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August 09, 2016Volume 12 Issue 30


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

  • Engineers redesign Howitzer to make it safer, simpler
  • 3D Printing: Universal design-to-3D-print application
  • Pneumatic actuators are inspired by muscle
  • Wheels: BMW first to install automated 3D-scanner cell
  • Mike Likes: A revolution in roller pinion systems
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Selecting a brushless DC motor
  • Compressed Air: Cabinet coolers, conveyors, air jets, more
  • Mechanical: Lockable safety knobs
  • Motion: Custom-molded lead screws, motion components
  • Motion: Ultra-fast compact piezo nanopositioner
  • Great Resources: Digital Manufacturing for Dummies
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • FlexShapeGripper modeled on chameleon tongue
    • Guy turns floppy drives, scanners into orchestra
    • What's new in ANSYS SpaceClaim 2016?
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Cessna turboprop with jet-engine tech
    • A bit shocking: Tesla Gigafactory in context
    • Titanium-gold alloy 4x harder than most steels
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Army engineers redesign Howitzer recoil system

News

With wireless Li-Fi, LED bulbs can both light a room and provide communications link

Alcoa opens 3D-printing metal powder plant

Are you ready for another 7 minutes of terror? NASA's new Mars rover progresses toward 2020 launch, will use sky-crane drop-off again

Parker Aerospace and Phyre Technologies ready catalytic inerting technology for aircraft fuel tanks



Feature articles
Engineers redesign Howitzer recoil system to make gun safer, simpler, more reliable
After a year of redesigning the recoil system on the M119A3 Howitzer, engineers at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey have made the mobile weapon safer, simpler, and more reliable while also reducing the cost of the recoil system. The M119A3 Howitzer is a lightweight, direct and indirect fire support asset used by the U.S. Army and National Guard’s infantry brigade combat teams.
Read the full article.
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Learn more about the FAULHABER MC3/MCS Controller Family.


Image - 3D Printing: Stratasys launches universal design-to-3D-print application called GrabCAD Print
3D Printing: Stratasys launches universal design-to-3D-print application called GrabCAD Print
GrabCAD Print, a new software utility available from Stratasys, aims to make 3D printing fast and easy while reducing errors by eliminating requirements to translate and repair STL files in many popular CAD formats before sending the design to the printer.
Read the full article.

Image - Pneumatic actuators are inspired by human muscle
Pneumatic actuators are inspired by human muscle
To make robots more cooperative and have them perform tasks in close proximity to humans, they must be softer and safer. A new actuator developed by a team of Harvard researchers generates movements similar to those of human skeletal muscles. It uses vacuum power to automate rubber beams.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>BMW is first to install automated 3D-scanner cell
Wheels:
BMW is first to install automated 3D-scanner cell

The BMW Group is the first automobile manufacturer to introduce a fully automated, optical measuring cell. The unique system features freely moving robot arms that use sensors to generate a 3D data model, allowing barely visible deviations to be identified at an early stage.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>A revolution in roller pinion systems
Mike Likes:
A revolution in roller pinion systems

The Nexen Roller Pinion System (RPS) revolutionizes linear and rotary motion control possibilities. Based on an innovative pinion consisting of bearing-supported rollers and a unique tooth profile, this drive system provides very high positional accuracy, near-zero backlash, virtually no cumulative error, low-velocity ripple, and 99 percent efficiency. This opens up new machine design possibilities and achieves much higher levels of performance.
Learn all about this new system, including specs and worksheets, real-world applications, videos, and more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Key considerations for selecting a brushless DC motor
Engineer's Toolbox:
Key considerations for selecting a brushless DC motor

If an application requires high speed, quiet operation, low EMI, and longevity, then brushless DC motors (BLDCs) might be what you're looking for. Unfortunately, the higher cost of construction puts BLDC technology out of reach for many applications -- you can easily spend twice as much on a brushless system and lose the simplicity of a brushed motor. And don't forget to save room for the control and drive electronics too!
Read the full article.

