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May 12, 2015Volume 11 Issue 18


Image - Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog: <br>Full of New Fasteners
Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog:
Full of New Fasteners

Micro Plastics introduces its new 300-page catalog #40 containing thousands of fastening solutions for engineers and product designers. Find hundreds of new problem-solving products, including Spacers, Washers, Clips, Clamps, Ties, Bushings, Screws, Nuts, Rivets, and Plugs. Micro Plastics specializes in Nylon threaded fasteners, but the company also offers extensive product lines for wire management and circuit board hardware. FREE samples are available upon request.

Click here for more information.


In this issue of Designfax

  • Self-mating parts: Searching for symmetry
  • Hydraulics empower walking excavator
  • Battery bounce test often bounces off target
  • Wheels: Supersonic air blower for train rails
  • Mike Likes: Make your own bearings
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Gear crowning
  • Software: Robotics System Toolbox
  • New flat flexible Cat 6A Ethernet cable
  • Mini rotary actuator has highest torque, power
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Smart fabric generates electricity
    • Redefining the future of cancer treatment
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Advice from a NASA boss
    • Volvo Cars nixes passenger seat
    • Mastering engine block 'peaks and valleys'
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Forest City Gear tackles excess vibration and noise with gear crowning

News

NASA selects commercial, lower-cost suborbital firms to test latest space technologies

Navy X-47B is first unmanned aircraft to complete autonomous aerial refueling

LiquidPiston signs $1M agreement with DARPA to develop fuel-efficient, lightweight rotary combustion engine tech for U.S. military

Digital in-line holography helps researchers 'see' into fiery fuels



Image - Edge-Welded Metal Bellows Product Video
Edge-Welded Metal Bellows Product Video
BellowsTech, an industry leader in the development and manufacture of metal bellows using edge-welded metal bellows technology, proudly serves the aerospace, semiconductor, UHV, Cryogenic, Oil and Gas, and various other high-technology markets. Learn how edge-welded bellows can work in your application. Our newest product video focuses on the unique characteristics and parameters of edge-welded metal bellows.

View the video.


Feature articles

Image - Self-mating parts: Searching for symmetry
Self-mating parts: Searching for symmetry
When designing a pair of injection-molded thermoplastic parts that need to be mated together, product designers and engineers will often create two distinct halves that can connect to one another. But sometimes, if the two halves are similar or identical, it's worth exploring the cost-effective -- though sometimes challenging -- design technique of creating a single part that, when rotated 180 degrees, can mate to its symmetrical self.
Read the full article.

Image - Innovative hydraulics empower highly specialized spider/walking excavator
Innovative hydraulics empower highly specialized spider/walking excavator
The Swiss excavator manufacturer Menzi Muck unveiled the first model in its new walking excavator series at the bauma 2013 trade fair. The working hydraulics in these highly specialized construction machines are configured as a complete system of Linde Hydraulics components, including the electronic control unit.
Read the full article.

Image - Battery bounce test often bounces off target
Battery bounce test often bounces off target
Don't throw away those bouncing batteries. Researchers at Princeton University have found that the common test of bouncing a household battery to learn if it is dead or not is not actually an effective way to check a battery's charge.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Supersonic air blower sweeps train rails clean
Wheels:
Supersonic air blower sweeps train rails clean

Like an SUV towing a trailer in winter, locomotives can lose their grip on slick rails if they're pulling too much behind them. Since the weather in mountainous areas can change quickly, railroads play it safe and usually only run trains long enough to pull through all weather conditions. But shorter trains can get expensive. That's why GE locomotive engineers developed a software-guided supersonic air blower.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes:<br> Make your own bearings: <br>igus presents the world's first printable bearing material filament for 3D printers
Mike Likes:
Make your own bearings:
igus presents the world's first printable bearing material filament for 3D printers

Plastics expert igus has introduced the world's first plastic filament for 3D printers enhanced with tribological, or low-friction, properties. The material, 50 times more resistant to wear and abrasion than conventional 3D-printer materials, is ideally suited for creating custom bearings. igus even provides some STL design model files, too.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Gear crowning: A cheap fix for noise
Engineer's Toolbox:
Gear crowning: A cheap fix for noise

With the demands for smaller gearboxes transmitting more power at higher rpm and incumbent demands for greater efficiency, gear engineers are always searching for new ways to reduce vibration and limit noise -- without increasing costs.
Read the full article.

