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December 26, 2012Volume 08 Issue 48


Image - New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
Micro Plastics has added a new line to their inventory of 250 million parts! The Phillips Pan Machine Screws are molded in tough, resilient, and corrosion-resistant Nylon 6/6 material. Thread sizes included are: 4-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, 1/4-20 and 1/4-28. Available in 25 standard lengths ranging from 3/32 in. up to 3 in., Micro Plastics also offers an extensive line of machine screws, including head styles such as Binder, Binder Combination, Fillister, Hex, Pan, Round, Socket, Flat, Oval, and Thumb Screws, as well as Studs, Grubs, and Flat Head Wing Screws.

Click here for more information.


In this issue of Designfax

  • One-hole wonder: Rifle-barrel maker
  • Ultimate 'go anywhere' craft
  • Lightning weapon: Army engineers set phasers to 'fry'
  • Army Greatest Inventions announced
  • Wheels: GM cooks up anti-rusting brake rotors
  • Is this the perfect glass?
  • Fishing lures try new spin on light, color
  • Wheels (and wings): 3D printing a military UAV
  • Volvo Trucks' novel gear-changing system
  • Wheels: Police cars of the future
  • Microdrives in humanoid robots
  • Best Products: Most-effective wedge-locking washer
  • Best Products: PCs as multi-axis machine controllers
  • Best Products: Servos replace pneumatics
  • Best Products: Next-gen 3D scanning
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Flying wind turbine aces test flight
    • DARPA takes LS3 (BigDog) robot for a walk
    • 3D Printing: World's largest 3D-printed wrench
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Best Of Stories 2012 And More | Part 1
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Honda CHP Drone Squad by Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

News

Army offers look inside its projectile-catching SCat test system

170 tons: MAG completes mammoth portal mill built to produce large diesel engines and massive industrial components

'It's like a floating Prius': Electric hybrid ship cuts millions from Navy's fuel bill

Maple helps engineers design propulsion systems for some of the world's biggest ships

Clever engineering repairs huge, wrecked steel mill coupling



Image - Happy New Year from Designfax!
Happy New Year from Designfax!
Thanks to all of our readers, sponsors, writers, and article contributors for making 2012 a great year. We know that manufacturing, in particular, has been a challenging business sector for years, but hang in there. Things are looking up. We wish all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013!

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Feature articles

Image - One-hole wonder: <br>Rifle-barrel maker takes hole-making to new level
One-hole wonder:
Rifle-barrel maker takes hole-making to new level

Fred Feddersen is a rifle-barrel maker on a mission to do something that's never been done before: create a production barrel that can shoot successive bullets through the same hole, using an inexpensive semiautomatic rifle, not a bolt-action Olympic race gun.
Read the full article.

Image - Ultimate polar 'go anywhere' craft tested with Autodesk Simulation
Ultimate polar 'go anywhere' craft tested with Autodesk Simulation
ARKTOS Developments Ltd. (ADL), the designer and manufacturer of a remarkable amphibious vehicle known as the ARKTOS Craft, is using simulation software from Autodesk to prepare its products to operate in some of the world's most environmentally demanding locations.
Read the full article.

Image - Lightning in a bottle: <br>Army engineers set phasers to 'fry'
Lightning in a bottle:
Army engineers set phasers to 'fry'

Scientists and engineers at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey are busy developing a device that will shoot lightning bolts down laser beams to destroy its target. Soldiers and science fiction fans ... you are welcome.
Read the full article.

Image - Army announces its Greatest Inventions of the year
Army announces its Greatest Inventions of the year
U.S. Army officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland announced the winners of this year's Army's Greatest Inventions competition Sept. 19. A team of combat veteran non-commissioned officers, as well as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command field-grade officers, reviewed and voted for the Army Greatest Inventions that were fielded in 2011. The top 10 winners include a 120-mm guided mortar cartridge, add-on-armor kits for MRAP vehicles, and a force-detecting and -reporting sensor system integrated into Soldiers' helmets.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels:<br>GM cooks up recipe for anti-rusting brake rotors
Wheels:
GM cooks up recipe for anti-rusting brake rotors

A General Motors team of global brake experts is helping to make rusty brake rotors history by changing the chemical makeup of the components. The process can also double the life of rotors.
Read the full article.

Image - Is this the perfect glass?
Is this the perfect glass?
MIT researchers find a way to make glass that is anti-fogging, self-cleaning, and free of glare.
Read the full article.

Image - Fishing lures try new spin on light, color
Fishing lures try new spin on light, color
Fishermen, take note! That colorful fishing lure in the attractive packaging on the store shelf has little or no appeal to a fish in the water, especially as the lure sinks deeper and deeper down.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels (and wings): <br>3D printing radically reduces time, cost for developing military UAV
Wheels (and wings):
3D printing radically reduces time, cost for developing military UAV

When designing the RDASS 4 helicopter UAV for the military, Leptron engineers faced the challenge of developing eight variations of complex fuselage components in a short period of time to beat potential competitors to market.
Read the full article.

Image - Novel gear-changing system helps Volvo Trucks cut fuel on hills
Novel gear-changing system helps Volvo Trucks cut fuel on hills
The truck industry is always searching for solutions that cut fuel consumption. One method is to use the vehicle's kinetic energy to propel the truck. Now Volvo Trucks has developed I-See, which operates like an autopilot and takes over gear changing and utilizes gradients to save fuel.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Police cars of the future showcased at L.A. Auto Show
Wheels:
Police cars of the future showcased at L.A. Auto Show

The future of law enforcement vehicle design was on display at the L.A. Auto Show Nov. 30 - Dec. 9 in the form of the event's ninth Design Challenge competition. "Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025" was the theme this year, and way-out-there concepts were the norm.
Read the full article.