Image - Compressed Air: EXAIR's new catalog 30 features cabinet coolers, conveyors, HEPA vacs, and air jets
Compressed Air: EXAIR's new catalog 30 features cabinet coolers, conveyors, HEPA vacs, and air jets
EXAIR’s new Catalog 30 is the company’s best catalog yet -- a full-color technical guide offering solutions to common industrial conveying, cooling, cleaning, blowoff, drying, coating, and static electricity problems. Catalog 30 introduces new Cabinet Coolers, Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors, Heavy Duty HEPA Vacs, and Stainless Steel Air Jets. EXAIR products help companies conserve compressed air, reduce dangerous noise levels, and eliminate harmful dead-end pressures. Detailed technical explanations, performance data, application photos, and dimensional drawings are provided for each product.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Mechanical: Lockable safety knobs
Mechanical: Lockable safety knobs
J.W. Winco now offers EN 5337.9 Technopolymer Plastic Lockable Safety Five-Lobed Knobs (with tapped brass insert) in metric sizes. These RoHS-compliant knobs are temperature resistant to 100 C (215 F), as well as resistant to solvents, oils, grease, and other chemical agents. To engage and release, the key must be inserted and turned by 180 degrees, creating a form lock between the handle and the tapped insert. Turning the key back by 180 degrees will release the connection. The key can be inserted and pulled off in both end positions, and two keys per knob are included.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motion: Custom-molded lead screws, linear motion components
Motion: Custom-molded lead screws, linear motion components
Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions recently added SolidWorks Plastic Professional mold flow analysis software to help with the design of custom-molded lead screw and linear motion components. Haydon Kerk’s experience using over 60 molded materials, including the Kerkite composites, PEEK, and PPS base materials, combined with the capabilities of this new software, allows engineers to reduce the time required for the design and build process for custom molds. The combination of on-site tooling and molding machines also reduces the time to production for custom parts for existing Haydon Kerk polymers or customer-specified materials.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motion: Ultra-fast compact piezo nanopositioner
Motion: Ultra-fast compact piezo nanopositioner
The new P-630 X-axis nanopositioning stage from PI (Physik Instrumente), with a large clear 30-mm diameter aperture, 0.1-nm resolution, and a small footprint and low profile, will ensure high accuracy and long life with travel ranges to 80 µm. Equipped with an internal capacitive sensor that allows for precise, extremely stable motion, the stiff flexure design enables exceptional responsiveness and accuracy. Vacuum version is available. PI piezo actuators are being utilized in research and industry microstructuring and scanning applications, precision positioning of optical elements, and micromachining.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Great Resources:<br> Get 'Digital Manufacturing for Dummies' book gratis
Great Resources:
Get 'Digital Manufacturing for Dummies' book gratis

Proto Labs has put together a comprehensive guide to the major 3D-printing, CNC machining, and injection-molding technologies that are frequently used in digital manufacturing. The book helps readers to compare processes, explore material options, and see how digital manufacturing can fit into every stage of the product life cycle.
Get your copy on the house.

Most popular last issue

Image - Next-gen Cessna turboprop features jet-engine tech and 3D-printed engine parts
Next-gen Cessna turboprop features jet-engine tech and 3D-printed engine parts
Textron Aviation just unveiled a new business aircraft powered by a propeller engine that features many of the comforts of a private jet, but at an entry-level price. The plane, called the Cessna Denali, will have the largest cabin in its class -- seating up to eight people -- and an engine powerful and efficient enough to reach Chicago from Los Angeles or Miami from New York. GE Reports takes a look at the plane's jet-engine technology and 3D-printed engine parts.
Read the full article.

Image - A little bit shocking: Industry analyst puts Tesla battery Gigafactory in context
A little bit shocking: Industry analyst puts Tesla battery Gigafactory in context
In a recent BBC interview, battery expert Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of analysts at IDTechEx, praised the Tesla initiative of building the world's largest factory building but pointed out that it is only part of a huge ramp up of lithium-ion battery production where the East Asians are really in the driver's seat.
Read the full article.

Image - Titanium-gold alloy 4x harder than most steels
Titanium-gold alloy 4x harder than most steels
Titanium is the leading material for artificial knee and hip joints because it's strong, wear-resistant, and nontoxic, but an unexpected discovery by Rice University physicists shows that the gold standard for artificial joints can be improved with the addition of some actual gold.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
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
Guy turns floppy drives, scanners, etc. into orchestra
Polish university student Pawel Zadrozniak, who admits he has extra time on his hands, makes impressive music from the mundane sounds of things like stepper motors running magnetic heads on floppy drives or flatbed scanners moving back and forth. Learn about his unique approach to creating his own full-blown orchestra (called the "Floppotron"), and enjoy music from "Star Wars," "Hawaii Five-O," Nirvana, and "Game of Thrones" along the way.
Learn more and watch some fun music being made.

Video Image
What's new in ANSYS SpaceClaim 2016?
Check out this quick overview of what's new in ANSYS SpaceClaim 2016. Lots of new capabilities, including: locking down parameters, automatically smoothing edges, model rotation, names changes, sheet metal enhancements, easy complex flanges, easy animations, and more.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

Electrical/Electronics
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Mechanical
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Motion
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