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June 24, 2014Volume 10 Issue 24


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.

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In this issue of Designfax

  • GE redefines the 'fridge magnet'
  • Wheels: Titanium-alloy 3D-printed bike frame
  • Cool Tools: Personal thermal imager for iPhone
  • World's fastest production car runs at NASA 'track'
  • Wheels: maxon motors power mini Caterpillar
  • America's Offshoring Debacle: What happened?
  • Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
  • Top Mike Likes: Boeing 777 paper airplane
  • Top Mike Likes: Carbon fiber for 3D printing
  • Most Popular Toolbox: Super-clever robotics gripper
  • Most Popular Toolbox: Tesla Model S retaining rings
  • Top Product: Smallest integrated Wi-Fi module
  • Top Product: Real LSR parts really fast
  • Top Product: 'Grippy' thermoplastic elastomers
  • Top Product: Zinc foam with cost-saving feature
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • See a U.S. Navy railgun in action
    • Five favorite no-cost engineering tools
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Most Popular Stories, Products, Toolbox, And More | Part 1 [Telsa Model S]

News

Pomegranate-inspired design solves lithium-ion battery shortcomings

Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck gets Modine waste heat recovery heat exchangers

Toyota says its new gas engines boost fuel efficiency at least 10 percent

Cincinnati Inc., ORNL working on machine that 3D prints HUGE parts; Local Motors plans to use the tech to 3D print electric car

MICROMO launches powerful new e-commerce offering: Motion System Selector™



Feature articles

Image - GE redefines the 'fridge magnet,' new tech aims to provide magnetic cooling revolution
GE redefines the 'fridge magnet,' new tech aims to provide magnetic cooling revolution
Researchers working in GE labs have used a special magnetic material to achieve temperatures cold enough to freeze water. The breakthrough system, which is projected to be 20 percent more efficient than current refrigeration technology, could be inside your fridge by the end of the decade.
Read the full article.

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 - Cool Tools: <br>See the heat -- Flir unveils personal thermal imager for iPhone at CES 2014 show
Cool Tools:
See the heat -- Flir unveils personal thermal imager for iPhone at CES 2014 show

What if you could tote around your own pocket-size thermal imager to check out how hot your equipment is running, say, or to see animals at night while camping? And what if that device was just an add-on case for your iPhone, complete with its own mini battery pack? That would be neat, huh?
Read the full article.

Image - World's fastest production car: <br>Hennessey Venom makes 270-mph run at Kennedy Space Center
World's fastest production car:
Hennessey Venom makes 270-mph run at Kennedy Space Center

Aerodynamic and high-performance engine testing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently saw the record for fastest production car in the world pass to Hennessey Performance following a 270.49-mph run at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility on Feb. 14.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Motors from maxon power mini Caterpillar model
Wheels:
Motors from maxon power mini Caterpillar model

Many model locomotives run their rounds powered by maxon motors, but even crazier things can be found in the world of model making, like the bright 1:8-scale yellow Cat track loader built by Marcel Sigrist, a hobby model maker from Central Switzerland.
Read the full article.

Image - America's Offshoring Debacle: <br>Accounting for what happened
America's Offshoring Debacle:
Accounting for what happened

John Biagioni, president of Dynisco, talks about real-world Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). "Like the hidden costs that damaged the offshore movement," Biagioni says, "there are hidden efficiencies from a numbers-driven design effort that ignite cascading and far-reaching benefits."
Read the full article.

Image - In a bid to ditch chrome plating, Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
In a bid to ditch chrome plating, Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
Efforts by U.S. Army engineers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, to implement an improved coating for howitzer breech spindles aim to provide several benefits: easing the logistical burden on Soldiers, reducing hazardous waste, and saving millions of dollars. The engineers evaluated 12 material formulations in small samples and then down-selected to three based on performance and cost.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Mike Likes: <br>Taking paper airplanes to a whole new level -- Boeing 777
Top Mike Likes:
Taking paper airplanes to a whole new level -- Boeing 777

What can you do with an X-ACTO knife, some tweezers, and some glue? Luca Iaconi-Stewart is a 22-year-old self-described "crazy guy who loves aviation." He loves it so much that he spent the last five years building a table-size replica of a Boeing 777 airplane made entirely of paper file folders. Read about Iaconi-Stewart's incredibly dedicated (and detailed) endeavor in this fascinating CNET story. [Image: ©Luca Iaconi-Stewart]
Read the full article.

