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June 16, 2015Volume 11 Issue 23


Image - Digital Manufacturing for Dummies
Digital Manufacturing for Dummies
"Digital Manufacturing for Dummies" is a comprehensive guide to the major 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding technologies that are used for quick-turn prototypes and low-volume production parts. Compare processes, explore material options and see how digital manufacturing can fit into every stage of the product life cycle.

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In this issue of Designfax

  • Army develops hybrid cold-spray system
  • Exact-positioning hexapods for research in space
  • Tunable liquid metal antennas
  • Wheels: Formula One suspension adapted for combat
  • Cool Tools: 9-axis sensor toolbox breakout board
  • Engineer's Toolbox: All about lead screws
  • Fasteners: New line of phillips pan machine screws
  • Joining: New online store for couplings
  • Motors: Custom low-profile direct drive systems
  • Parts: Photo-etching specialty stainless steels
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • FlexShapeGripper modeled on chameleon tongue
    • Micro robot pulls 2,000 times its weight
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: Audi cooks up synthetic diesel using CO2
    • MIT cheetah robot clears hurdles at 5 mph
    • Delivering power where wires can't go
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Army Research Lab develops novel hybrid cold-spray system

News

New photonic chip beamsplitter puts researchers closer to computing at the speed of light

Down with metal: New plastic aerospace bracket specified for use on Bombardier jets

Mars in 37 days: Research on fusion engine to power space-travel hot rod is AIAA Best Paper

Virtual telescope expands to South Pole to see black holes



Feature articles

Image - Army researchers develop hybrid cold-spray system, transition to industry
Army researchers develop hybrid cold-spray system, transition to industry
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has developed a novel, hybrid cold-spray system in collaboration with the South Dakota School of Mines that is being transitioned throughout the Department of Defense and is anticipated to save millions of dollars in sustainment costs. The cold-spray process uses mixtures of metallic and nonmetallic particulates in powder form that are accelerated at supersonic velocities onto the surface of a worn or damaged part to restore it back to its original dimensions.
Read the full article.

Image - How exact-positioning hexapods enable research in space
How exact-positioning hexapods enable research in space
Whether looking into the infinity of space or at detailed structures at the molecular level, the essential requirements that a positioning hexapod must meet remain the same: maximum maneuverability and ultimate precision, with absolute stability. To facilitate optimum and precise alignments for astronomy research, technicians at the European Space Agency use hexapods powered by brushless dc motors.
Read the full article.

Image - Tunable liquid metal antennas bring flexibility to mobile devices
Tunable liquid metal antennas bring flexibility to mobile devices
Using electrochemistry, North Carolina State University researchers have created a reconfigurable, voltage-controlled liquid metal antenna that may play a huge role in future mobile devices and the coming Internet of Things.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Formula One suspension tech adapted to armored combat vehicles
Wheels:
Formula One suspension tech adapted to armored combat vehicles

Engineers at U.K.-based BAE Systems have applied an upgraded Active Damping system to current variants of the CV90 combat vehicle family, breaking speed records in rough terrain and increasing the CV90's agility markedly.
Read the full article.

Image - Cool Tools: <br>Freescale 9-axis sensor toolbox breakout board
Cool Tools:
Freescale 9-axis sensor toolbox breakout board

Newark element14 has added the Freescale 9-axis Sensor Toolbox Breakout Board to its extensive portfolio of technology products, which includes the largest range of development kits available globally from one single source. The BRKT-STBC-AGM01 9-axis board can be soldered onto a prototype design to determine motion, position, and location as well as angle of rotation for real-world testing.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>All about lead screws and how to apply them
Engineer's Toolbox:
All about lead screws and how to apply them

Lead screws use the helix angle of the thread to convert rotary motion to linear motion. Learn all about their benefits, performance characteristics, design choices, lifecycles, and more in this in-depth article from Thomson Industries.
Read the full article.

Image - Fasteners: New line of phillips pan machine screws
Fasteners: New line of phillips pan machine screws
Micro Plastics has added a new line to its 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 for more information.

Image - Joining: New online store for couplings
Joining: New online store for couplings
A new line of precision motion control bellows couplings and rugged beam couplings are now available for purchase through Servometer's newly launched e-commerce site. These flexible shaft couplings are capable of accommodating misalignments for parallel, angular, and axial motion or combinations of all three motions. They feature low side thrust and zero backlash and are ideal for light-duty power transmission and high-precision positioning systems. End pieces are available in both integral clamp and set screw styles. The store features hundreds of parts and bore diameters for both inch and metric hardware ranging from 2 mm to 40 mm.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motors: Custom low-profile direct drive systems
Motors: Custom low-profile direct drive systems
Applimotion now provides custom direct drive motor assemblies using its UTS frameless motor kits and MicroE encoders. For years, OEM customers have routinely designed Applimotion motor kits into direct drive systems unique to their process. MicroE has a long history of supplying precision encoders to the same customer set, offering both high accuracy and high resolution in one tight, low-profile package. Combining both technologies in one assembly offers the best solution for your precision low-profile application, such as high-performance imaging, metrology, and scanning.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Parts: Photo-etching specialty stainless steels
Parts: Photo-etching specialty stainless steels
Tech-Etch uses the photo-etching process to produce component parts for industrial, aerospace, and medical applications. The company manufactures precision thin metal parts from specialty stainless steel alloys like MP35N, Elgiloy, and 716 and 420. Other etched materials include Inconel, Hastelloy, titanium, niobium, nitinol, and magnesium, which is gaining interest as a bioresorbable surgical implant material. Parts range in thickness from .0005 in. and up. While providing quick turnaround and low tooling costs, photo-etching produces burr-free parts with intricate and complex shapes. Designs can be proved in preproduction quantities without having to commit to expensive tooling. Forming, heat treating, plating, laminating, and assembly are available in-house.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: <br>Audi cooks up synthetic diesel using CO2
Wheels:
Audi cooks up synthetic diesel using CO2

Audi has taken a big step forward in the development of sustainable fuels: A pilot plant in Dresden, Germany, has started production of a high-quality synthetic fuel called Audi e-diesel that is made from CO2.
Read the full article.

Image - MIT cheetah robot clears hurdles at 5 mph
MIT cheetah robot clears hurdles at 5 mph
In a leap for robot development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs -- making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.
Read the full article.

Image - Delivering power where wires can't go
Delivering power where wires can't go
Wouldn't it be cool if you could recharge a device "on the fly" by shooting a laser from a drone? A multi-divisional team of engineers at Southwest Research Institute is working on it. The project aims to develop an alternative charging method for on-demand power transfer to inaccessible electronic devices, such as sensors along a gas pipeline.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
New FlexShapeGripper from Festo modeled on chameleon tongue
Festo's bio-inspired FlexShapeGripper can pick up, gather, and set down several objects with a wide range of shapes in one procedure -- without the need for manual tool-gripper conversion. The gripper consists of a double-acting cylinder: one chamber is filled with compressed air while the second one is permanently filled with water. A piston, which closely separates the two chambers from each other, is fastened with a thin rod on the inside of the silicone cap. The water-filled silicone cap wraps itself around the items in a flexible and form-fitting manner.
View the video.

Video Image
Micro robot pulls 2,000 times its weight on glass
A 12-gram "micro tug" robot created by Stanford researchers moves objects 2,000 times its size on glass (steel objects without wheels or lubrication) enabled by gecko-inspired adhesives. This capability is comparable to a human dragging a blue whale. Even if the human were strong enough, his shoes would slip -- making this feat impossible without something like the micro robot's special sticky footwear.
View the video.

Video Image

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