Image - Software: Robotics System Toolbox integrates MATLAB and Simulink
Software: Robotics System Toolbox integrates MATLAB and Simulink
The Robotics System Toolbox, a new product from MathWorks, features ready-to-use algorithms and hardware connectivity for developing autonomous mobile robotics applications. This solution provides an interface and complete integration between MATLAB and Simulink, and the Robot Operating System (ROS). Robotics researchers and engineers can work in a single, integrated design environment to design, test, and deploy robotics algorithms on ROS-enabled robots and robot simulators such as Gazebo and V-REP. This creates more time to focus on design explorations and iterations by reducing the manual rework of conversion from MATLAB to ROS.
Click here to learn more.

Image - New flat flexible Cat 6A Ethernet cable for continuous-motion applications
New flat flexible Cat 6A Ethernet cable for continuous-motion applications
The design of the new Lightweight & Ultra Flexible Cat 6A cable from Cicoil features four individually shielded 28-AWG 100-Ohm pairs placed in a small, flat profile, precisely controlling the spacing of each component, insulation thickness, and the overall cable shape. Unlike industry-standard Ethernet cables that don't provide consistent data transmission accuracy in continuous-motion applications, Cicoil's flat, compact design provides exceptional reliability when flexed, twisted, or routed through tight spaces, and it allows for easy stripping and a significant decrease in cable prep time.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Mini rotary actuator has highest torque and power output
Mini rotary actuator has highest torque and power output
New Scale Technologies has demonstrated a miniature rotary actuator module (M3-R) with torque of 0.17 Nm and speeds of more than 400 degrees per second in a compact, 60-mm-diameter by 8-mm-thick design. Resulting from the successful completion of a Phase 1 SBIR project for the U.S. Navy, the non-inductive rotary actuator module delivers higher power output in a smaller footprint than electromagnetic pancake motors or other piezoelectric actuators. Applications include guided munitions and missile systems, MRI-compatible medical devices, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controls, gimbal systems, and computer equipment.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Advice from a NASA boss: How an intern became Deputy Center Director
Advice from a NASA boss: How an intern became Deputy Center Director
"It actually proved a blessing that I wasn't very bright," said Rick Obenschain, looking back at his 50-year career at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. It sounds like the punchline to an odd joke, but Obenschain means it. Officially retired on March 31, he was deputy center director at Goddard since 2007. Obenschain attributes his long career -- which began in the early 1960s when he got a job as a summer engineering aide -- to luck, chances given, and learning from his mistakes. In this article, Obenschain also imparts his Three Rules of Leadership and Four Rules of Management.
Read the full article.

Image - Volvo Cars nixes passenger seat to provide ultimate luxury Lounge Console
Volvo Cars nixes passenger seat to provide ultimate luxury Lounge Console
At the Shanghai Auto Show, Volvo Cars unveiled its new, ultra-luxe car interior concept called the Lounge Console, which replaces the front passenger seat to provide a wealth of functions and amenities. The concept was shown as part of a package for the brand's XC90 "Excellence" model SUV.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Mastering engine block 'peaks and valleys'
Wheels:
Mastering engine block 'peaks and valleys'

Dick Maskin started Dart Machinery in 1981 in a two-car garage in Oak Park, a Detroit suburb, and has grown it into a manufacturing leader in racing and high-performance engine blocks, heads, and other components. The company turns out about 8,000 blocks and 16,000 heads a year for drag racing, circle track racing, road racing, high-performance custom cars and more. Maskin says that advanced honing provides a key differentiator for maintaining a competitive advantage in processing an ever-changing mix of blocks.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Smart fabric generates electricity
South Korean researchers have developed a "smart" fabric that can generate electricity to power wearable devices. There's nothing like making good use of that pesky static cling.
View the video.

Video Image
Redefining the future of cancer treatment
See how ProNova is developing the most precise solutions for pinpointing and destroying cancer with a team of dedicated engineers and scientists using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical design tools. The giant proton beam accelerator machine features over 18 miles of cabling, so imagine keeping all of that organized! This video also provides a really simple and insightful explanation of how proton therapy works.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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Mechanical
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Motion
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