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January 12, 2016Volume 12 Issue 02


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

  • Tiny rotary engine concept is 4-lb powerhouse
  • Ford GT carbon fiber supercar
  • WWII 30-ton overhead crane
  • Popular Science: Power Over Wi-Fi is game-changer
  • NTSB: SpaceShipTwo breakup was human error
  • Wings: B-52 bomber weapons launcher
  • New technique can weld 'unweldable' metals
  • Wheels: Ford using 'Terminator 2' 3D-printing tech
  • Mike Likes: Switches go wireless without batteries
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table
  • No. 1 Product of 2015: 3D metal parts tougher than stainless
  • Top Product: Turn ordinary pipe into a conveyor
  • Top Product: LED retrofit kits
  • Top Product: Raspberry Pi touch-panel display
  • Top Product: First industrial motor-powered caster
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • What does Alka Seltzer do in space?
    • Jetpack flyer takes Dubai tour
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Part 1 | Designfax Most Popular
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Best of 2015 Part 2

News

Researchers build a transistor from a molecule and a few atoms

Glass paint could keep metal roofs and other structures cool -- even on sunny days

Car and truck shock absorbers aim to harvest energy from bumps in the road

Laser used to refrigerate liquids for the first time



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.


Feature articles
Tiny inverse-Wankel rotary engine concept is 4-lb powerhouse
Noise, excessive vibration, and relative inefficiency are drawbacks of the piston-based internal combustion engines (ICEs) that power today's lawn and garden equipment, such as leaf blowers and lawn trimmers. But now MIT startup LiquidPiston has developed a 4-lb rotary concept that it says is significantly smaller, lighter, and quieter, as well as 20 percent more fuel efficient than the ICEs used in many such small-engine devices.
Read the full article.
Image -
Specify and analyze thousands of different
micro motor system options today!


Image - Ford GT carbon fiber supercar aims to redefine innovation in aerodynamics, EcoBoost, and lightweighting
Ford GT carbon fiber supercar aims to redefine innovation in aerodynamics, EcoBoost, and lightweighting
Ford unveiled its all-new 2017 GT at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (Detroit) January 12, and the crowd went wild. The ultra high-performance supercar serves as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost performance, aerodynamics, and lightweight carbon fiber construction.
Read the full article.

Image - 30-ton overhead crane is testament to U.S. manufacturing, WWII sabotage-plot intrigue
30-ton overhead crane is testament to U.S. manufacturing, WWII sabotage-plot intrigue
An 85-year-old overhead crane provided the ultimate testimonial to the quality of American manufacturing recently when it was discovered still in good working condition 10 floors below Grand Central Terminal in the middle of New York City. The 30-ton Whiting double-girder crane was spotted when it was featured in an historic film about how spies sent by Hitler tried to cripple the U.S. rail transport system during WWII.
Read the full article.

Image - Popular Science names 'Power Over Wi-Fi' one of the year's game-changing technologies
Popular Science names 'Power Over Wi-Fi' one of the year's game-changing technologies
University of Washington engineers have developed a novel technology that uses a Wi-Fi router -- a source of ubiquitous but untapped energy in indoor environments -- to power devices. The Power Over Wi-Fi (PoWiFi) system is one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year, according to Popular Science, which included it in the magazine’s annual “Best of What’s New 2015” awards announced Nov. 18.
Read the full article.

Image - NTSB: Cause of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in-flight breakup was human error
NTSB: Cause of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in-flight breakup was human error
The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the cause of the Oct. 31, 2014, in-flight breakup of SpaceShipTwo, the Virgin Galactic rocket plane designed to take commercial passengers on a ride to the edge of space. NTSB cited the spacecraft maker's failure to consider and protect against human error and the co-pilot's premature unlocking of the spaceship's feather system, which performs some mechanical gymnastics to slow the vehicle down as it cruises back to Earth.
Read the full article.

Image - Wings: <br>Boeing modernizes B-52 bomber weapons bay launcher
Wings:
Boeing modernizes B-52 bomber weapons bay launcher

Boeing and U.S. Air Force personnel have successfully installed the first prototype of a new B-52 bomber weapons bay launcher that improves the aircraft's "smart" weapons capacity and mission flexibility.
Read the full article.

