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December 10, 2013Volume 09 Issue 46


Image - New Full Line Catalog -- Full of New Fasteners
New Full Line Catalog -- Full of New Fasteners
Micro Plastics introduces its new catalog #39. With 290 pages of nylon fastener items, 12 new product lines, and over 500 new items added. Contents include: standard and metric machine screws, cap screws, nuts, washers, spacers, insulators, grommets, bushings, rivets, hole plugs, clamps, printed circuit board accessories, suspended ceiling hooks, and wire routing kits. FREE samples are available upon request.

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In this issue of Designfax

  • Engineering a safer bounce
  • Automotive Materials: Lightweight steel twist beam
  • World's smallest FM radio transmitter
  • Wheels (and wings): F-35 fighter canopy forming
  • Plastic parts with no molds required
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Low-inertia, zero-backlash gear design
  • Product Spotlight: Phillips Pan Machine Screws
  • Product Spotlight: Premium integrated motors
  • Product Spotlight: ANSYS 15
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Micro drive has no measurable jitter
    • 3D tactile features rendered on touch surfaces
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Cracked metal heals itself
    • Wheels: Jaguar 4WD conquers U.S. Snowbelt
    • 2-D tin may be the next super material
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Abaqus, SolidWorks improve Springfree trampoline design

News

Bright ideas: Philips and Desso developing LED light-transmissive carpets

Satellite cooling system breakthrough developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Laser instrument on NASA Mars rover tops 100,000 zaps

SwRI deploys novel vehicle-to-grid aggregation system



Feature articles

Image - Engineering a safer bounce
Engineering a safer bounce
Ask a kid if they like trampolines and their eyes are sure to light up with joy, but how can all the fun go wrong? In a number of ways, thanks to the unavoidable laws of physics. Dr. Keith Alexander, an associate professor of engineering at Canterbury University, New Zealand, felt there had to be a safer way to enjoy the trampoline, so he began working in his garage. His clever Springfree Trampoline moves the frame below the jumping surface, creates a soft edge to the mat, and surrounds the whole thing with tensioned, UV-resistant netting that bounces users back to the center if they go off-kilter.
Read the full article.

Image - Automotive Materials: <br>Lightweight steel twist beam achieves 30 percent mass reduction, lower costs
Automotive Materials:
Lightweight steel twist beam achieves 30 percent mass reduction, lower costs

Keeping with its mission to help automakers meet stringent fuel economy requirements, the Steel Market Development Institute's (SMDI) Automotive Applications Council unveiled the results of its lightweight steel twist beam study on Dec. 4, 2013.
Read the full article.

Image - Columbia engineers make world's smallest FM radio transmitter
Columbia engineers make world's smallest FM radio transmitter
A team of Columbia University Engineering researchers has taken advantage of graphene's special properties -- its mechanical strength and electrical conduction -- and created a nano-mechanical system that can create FM signals, in effect the world's smallest FM radio transmitter.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels (and wings): <br>Automating F-35 fighter canopy forming adds speed, precision to jet manufacturing
Wheels (and wings):
Automating F-35 fighter canopy forming adds speed, precision to jet manufacturing

A faster, more precise way to create cockpit enclosures may end up saving the F-35 Lightning II program a significant amount in manufacturing costs.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Plastic parts with no molds required
Mike Likes:
Plastic parts with no molds required

How often have you wondered what life would be like without having to worry about paying tooling charge after tooling charge for products in early development? The "No Molds Required" (NMR) manufacturing technology from Envision Plastics & Design could be your answer. This unique production process harmonizes a combination of sheet metal fabrication and woodworking practices to produce plastic parts used for enclosures, panels and shrouds, brackets and shields, medical-based products, and more.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Low-inertia, zero-backlash gear design for timing-critical applications
Engineer's Toolbox:
Low-inertia, zero-backlash gear design for timing-critical applications

When one of Intech Corp.'s customers wanted to introduce a new machine for corrugating paper products, they came to the gear design and manufacturing specialists with a critical dilemma. How could they maintain precise timing between two shafts with corrugating steel teeth to prevent them from smashing into each other? Intech developed a novel and effective backlash-free, low-inertia gear design.
Read the full article.

