through Earth's atmosphere while travelling at hypersonic speeds up to 7,600 mph.
Read the full article.

Image - Can a smart hand router rival big CNC machines?
Can a smart hand router rival big CNC machines?
A self-correcting handheld-router system created by students at MIT precisely follows a digital plan with minimal guidance from a user. The students may have come up with a new system that manufacturers of large CNC systems can learn from.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels:<br>GM welding breakthrough enables more use of aluminum
Wheels:
GM welding breakthrough enables more use of aluminum

GM's new resistance spot welding process uses a patented multi-ring, domed electrode that does what smooth electrodes are unreliable at doing: welding aluminum to aluminum.
Read the full article.

Image - Self-guided bullet prototype can hit target a mile away
Self-guided bullet prototype can hit target a mile away
Take two Sandia National Laboratories engineers who are hunters, get them talking about the sport, and it shouldn't be surprising when the conversation leads to a patented design for a self-guided bullet that could help war fighters.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>World's fastest hybrid semi truck just got a little faster
Wheels:
World's fastest hybrid semi truck just got a little faster

The Volvo Mean Green hybrid truck established two new world speed records on April 27 at Utah's historic Wendover Airfield, eclipsing its previous marks in the standing kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) and flying kilometer.
Read the full article.

Image - Rice researchers develop spray-on battery materials
Rice researchers develop spray-on battery materials
Scientists at Rice University have developed a lithium-ion battery that can be painted on virtually any surface. The technique could turn any surface into a lithium-ion battery and can be combined with solar-cell production.
Read the full article.

Image - Running Formula One means running by the numbers
Running Formula One means running by the numbers
Lotus F1 Team designers rely on Elysium CADdoctor for data transfer, software interoperability, reverse engineering, and, of course, speed. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Lotus design process.
Read the full article.

Image - Army refines airburst technology, calls XM25 'The Punisher'
Army refines airburst technology, calls XM25 'The Punisher'
The U.S. Army is preparing to conduct a second Forward Operational Assessment of its XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement airburst weapon system. The hand-held weapon fires a high-explosive airburst round capable of detonating at a specific, pre-determined point in space near an enemy target hidden or otherwise obscured by terrain or other obstacles.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Audi manufactures sounds for its electric lineup
Wheels:
Audi manufactures sounds for its electric lineup

Audi's future e-tron models like the super-cool R8 will cover long distances powered by practically silent electric motors. To ensure that pedestrians in urban settings will hear them, the brand has developed a synthetic solution: Audi e-sound.
Read the full article.

Image - Best Products: Enable Internet of Things via simple serial connection
Best Products: Enable Internet of Things via simple serial connection
Design engineers can easily add Wi-Fi connectivity to their products using new Microchip Technology Wi-Fi modules based on Roving Networks technology. These solutions use a simple serial interface to connect with any PIC microcontroller, and expand Microchip's wireless portfolio with the industry's lowest power consumption along with an integrated TCP/IP stack in a certified Wi-Fi solution. The Wi-Fi modules support all of Microchip's 8-, 16-, and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: Self-regulating heating cables
Best Products: Self-regulating heating cables
Heat Trace 2700 Series Self-Regulating Heating Cables from Heat Trace Products provide freeze protection and process temperature maintenance for fluid transport and storage systems. They feature a multilayer construction and supply a specified amount of heat at any point along their length in direct response to local temperature variations. Capable of maintaining temps up to 150 degrees F, with intermittent exposure to 185 degrees F, these cables are offered in output wattages of 3-, 5-, 8-, and 10-W/ft at 50 degrees F. They will not overheat or burn out when overlapped, and they can be cut to length and terminated in the field.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: Ceramic fasteners ideal for demanding applications
Best Products: Ceramic fasteners ideal for demanding applications
The Goodfellow Ceramic and Glass Division has added a range of ceramic nuts, bolts, and washers for applications where high temperature, high voltages, magnetism, or harsh conditions greatly limit or prohibit the use of other materials. The ceramic fasteners are of high purity, fully dense, and impervious. The standard product range includes alumina hexagonal head bolts in metric sizes from M2 to M8, along with their matching nuts and washers. Goodfellow can often supply, upon request, different headstyles or special lengths as well as inch threaded fasteners and other materials such as zirconia, metals, and polymers.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: New eBook on flexible, adaptive 2-finger gripper
Best Products: New eBook on flexible, adaptive 2-finger gripper
ROBOTIQ has a new eBook out that answers frequently asked questions about its incredibly cool 2-Finger Adaptive Gripper. Learn about how to control the gripper, create a faster cycle time, use gripper feedback, and verify the gripper contact during a process. There's a good video on this site, too.
Click here to learn more.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Impressive: Sand Flea robot jumps 30 ft up
The Sand Flea is an unassuming, 11-lb rolling-platform robot with one exceptionally useful trick: Normally it drives like an RC car, but when it needs to it can jump 30 ft into the air. This creation from Big Dog robot maker Boston Dynamics features an onboard stabilization system that keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings. Development of Sand Flea is funded by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force. Gotta love the super-tough-plastic construction. It gets a workout.
View the video.

Video Image
3D printed exoskeleton lets little girl lift arms and play
Stratasys released a video and case study last week demonstrating how 3D printing has helped 4-year-old Emma Lavelle overcome the limitations of a congenital disorder, allowing her to use her arms for the first time. Using a Dimension 3D printer, researchers at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia were able to create what little Emma calls her "magic arms." The device is a custom-designed, lightweight robotic exoskeleton that enables her to conquer greatly limited joint mobility and underdeveloped muscles. Really neat.
View the video.

Video Image
Flying inversion object aims to inspire new drive concepts
The nature-loving wizards at Festo have combined extreme lightweight construction, electric drive units, and control and regulation technology to create SmartInversion, a working helium-filled flying object that moves through the air by turning inside out. The shape is based on the geometrical band devised by Paul Schatz: its middle section, in the form of an articulated ring of six members, detaches itself from a cube and constantly turns inside out, taking on different geometrical shapes in the process. Kind of mesmerizing, don't you think?
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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