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September 24, 2013Volume 09 Issue 36


Image - Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Micro Plastics announces a new product line of Special Standard Round Spacers. The new line of molded nylon round spacers includes over 250 sizes, with diameters of 1/8" through 1 1/2" and lengths from 1/8" to 2 3/4". These tough, resilient spacers can be used in a variety of assemblies. Useful in electronic and electrical applications, they may also be used as bushings, bearings, rollers, gliders, and bumpers. They are resistant to vibration, abrasion, and corrosion; are electrically insulating; and have a high strength-to-weight ratio.

Click here to learn more.


In this issue of Designfax

  • 3D printers custom fit Olympic swords
  • Developing a sheet-metal laser cutting machine
  • Sensor walls use 1920s circuit tech
  • Wheels (and wings): Stabilizing aircraft landing shimmy
  • Mike Likes: Custom-designed micro and nano cables
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Overflow tabs improve plastic weld line
  • 100x brighter than standard pilot lights
  • Guide rollers for smaller loads
  • Servos with extended performance
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Human-powered helicopter wins $250,000 challenge
    • Frankfurt Motor Show concepts/previews
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Fuel cells: New electricity-generation frontier?
    • Rupture discs bust 'Breaking Bad' stunt
    • Wheels: Low-temp diesel combustion
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: After 35 years of teams trying, AeroVelo captures $250,000 AHS Sikorsky Prize for human-powered helicopter flight.

News

Will an aluminum chip be the memory device of the future?

NASA pushes for ways to make stronger materials in 3D

Trade group warns about dangers, illegality of using E15 fuel blends in power equipment, small-engine products

Stanford scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid; wind not worth it



Image - Mechanical Component Solutions for a Digital World
Mechanical Component Solutions for a Digital World
In a digital world, mechanical components such as bellows are still a major mechanism used to gather information. The movement of Servometer® electrodeposited metal bellows under hydraulic or pneumatic pressure (internal and external) can create the information needed for a system. Using bellows technology; temperature, gauge, barometric and differential pressure can be compensated for. With miniature sizes available, Servometer bellows can be added to instrumentation and manifolds of almost any shape or size.

Click here to learn more about Servometer bellows and request your free sample bellows.

Click here to view the standard bellows sizes and models offered by Servometer.


Feature articles

Image - Personalized swords helped the Japanese fencing team take silver in 2012 Olympics
Personalized swords helped the Japanese fencing team take silver in 2012 Olympics
The hilt of the fencing sword must fit the fencer's hand perfectly; even a slight difference in the shape of the hilt can spell victory or defeat. Before 3D printing, there was only one type of fencing hilt in the world, and each competitor had to personally file the hilt to customize the fit and achieve a non-slip surface. Now all of that has changed.
Read the full article.

Image - Custom CNC at the heart of groundbreaking sheet-metal laser cutting machine
Custom CNC at the heart of groundbreaking sheet-metal laser cutting machine
Customized CNC technology from NUM is helping the laser cutting machine manufacturer Favor Laser to accelerate product development and address new markets. Using special hardware and software designed by NUM, the Taiwanese company has developed a lower cost, high-precision laser cutter that is capable of producing very small or very large parts from sheet metal, with a feed rate up to 60 m/min.
Read the full article.

Image - Researchers leverage 1920s circuit technology to develop sensor walls
Researchers leverage 1920s circuit technology to develop sensor walls
Using a modern twist on a technology developed in the 1920s, researchers at Princeton University have embedded ultrathin radios directly on plastic sheets that can be applied to walls and other structures. The innovation could serve as the basis for new devices ranging from an invisible communications system inside buildings to sophisticated structural monitors for bridges and roads.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels (and wings): <br>Stabilizing aircraft during takeoff and landing using math
Wheels (and wings):
Stabilizing aircraft during takeoff and landing using math

One of the lesser known concerns about commercial aircraft is their stability on the ground during taxiing, takeoff, and landing. During these processes, planes must maintain stability under various operating conditions. However, in some situations, the aircraft landing gear displays unwanted oscillations, which are referred to as shimmy oscillations.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Custom-designed micro and nano cables
Mike Likes:
Custom-designed micro and nano cables

Miniature cable harnesses from Omnetics use fine-gauge wiring to remain flexible, allowing them to withstand multiple signal systems while remaining robust for the most rugged applications. When needed, micro and nano connectors are available with locking systems, enabling continuous performance in high shock and vibration environments. To provide signal protection from EMI sources, cable shielding with grounding and drain wires are applied. As the number of circuit functions increases, the resulting wire harnesses must support a mixture of signal paths, power lines, twisted pairs, and other detector lines. The resulting cable is often a combination of different types of wire sizes and shielding. Omnetics' design team does a great job of working directly with system engineers to optimize cable size, flexibility, and current-carrying capacity to ensure the harnesses meet the size and performance expected.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br> Overflow tabs improve weld-line strength of reinforced plastic parts
Engineer's Toolbox:
Overflow tabs improve weld-line strength of reinforced plastic parts