Image - Product Spotlight:<br> New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
Product Spotlight:
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 to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Lexium MDrive premium integrated motors now available in smaller size
Product Spotlight:
Lexium MDrive premium integrated motors now available in smaller size

Lexium MDrive integrated motors from Schneider Electric Motion USA are now available in an even smaller size with the release of NEMA 17 motor products, completing the premium brand MDrive update that already includes NEMA 23 and 34 motors. The ultra-compact and robust NEMA 17 integrated motor product is available in four communication versions for ease of interface with a wide range of motion applications. Lexium MDrive LMD42 products integrate a high-torque NEMA 17 stepper motor with a 12- to 48-VDC drive, controller and I/O, and an internal encoder with closed-loop performance feature.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>ANSYS 15.0 for structures, fluids, and electromagnetics simulation
Product Spotlight:
ANSYS 15.0 for structures, fluids, and electromagnetics simulation

ANSYS 15.0 provides new, unique capabilities and enhancements that offer the most advanced approach to guide and optimize product designs. Highlights for structures in this release include giving users greater insight into simulating composites. Enhancements to the fluids portfolio include the capability for studying turbomachinery flow paths with greater fidelity than ever, while in electromagnetics ANSYS 15.0 offers the most comprehensive electric motor design process. This release enhances ANSYS' industry-leading pre-processing capabilities, enabling users to quickly and accurately mesh the widest range of model size and complexity regardless of type of physics simulated.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Cracked metal heals itself to the astonishment of MIT scientists
Cracked metal heals itself to the astonishment of MIT scientists
It was a result so unexpected that MIT researchers initially thought it must be a mistake: Under certain conditions, putting a cracked piece of metal under tension -- that is, exerting a force that would be expected to pull it apart -- has the reverse effect, causing the crack to close and its edges to fuse together.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Jaguar conquers America's Snowbelt with 4WD
Wheels:
Jaguar conquers America's Snowbelt with 4WD

For Jaguar, competing across the broad swathe of "Snowbelt" states in North America meant equipping its XJ and XF luxury sedans with four-wheel drive -- something totally new. Time was short, so international automotive design expert Ricardo was summoned to help. Jesse Crosse reports.
Read the full article.

Image - Watch out graphene: 2-D tin may be the next super material
Watch out graphene: 2-D tin may be the next super material
A single layer of tin atoms could be the world's first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
M3-R rotary micro drive has no measurable jitter
At 44 mm x 44 mm x 36 mm, the M3-R rotary micro drive from New Scale Technologies is smaller than -- and can replace -- a servo drive. It also offers higher position resolution. The M3-R rotary micro drive has no measurable jitter, holds position without power, and generates no magnetic fields. It exhibits excellent velocity, acceleration, and repeatability characteristics. Learn more about this awesome little piezoelectric drive.
View the video.

Video Image
Disney researchers develop algorithm for rendering 3D tactile features on touch surfaces
By altering the friction encountered as a person's fingertip glides across a touchscreen surface, a new algorithm by Disney Research, Pittsburgh, can create a perception of a 3D bump on a touch surface without having to physically move the surface. The method can be used to simulate the feel of a wide variety of objects and textures. The algorithm is based on a discovery that when a person slides a finger over a real physical bump, the person perceives the bump largely because lateral friction forces stretch and compress skin on the sliding finger. The Disney researchers used electrovibration to modulate the friction between the sliding finger and the touch surface with electrostatic forces. The algorithm dynamically modulates the frictional forces on a sliding finger so that they match the tactile properties of the visual content displayed on the touch screen along the finger's path.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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