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February 25, 2014Volume 10 Issue 08


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

  • What NASA is doing with 3D printing
  • Cool Tools: Digital calipers with built-in wireless
  • Termite-inspired robotic construction crew
  • Wheels: Low-resistance tires save money
  • Mike Likes: Improved linear guide technology
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Material selection for valves
  • Cool Challenge: Schmartboard pays you for circuits
  • Product Spotlight: Rigid, abrasion-resistant epoxy
  • Product Spotlight: Outperforms pneumatics
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Can the F-35 be hacked?
    • Boeing QF-16 makes first unmanned flight
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: Titanium-alloy 3D-printed bike frame
    • Ceramic material breakthrough for solar
    • Mike Likes: Coating for iron castings
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Stanford's pomegranate-inspired li-ion battery design

News

Pomegranate-inspired design solves lithium-ion battery shortcomings

Volvo Trucks says fewer injuries at work with its dynamic steering

DARPA moving forward with heavy-duty military supply drone concept

Smalley receives back-to-back GM Excellence Awards



Image - Design Tip Subscription
Design Tip Subscription
Would you like helpful advice and suggestions to efficiently and cost-effectively design your injection molded parts? Protomold's monthly Design Tips provide just that. This e-newsletter delivers useful tips, advice and guidelines on everything from selecting materials to designing injection molded parts using cams, shut-offs, living hinges and more.
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Feature articles

Image - What NASA is doing with 3D printing: <br>Goddard reaching new potential with additive manufacturing
What NASA is doing with 3D printing:
Goddard reaching new potential with additive manufacturing

For the past two years, the Internal Research and Development, or IRAD, program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, has awarded funding to a small number of researchers who are investigating how the agency might benefit from additive manufacturing. Here's what they are working on right now.
Read the full article.

Image - Cool Tools: <br>Mahr Federal builds wireless data transmission into its MarCal digital calipers
Cool Tools:
Mahr Federal builds wireless data transmission into its MarCal digital calipers

Mahr Federal has built wireless data transmission into its family of MarCal Digital Calipers, making them available for the same price as a typical wired caliper. Using proven wireless technology first developed for MarCator digital indicators, new MarCal digital calipers send data to a small i-stick receiver, resembling a common USB flash drive. MarCom software makes data acquisition even simpler: just take a measurement and transmit your measuring data directly into MS Excel or via a keyboard code into any Windows program without cumbersome cables. It's even possible to apply the 16 EWRi wireless data collection capabilities to existing SPC applications. Very cool and useful technology.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Termite-inspired robotic construction crew needs no foreman
Termite-inspired robotic construction crew needs no foreman
Inspired by the resilience and collective intelligence of termites, a team of computer scientists and engineers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has created an autonomous robotic construction crew. The system needs no supervisor, no eye in the sky, and no communication: just simple robots -- any number of robots -- that cooperate by modifying their environment.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Low-resistance tires really do save drivers money
Wheels:
Low-resistance tires really do save drivers money

Drivers who switch to tires with low rolling resistance can save an average of nearly $150 a year, says a University of Michigan researcher, and he has the data to prove it.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Improved linear guide technology
Mike Likes:
Improved linear guide technology

igus linear guides are made from maintenance-free, self-lubricating high-performance plastics. The lubricant is incorporated into the bearing material, making the bearing materials suitable for dry-running conditions. They are maintenance-free for the entire length of their service life. Since DryLin parts operate as sliding parts, operating noise is greatly reduced when compared to the mechanical rolling of recirculating ball bearings. This technology can produce considerable cost savings over the long term.
Learn all about guides, bearing materials, and more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>When it comes to material selection for valves, focus on the application
Engineer's Toolbox:
When it comes to material selection for valves, focus on the application

Given the huge body of information regarding the properties of materials commonly employed in valve bodies, seals, and O-rings, the material selection process is becoming a routine exercise. The challenging part of determining material choice is actually verifying that the chosen material best fits the application. Gary Treadwell, chief engineer at Beswick Engineering, runs through the choices, their benefits, and their disadvantages.
Read the full article.