Image - Top Mike Likes: <br>Carbon fiber and nanotube-reinforced high-performance materials for 3D printing
Top Mike Likes:
Carbon fiber and nanotube-reinforced high-performance materials for 3D printing

3D printing with PEEK and other advanced reinforced polymers has been technically challenging until now. Silicon Valley startup Arevo Labs has created proprietary carbon fiber and carbon nanotube-reinforced high-performance materials that are compatible with commercially available filament fusion 3D printers. The company's patent-pending 3D-printing technology combines the benefits of printing complex geometries with reinforced materials that have excellent resistance to high temperatures and chemicals -- all to form lighter, stronger parts. Supported materials include KetaSpire PEEK, AvaSpire PAEK, Radel PPSU, and PrimoSpire SRP.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Most Popular Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Impressive 'coffee-filled' soft robotics gripper now available commercially
Most Popular Engineer's Toolbox:
Impressive 'coffee-filled' soft robotics gripper now available commercially

An extremely clever robotic gripper invented by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University a few years ago is now available commercially. Empire Robotics, the company founded to commercialize the "jamming gripper" invention, is taking orders for its product called VERSABALL, which wowed industry and academic professionals nationwide with a prototype that was a party balloon filled with vacuum-packed coffee.
Read the full article.

Image - Most Popular Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Tesla Model S uses Rotor Clip DHO retaining rings
Most Popular Engineer's Toolbox:
Tesla Model S uses Rotor Clip DHO retaining rings

DHO retaining rings from Rotor Clip play a key role in the mechanical drive system of the Tesla Model S electric car. Tesla has been giving consumers a glimpse into what the future of environmental friendly cars will look like with its high-performance electric vehicles that keep luxury standards high.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Product: <br>World's smallest, most integrated Wi-Fi module
Top Product:
World's smallest, most integrated Wi-Fi module

Need to connect your product to the Internet of Things? Econais Inc. has created the EC19W01, arguably the world's smallest, smartest, and most integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi System In Package (SiP) module. The EC19W01 offers low power drain and features a fully integrated MCU, Wi-Fi, cloud connectivity, flash, and an antenna that is fully certified FCC, EC, IC, and TELEC. This unit makes it easy to quickly design a Wi-Fi-equipped device that connects to the cloud. A development kit (EC19W01EVB) is also available.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Top Product: <br>Real LSR parts really fast: <br>Proto Labs launches advanced liquid silicone rubber injection molding; provides valuable design tips
Top Product:
Real LSR parts really fast:
Proto Labs launches advanced liquid silicone rubber injection molding; provides valuable design tips

Proto Labs is officially kicking off its new, advanced liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding service at the Boston Convention & Expo Center, March 26-27, 2014. LSR is a thermoset engineering material that is particularly suitable for applications in the medical sector: It can withstand sterilization and is biocompatible, so it works well for products that have skin contact. The material also lends itself to applications in the automotive and food appliance industries, typically in the form of seals, gaskets, valves, and cables. Proto Labs is offering parts production in as fast as five business days. The company also offers some super-valuable design tips in this article.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Product: <br>'Grippy' thermoplastic elastomers
Top Product:
'Grippy' thermoplastic elastomers

When you think about "grippy" thermoplastic elastomers, grips for items like golf clubs and bicycle handles are usually the first things that come to mind. No longer, thanks to Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers. Easily colorable, easy-to-process StarGrip-X TPEs from the company's labs produce covers, stubs, and wraps that are grippy and protect expensive gadgets. The benefit is the opportunity to improve a wide range of products, from laptops and tablets to stapler bases and laboratory equipment to ensure they remain stationary on just about any surface and provide a "personalized comfort factor."
Click here to learn more.

Image - Top Product: <br>Zinc foam with cost-saving feature
Top Product:
Zinc foam with cost-saving feature

Goodfellow has announced the availability of two variants of zinc foam: 99.99% zinc deposited on a polyurethane foam and ZAMAK 410 Zn /Al4/Cu1/Mg0.04 zinc alloy foam with solid ligaments. Both combine the versatile properties of zinc or its alloy with the functional benefits of a foam. This combination should be of particular interest to design engineers working in the fields of heat exchangers, catalyst substrates, energy absorbers, filters, and mixers. Cost-saving feature: For the variant deposited on a polyurethane structure, it is possible to design the finished component in the base foam before metalizing, avoiding post-machining and thereby reducing costs. Editor's note: Goodfellow copper foam has been a favorite of Designfax readers for years, so check that out too.
Click here to learn more about Goodfellow foams.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
See a U.S. Navy railgun in action
The Office of Naval Research Electromagnetic Railgun located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division fired a world-record-setting 33-megajoule shot earlier this year, more than three times the power of the previous 2008 record. The railgun can shoot a projectile at mach-7 speed over 100 miles -- for just a fraction of the cost of the projectiles we have in current operations.
View the video.

Video Image
Five favorite no-cost engineering tools
Jeremy Regnerus, product marketing specialist for SolidWorks, takes a look at his five favorite free tools (not all SolidWorks!) for engineers. Each tool provides valuable time-saving capabilities. Watch and learn how each tool works and where to find it.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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Software
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