Image - New technique can weld 'unweldable' metals
New technique can weld 'unweldable' metals
Engineers at Ohio State University have developed a new welding technique that consumes 80 percent less energy than a common welding technique, yet creates bonds that are 50 percent stronger. The new process could have a huge impact on the auto industry, which is poised to offer new cars that combine traditional heavy steel parts with lighter, alternative metals to reduce vehicle weight.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Ford using Carbon3D's 'Terminator 2' CLIP 3D-printing technology
Wheels:
Ford using Carbon3D's 'Terminator 2' CLIP 3D-printing technology

Engineers at Ford Motor Company have been beta testing Carbon3D's Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology, the mind-blowing 3D-printing method that grows plastic parts from a pool of heated resin. In December 2014, Ford began testing a pre-release version of Carbon3D's first CLIP-based device, which was inspired, in part, by a scene in "Terminator 2."
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: Switches go wireless without batteries
Mike Likes: Switches go wireless without batteries
Cherry has introduced a new line of switches that don’t need wired connections -- or batteries to operate. Their power source is the physical actuation of the switch. In a very nice implementation of energy harvesting, that little bit of motion to throw the switch translates into power through an innovative penny-size micro-dynamo within the body of the device. One benefit to designers is a much simplified ability to implement remote switches without the need to run connecting wires, which can simplify both product design and certifications. The RF transmission distance is rated up to 300 m in open space, and up to 30 m indoors with any type of obstruction.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table promises different ways of testing
Engineer's Toolbox:
Sandia's new 6DOF vibration table promises different ways of testing

It took decades for technology to catch up with the math David Smallwood worked out to control vibration table shakers. Smallwood, a retired Sandia National Laboratories researcher who consults at the labs, knew that shaking in all directions at once was the key to realistic parts testing. Now Sandia is putting the algorithms he developed more than 30 years ago to the test by shaking up nuclear weapon components using a new six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) machine.
Read the full article.

Image - No. 1 Most Popular Product of 2015: <br>3D metal printing -- Parts that are way tougher than stainless steel
No. 1 Most Popular Product of 2015:
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 this new 3DX capability.
Watch the NanoSteel BLDRmetal powders in action.

Image - Top Product: Turn ordinary pipe into a conveyor
Top Product: Turn ordinary pipe into a conveyor
EXAIR's new aluminum 3/8 NPT and 1/2 NPT Threaded Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors convert ordinary pipe into a powerful conveying system for parts, scrap, trim, and other bulk materials. Their small size makes them perfect for fitting in the cramped spaces and tight confines of many production lines. The Threaded Line Vac is designed to attach to plumbing pipe couplers, making it easy to build a complete system using ordinary pipe and fittings. Threaded Line Vac Conveyors eject a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum on one end with high-output flows on the other. Response is instantaneous. Regulating the compressed air pressure provides infinite control of the conveying rate.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Top Product: LED retrofit kits
Top Product: LED retrofit kits
New UL-Listed LED Universal Retrofit Kits from LEDtronics provide a true screw-in retrofit unit for installation into just about any existing lighting fixture. Other kits require the user to bolt/strap in a plate or heavily modify their existing fixture to accommodate the device. This next-generation retrofit kit does not. Replace from 80 W to 1,500-W HPS and Metal Halide lamps while using only 35 to 450 W -- up to a 70 percent reduction in energy consumption. Various mounting options provided.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Top Product: Raspberry Pi  touch-panel display
Top Product: Raspberry Pi touch-panel display
Just in time for those back-to-school science projects, a new touch panel for the Raspberry Pi credit-card-size computer functions without a mouse or an alternate HDMI device -- or an extra power source. The 4DPi-24-HAT from 4D Systems and Newark element14 is a 2.4-in., 320- x 240-pixel fully HAT-compliant primary display with resistive touch that plugs directly on top of the Raspberry Pi. Neat and useful for only 35 bucks.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Top Product: First industrial motor-powered caster
Top Product: First industrial motor-powered caster
The Drive Caster from Caster Concepts integrates an electric motor with an industrial caster to create a single unit that can be easily added to carts, racks, or just about anything that rolls on casters. With a mere flip of a switch, operators can effortlessly move heavy loads without fear of injury. This is a game changer because it is the first all-in-one, motorized industrial caster. Offered with a 1/4- or 1/2-hp motor to move loads up to 6,000 lb at up to 5 mph.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Part 1 | Designfax Most Popular Stories, Products, Cool Tools, And More
Part 1 | Designfax Most Popular Stories, Products, Cool Tools, And More
What were the most-read stories in Designfax in 2015? What research stories did readers find most interesting? What products and tools generated the most buzz? Find out these answers and more in the first of our two-part Designfax special.
Go to the Most Popular issue Part 1.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
What does Alka Seltzer do in space?
Astronauts on the International Space Station dissolved an effervescent tablet in a floating ball of water and captured images using a camera capable of recording four times the resolution of normal high-definition cameras. The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos give researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station. This footage is one of the first of its kind. The cameras are being evaluated for capturing science data and vehicle operations by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.
View the video.

Video Image
Jetpack flyer takes Dubai tour
How cool would it be to fly with a real jetpack? See for yourself as Swiss-born Yves Rossy, sometimes called "Jetman" or "Rocketman," dons a 120-lb pack with 7-ft-long carbon-fiber wings and four modified kerosene-fueled model aircraft engines. In this incredible adventure, he flies with fellow jetpack enthusiast Vince Reffet around Dubai. The fuel they can carry provides up to 13 minutes of fly time. Speeds average 125 mph. Thrilling.
View the video.

Video Image

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