Solvay Specialty Polymers has conducted an extensive study that supports the use of overflow tabs as a method to improve weld-line strength of injection-molded structural components.
Read the full article.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>100 times brighter than standard pilot lights
Product Spotlight:
100 times brighter than standard pilot lights

New AP22M pilot lights from IDEC feature a unique optical design that makes them twice as bright as standard pilot lights when viewed from the front and up to 100 times brighter than standard pilot lights when viewed from the side. These pilot lights are ideal for both outdoor and indoor applications, such as operator controls for machinery and equipment, control panels, and public information systems, where visibility from any angle and status indication are crucial at any time, even in bright sunlight. With a Type 4X rating, the AP22M can be used in nearly any environment without concern for durability. Available in red, green, yellow, amber, blue, and white with a choice of colored lenses for bold, vibrant colors, or a clear lens for exceptional contrast between on and off.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Guide rollers for smaller loads
Product Spotlight:
Guide rollers for smaller loads

GN 753 guide rollers, commonly used in drive engineering, are available in metric sizes from J.W. Winco. They are suitable for moving or guiding smaller loads in a variety of applications: cylindrical, convex, concave, and V-groove shaped. Four styles are available; all are offered with bore or with threaded stud. The outer ring of the guide roller is made of plastic (Polyacetal POM). The inner ring and balls are made of steel. The threaded stud is made of zinc-plated steel. Guide roller diameters range from 19 mm to 26 mm.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Servo motors with extended performance range
Product Spotlight:
Servo motors with extended performance range

Beckoff Automation's AM8500 servo motor series is suitable for all applications with larger external mass inertias, in particular CNC applications in machine tools and woodworking machines. Typical areas of application include printing machines as well as film winders and feeding drive units. The AM8500 series covers a wide performance range with four sizes and three lengths with standstill torques from 1.38 Nm to 29 Nm. The One Cable Technology (OCT) feature combines the power and feedback systems into one standard motor cable.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Fuel cells: Is this the new frontier of electricity generation?
Fuel cells: Is this the new frontier of electricity generation?
Redox Power Systems LLC and University of Maryland researchers have partnered to deliver breakthrough fuel cell technologies for providing always-on electricity to businesses, homes, and eventually automobiles, at about one-tenth the cost and one-tenth the size of current commercial fuel cell systems.
Read the full article.

Image - Oseco rupture discs featured on 'MythBusters' 'Breaking Bad' episode
Oseco rupture discs featured on 'MythBusters' 'Breaking Bad' episode
Oseco's rupture discs have again been put to the test on "MythBusters," this time as part of a special dedicated to the award-winning "Breaking Bad" TV show. The pressure-relief manufacturer made its sixth appearance on the hit show when the "MythBusters" crew tested the explosive capabilities of a chemical composition.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Low-temp combustion promises cleaner, more efficient engines
Wheels:
Low-temp combustion promises cleaner, more efficient engines

As demand climbs for more fuel-efficient vehicles, knowledge compiled over several years about diesel engines and a new strategy known as "low-temperature combustion" (LTC) might soon lead auto manufacturers and consumers to broader use of cleaner diesel engines in the United States. [Image: Sandia Combustion Research Facility]
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Bigger really is better:
'Impossible dream' achieved in Sikorsky human-powered helicopter challenge

After 33 years of trying, a team has finally won the American Helicopter Society (AHS) Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition -- and its $250,000 prize! The challenge: fly a human-powered helicopter above 3 m and hover for more than 60 sec in a 10-m x 10-m space. Canadian team AeroVelo Inc., comprised largely of students at the University of Toronto, flew its extremely novel (and huge!) ATLAS pedal-powered helicopter for 64 sec June 13. A single pilot powered the craft, which featured four, nearly 70-ft rotors attached to a 115-lb carbon-tube and polymer frame. The AHS first issued the human-powered flight challenge in 1980, with an initial prize of $10,000. More than 20 human-powered helicopters have been designed and built since the competition began, though only a handful have gotten off the ground. Officials from AHS International verified the flight data over several weeks and concluded that it met all of the criteria necessary to win the competition. Sikorsky increased the prize to a quarter-million dollars in May 2009. Who would have guessed that this would be the winning design? Incredible.
View the Sikorsky video.

Video Image
If you had wings ... Frankfurt Motor Show concepts/previews
Autocar auto news out of the U.K. does an excellent job introducing the latest preview and concept cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show taking place now (Sept. 10-22) in Germany. Our only question is, "How can they remain so calm?!" Check out the Jaguar C-X17, Audi Nanuk, Ford Mondeo Vignale, Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corsa, Ferrari 458 Speciale, BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder, and more. One key theme this year: "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that wing."
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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