Image - Microdrives give humanoid service robots <br>human traits
Microdrives give humanoid service robots
human traits

The more human-like a robot is, the more sophisticated the mechatronic engineering input necessary. Microdrives are often central to providing robots the means to exhibit "body language."
Read the full article.

Image - Best Products: Could this be the world's most-effective wedge-locking washer?
Best Products: Could this be the world's most-effective wedge-locking washer?
X-series washers combine Nord-Lock's unrivaled wedge-effect solution (to prevent spontaneous loosening) with an exceptional spring effect (to compensate for loss of preload due to slackening). When used in pairs, each washer duo has cams on one side and radial teeth on the opposite side to secure the bolted joint with tension instead of friction. Quick and easy to install and remove with standard tools, this is a great solution for handling vibration and dynamic loads, painted or powder-coated surfaces, soft metals, and composites and polymers.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: Turn standard PCs into powerful multi-axis machine controllers
Best Products: Turn standard PCs into powerful multi-axis machine controllers
ACS Motion Control has developed a software-based EtherCAT motion control platform that maximizes performance while minimizing costs for semiconductor, HDD, biomedical, PV equipment, and LED manufacturers. The SPiiPlusSC (soft controller) enables standard PCs to run a 64-axis real-time motion controller and high-speed PLC entirely in software. The advanced soft-controller solution simplifies the connectivity of the entire motion control system by eliminating dedicated controller hardware as well as Windows dependence or latency.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: Replace pneumatic cylinders with servo actuators
Best Products: Replace pneumatic cylinders with servo actuators
SKF CASM Series servo actuators are ideal electromechanical solutions for applications historically performed by conventional pneumatic cylinders. This technology, in comparison, inherently reduces energy consumption, potential contamination, noise, and maintenance, while eliminating the need for constantly running compressors, hoses, and other components associated with pneumatic cylinders. All three modular models (CASM-32, CASM-40, and CASM-63) have been designed to fit standard industry footprints of pneumatic cylinders and can easily facilitate system conversion. Motor adapter kits enable users to connect the motor package of their choice and easily program motor profiles. Load capacities range from 300 N to 5,400 N, stroke lengths range from 50 mm to 800 mm, and speeds from 60 mm/s to 1,060 mm/s can be achieved.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Best Products: Next generation of 3D scanning is fully automated
Best Products: Next generation of 3D scanning is fully automated
eQuality Tech, the exclusive distributor for Solutionix in the Americas, announces the immediate availability of Rexcan CS+, the first fully automated 3D scanner to integrate a turntable with four degrees of freedom for simpler setup and more comprehensive data acquisition. The new rotating and pivoting turntable eliminates scan targets and allows users to reorient a part by simply clicking on the computer screen; no need to physically move the part, turntable, or scanner. Rexcan CS+ can scan small intricate objects as efficiently as larger objects, in some cases drastically cutting the time from receipt of part to creating a full CAD model or inspection report.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - ISSUE 47: Best Of Stories 2012 And More | Part 1
ISSUE 47: Best Of Stories 2012 And More | Part 1
If you missed Part 1 of our year-end most-popular stories roundup, check your inbox or you can view it here.
Got to the Best Of Stories 2012 Part 1 issue.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Flying wind turbine aces test flight
Altaeros Energies, a wind energy company formed out of MIT, took to the Maine skies in late March to test its helium-filled, 35-ft Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT). The prototype climbed to 350 ft, produced power at altitude, and landed in an automated cycle, lifting the top-selling Southwest Skystream turbine to produce over twice the power at high altitude than generated at conventional tower height. The product aims to reduce energy costs by up to 65% by harnessing the stronger winds found over 1,000 ft high and reducing installation time from weeks to days. The lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of passenger blimps that for decades have lifted heavy communications and radar equipment into the air for long periods of time. Aerostats are rated to survive hurricane-force winds.
View the video.

Video Image
DARPA takes LS3 (BigDog) robot for a walk
DARPA is developing a semi-autonomous four-legged robot, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) based on the BigDog system created by Boston Dynamics, to work in tandem with a squad of Marines or Soldiers. Recently, the LS3 prototype underwent its first outdoor exercise, demonstrating the ability to follow a person using its 'eyes' -- sensors that allow the robot to distinguish between trees, rocks, terrain obstacles, and people. Over the course of the next 18 months, DARPA plans to complete development of and refine key capabilities to ensure LS3 is able to support dismounted squads of warfighters. Features to be tested and validated include the ability to carry 400 lb on a 20-mile trek in 24 hr without being refueled. Also planned is the addition of hearing technology, enabling squad members to speak commands to LS3. Hopefully, it will be made quieter too.
View the video.

Video Image
3D Printing: World's largest 3D-printed wrench
Looking to fabricate your own 1:1-scale, really large prototype parts? Objet has you covered. Unveiled at Euromold early this month, the company's new Objet1000 system features a climb-aboard-size build tray (39.3 in. x 31.4 in. x 19.6 in.) and is able to print up to 14 different material properties within a single model. Wow. Fourteen in one model! It can also handle big jobs that you could only dream about in the past, like the world's largest 3D-printed wrench, which Objet's Sam Green says took a few days to print.
View the video.

Video Image

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