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December 15, 2015Volume 11 Issue 47


Image - 2016 Cool Parts Calendar
2016 Cool Parts Calendar
Keep track of your schedule in 2016 with our Cool Parts Calendar that showcases a year’s worth of cool medical devices, aerospace components, automotive parts, lighting elements and more. Each month highlights what’s possible with 3D printing/additive manufacturing, CNC machining and injection molding at Proto Labs.

Click here to get your 2016 calendar.


In this issue of Designfax

  • Fire-starting drone takes flight
  • Designing single-axis drive systems just got easier
  • New phase of carbon makes diamond at room temp
  • Wheels: Discovery of ‘stainless magnesium’
  • Mike Likes: No-cost NASA ebooks
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Slip clutches maximize designs
  • Motion Control: Automation in lab sample analyses
  • Sensors: Shaft-protected position sensing
  • Joining: Shaft collars/couplings for food/bev
  • Motors: Hydraulic motors 26% more compact
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • How igus can offer a 36-month cable guarantee
    • Disney researchers track everything you touch
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • FlatCam is a tiny lens-less camera
    • Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
    • 3D metal printing: Parts tougher than stainless
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: University of Nebraska-Lincoln creates drones of fire

News

Researchers create impressive image of what dolphins 'see' when they use echolocation

Automotive composite coil-spring tech wins major industry award

Students build Singapore's first personal flying machine

Engineers refine thermal protection system for Orion spacecraft's next mission



Feature articles

Image - Fire-starting drone could aid in conservation, fire prevention
Fire-starting drone could aid in conservation, fire prevention
A new fire-starting drone under development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln could change the way wildfires are fought -- and encourage the use of prescribed burns for conservation purposes.
Read the full article.

Image - Designing single-axis drive systems just got easier
Designing single-axis drive systems just got easier
Do you have to specify and coordinate mechanical systems and electric drives? It's a complicated and time-consuming procedure. Festo's engineering and selection software called PositioningDrives offers support and guidance throughout the planning process, making it easier for you to find the right mechatronic drive solution, avoiding design mistakes and improving system energy efficiency.
Read the full article.

Image - New phase of carbon makes diamond at room temperature, ambient air pressure
New phase of carbon makes diamond at room temperature, ambient air pressure
Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, that is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Discovery of ‘stainless magnesium’ could spur design revolution for transportation
Wheels:
Discovery of ‘stainless magnesium’ could spur design revolution for transportation

Researchers in Australia have taken the first steps toward mass-producing “stainless magnesium,” a new high-strength, lightweight metal that aims to pave the way for cars, trucks, and airplanes that can travel further distances on less fuel.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: No-cost NASA ebooks
Mike Likes: No-cost NASA ebooks
Why not give yourself a little treat this holiday season? You deserve it, especially if it's gratis. "Unlimited Horizons: Design and Development of the U-2" is one of NASA's latest ebooks. This one chronicles the six-decade-long development of the U-2, which was born of a Cold War necessity to maintain the balance of power between East and West. It now serves equally well as a high-altitude tool for tracking extremists in the Afghan mountains and the migration of destructive spruce bark beetles in Alaskan forests. Check out NASA's other no-cost offerings, including a comprehensive history of the F-16XL experimental prototype, a look at 25 years of stunning Hubble Space Telescope images, and more.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>How slip clutches can maximize your designs
Engineer's Toolbox:
How slip clutches can maximize your designs

The way they see it over at Polyclutch, there aren't a whole lot of problems you can't solve with a slip clutch. Way beyond using them for overload protection, there are a surprising number of other applications for these versatile and valuable components. From increasing machine speeds and applying constant tension on wire to indexing a conveyor and automatic screw assembly, slip clutches just may provide the design leverage that you've been seeking.
Read the full article.

Image - Motion Control: Automation in lab sample analyses
Motion Control: Automation in lab sample analyses
In the specimen distribution system designed by Hamburg-based specialists, the identity of a lab sample is linked to the identity of a movable sample carrier upon delivery to the allocation point. The automated system knows which trolley is transporting which sample, as well as which analyses are necessary for each sample. The trolleys then move entirely automatically over plastic rails to the respective specimen analysis stations, thanks to FAULHABER micro motors.
Read the full article.