Image - Cool Challenge: <br>Schmartboard will pay you for your clever circuit design
Cool Challenge:
Schmartboard will pay you for your clever circuit design

Schmartboard, a company that makes prototyping electronic circuits easier, has announced its "Show Us Your Circuit" program that pays participants 100 bucks in return for creating innovative circuits that other enthusiasts can try. Schmartboard would like to nudge users to publish their next Schmartboard Project online to share with the world. Schmartboard will offer Schmartboards gratis to build the project and $100 when completed.
See examples of what Schmartboard is looking for.
Fill out the form to apply to participate.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Rigid, abrasion-resistant two-component epoxy
Product Spotlight:
Rigid, abrasion-resistant two-component epoxy

Engineered with a silicon carbide filler material, Master Bond EP21SC-1 delivers abrasion resistance for an array of chemical and mechanical processing applications. This epoxy has a smooth paste consistency and a non-critical one-to-one mix ratio by weight or volume. As a two-part system, it cures readily at room temperature or more quickly at elevated temperatures. With a Shore D hardness exceeding 95, EP21SC-1 is a rigid compound that adheres well to treated metals, ceramics, and many plastics. Its physical strength profile includes a tensile strength greater than 6,000 psi and a compressive strength of over 15,000 psi at room temperature. Since the system is 100 percent reactive and does not contain any solvents or diluents, it has minimal shrinkage upon cure.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Outperforms pneumatics
Product Spotlight:
Outperforms pneumatics

Thomson Industries' PC Series is a new generation of precision electric linear actuators for continuous-duty applications. This unit offers the highest power density of any actuator in its class. The compact, efficient design enables machine builders clear advantages over traditional pneumatic linear actuators, including simpler machine designs, lower maintenance, higher overall performance, and substantially lower energy costs.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: <br>Titanium-alloy 3D-printed bike frame is a first
Wheels:
Titanium-alloy 3D-printed bike frame is a first

In the latest demonstration of what additive manufacturing can do in the finished-product (as opposed to prototyping) space, Empire Cycles of Lancashire, U.K., has created a super-cool, experimental mountain bike that features a 3D-printed titanium-alloy frame that weighs only 3 lb. The project, undertaken in tandem with British 3D-printing specialist Renishaw, used topological optimization to squeeze out every last gram of unnecessary metal in the design.
Read the full article.

Image - Ceramic material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficient
Ceramic material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficient
A unique solar panel design made with a new ceramic material points the way to providing sustainable power cheaper, more efficiently, and requiring less manufacturing time. It also reaches a four-decade-old goal of discovering a bulk photovoltaic material that can harness energy from visible and infrared light, not just ultraviolet light.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>New Henkel coating for iron castings and ferrous materials
Mike Likes:
New Henkel coating for iron castings and ferrous materials

Henkel Corporation has introduced a new, water-based reactive autodeposition coating, Bonderite M-PP 930C, formulated specifically to deliver a uniform, defect-free surface coating on raw cast components and ferrous metals. This paintable epoxy-acrylic urethane coating easily coats both the inside and outside of complex components and delivers enhanced corrosion and abrasion resistance, excellent thermal stability, and superior edge protection, abrasion resistance, and flexibility. The coating covers the entire inner diameter of cylindrical parts, controlling warranty exposure.
Click here to learn more.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Can the F-35 be hacked?
A computer named ALIS is the brain of the U.S. military's controversial new F-35 jet fighter, running a $500,000 Star Wars-like control helmet and a whole lot more. Is ALIS vulnerable to cyber attack? CBS reports, comparing ALIS to R2-D2 and HAL. Fascinating (and a little scary).
View the video.

Video Image
Boeing QF-16 makes first unmanned flight
Last September, a pilotless F-16 fighter jet roared into the sky for the first time at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The modified, remote-controlled F-16s will be used for real-world target practice by the U.S. Air Force.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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