Image - Sensors: Shaft-protected position sensing
Sensors: Shaft-protected position sensing
Novotechnik introduces the LWX-003/004 Series of position sensors designed for extremely harsh environments. The all-metal sensor shaft features a pressure equalization valve and the LWX-004 version also provides rod protection over its range of motion with an SS304 alloy, 0.9-mm-thick stainless steel shield. The LWX Series’ differential pressure compensation system compensates for the pump effect -- pressure that can build up due to push-rod movement. This feature, together with an IP67 hydraulic shaft seal, provides protection against ingress of liquids and dust. Backlash-free pivot heads are designed for easy mounting and permit +/-12.5% free movement.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Joining: Shaft collars/couplings for food/bev
Joining: Shaft collars/couplings for food/bev
Stafford shaft collars, couplings, and mounting components are made from FDA- and USDA-approved materials to match user requirements for food and beverage process systems including conveyors, filling equipment, and ovens. Made from Nylon and Delrin with stainless steel fasteners, 303 and 316 stainless steel, and high-temperature alloys, they come in a variety of configurations. Available as one-piece, two-piece, and hinged shaft collars and flange mounts, those made from high-temp alloys are offered in 1/4-in. to 14-in. I.D. sizes (depending on material), and the Nylon and Delrin collars come in 1-in. to 4-in. I.D. sizes. Special bores, keyways, and other treatments are offered.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motors: Hydraulic motors 26% more compact
Motors: Hydraulic motors 26% more compact
Higher power in a smaller installation space is what construction machinery manufacturers want, and Rexroth fulfills their demands with the new A2FM 70 series bent-axis hydraulic motors. The motors are up to 26% shorter and are notable for their high power density. At the same time, Rexroth has added two extra pressure levels to the series, which now covers the pressure range up to 500 bar. The much smaller dimensions in the axial piston motors with a 40-degree bent axis have been achieved by optimizing the design of the rotary unit and using an integrated flushing and boost-pressure valve.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Look ma, no lens! FlatCam aims to change how cameras are designed into products
Look ma, no lens! FlatCam aims to change how cameras are designed into products
How thin can a camera be? Really really thin, according to Rice University researchers. FlatCams can be fabricated like microchips, with the precision, speed, and the associated reduction in costs. "We can make curved cameras or wallpaper that’s actually a camera. You can have a camera on your credit card or a camera in an ultrathin tablet computer," says one of the technology developers.
Read the full article.

Image - Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
Serviceable spacecraft make a comeback
Ever wonder about the future of space science? Hop inside a time machine that transports you back 40 years and you may get a good idea about where things are headed. History, it would seem, has a funny way of repeating itself. Serviceable spacecraft are once again de rigueur.
Read the full article.

Image - 3D metal printing: Parts that are way tougher than stainless steel
3D metal printing: Parts that are way tougher than stainless steel
3DX Industries has expanded its additive manufacturing capabilities by introducing new NanoSteel metal powders for printing complex, wear-resistant parts. Using Binder Jet additive manufacturing for prototypes and production runs, 3DX can print your parts in a variety of sizes and complexities at significantly reduced lead times -- and often more cost effectively than other additive manufacturing processes. 3DX now offers parts made with NanoSteel BLDRmetal J-10 and J-11 metal powders, which are designed for components that operate in abrasive environments and have 3X (J-10) and 10X (J-11) the wear resistance and impact toughness of an equivalent 420 stainless steel in lower-impact applications.
Click here to learn more about 3DX's new capability.
See the NanoSteel BLDRmetal powders in action.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
How can igus offer 36 months of guaranteed cable performance?
Up to 10 million cable cycles -- guaranteed with Chainflex® continuous-flexing cables! How can igus® offer this sort of unparalleled cable guarantee? Take a look inside our extensive cable testing methods, and discover how igus is able to assure customers up to 36 months of reliable flexible cable performance.
View the video.

Video Image
Disney researchers track almost everything you touch
Most everyday electrical and electromechanical objects emit small amounts of electromagnetic (EM) noise during regular operation. When a user makes physical contact with such an object, this EM signal propagates through the user, owing to the conductivity of the human body. By modifying a small, low-cost, software-defined radio, Disney researchers have created a way to detect and classify these signals in real time, enabling trackable object detection and user informatics and interactions. EM-Sense technology can discriminate between dozens of objects. Cool or creepy? You decide.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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