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August 16, 2016Volume 12 Issue 31


Image - CNC Machining Material Selector!
CNC Machining Material Selector!
Proto Labs’ free Material Selector is a quick reference guide to help you identify the right thermoplastic and metal materials for your next machining project. It lists specific measurements like tensile strength, heat deflection and hardness to ensure you have the most suitable material for your part’s application, and even includes a detailed chart of threading option.
Get a free Material Selector today!

In this issue of Designfax

  • Six surprising capabilities of modern hydraulics
  • Navy dive helmet display emerges as game-changer
  • Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law
  • Wheels: Entire military vehicles become antennas
  • Robotics: Zippermast extension for UGVs and more
  • Engineer's Toolbox: When to use air-bearing stages
  • Mike Likes: Material Selection Guide - Retaining Rings
  • Fasteners: The aliens have landed. Lock 'em up.
  • Fluid Power: Protect circuits with edge-welded bellows
  • Fasteners: Self-clinching pilot pins
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Robotiq brings sense of touch to Universal Robots
    • NASA's high-def camera records rocket test
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Engineers redesign Howitzer gun recoil system
    • Move over Wi-Fi: LED bulbs provide data link
    • Alcoa opens 3D-printing metal powder plant
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Game-changing Navy dive helmet display [DoD photo by EJ Hersom]

News

Will self-driving cars be bullied? New research project aims to find out

Carbon nanotube 'stitches' strengthen composites, could make airplane frames lighter and more damage resistant

State-of-the-art 3D printing could revolutionize laser design and a whole lot more

New programming language can speed up computer simulations 200X or reduce the code they require by 90 percent



Image - Machining Without Coolant
Machining Without Coolant
Replace messy mist systems and improve dry machining with clean, cold air! EXAIR’s Cold Gun Aircoolant System improves tolerances, tool life and production rates by cooling with 20°F air. The Cold Gun is ideal for tool sharpening, drill and cutter grinding, milling, band sawing, more.

Website offers detailed information.


Feature articles
Six surprising capabilities of modern hydraulics
Bosch Rexroth's Dr. Steffen Haack lays out six capabilities for modern hydraulics as a strong drive technology that is well prepared for Industry 4.0 applications, which may come as a surprise for many. Don't underestimate the performance and intelligence of this highly precise and energy-efficient technology.
Read the full article.
Image -
Free Design Guide from 3D Systems
On Demand Manufacturing, Quickparts


Image - Navy dive helmet display emerges as game-changer
Navy dive helmet display emerges as game-changer
The once-ribbing term “four-eyes” now secures a coolness factor, thanks to a team of Navy engineers who have developed a high-resolution, see-through, heads-up display embedded directly inside a KM-37 Navy dive helmet to keep its users safer, more efficient, and more effective underwater. The next-generation, futuristic, 3D-printed prototype might even evoke the envy of Ironman.
Read the full article.

Image - Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law
Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law
Like a whirlpool, a new light-based communication tool carries data in a swift, circular motion. Described in a study published recently in the journal Science, the optics advancement could become a central component of next-generation computers designed to handle society’s growing demand for information sharing. It may also be a salve to those fretting over the predicted end of Moore’s Law.
Read the full article.

Image - Hexapods facilitate 6-axis automation applications
Hexapods facilitate 6-axis automation applications
Parallel kinematics' design versatility delivers nanometer precision in 6 axes of flexible motion. Easily programmable center of rotation and coordinate systems, with software tools for complex 6-axis patterned motion generation. 20 years of hexapod experience; 100 different models, load range from 2kg to 2 tons.
READ Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes >
LEARN more about Hexapods >
ASK a PI Engineer >

Image - Wheels: <br>Antenna design turns entire military vehicles into broadcasting equipment
Wheels:
Antenna design turns entire military vehicles into broadcasting equipment

Instead of adding more bulk to their designs, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers are working to increase the effective size of high-frequency antennas by turning the military vehicles that carry them into transmitters -- using the structures that support the antennas themselves to help broadcast signals.
Read the full article.

Image - Robotics and Robot Drives: <br>Zippermast extension for UGVs and more
Robotics and Robot Drives:
Zippermast extension for UGVs and more

When the American armed forces needed a compact and robust system to be used on unmanned vehicles, the design of the Zippermast proved to be the unique solution. The Zippermast was inspired by a metal tape measure, and is comprised of three interlinked steel tapes which are wrapped around coils and arranged in relation to each other at angles of 120 degrees. Compact, high-torque DC motors extend the mast quickly, even when loaded.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>When to use air-bearing stages over mechanical bearings -- and when not to
Engineer's Toolbox:
When to use air-bearing stages over mechanical bearings -- and when not to

Most motion applications are perfectly well-served by mechanical bearing guidance, but there are many cases where precision, angular repeatability, and geometric performance must be optimal or where vibration and sub-micron bearing rumble is problematic. An air-bearing stage, which floats on a cushion of air, can help in these situations -- nearly eliminating mechanical contact and thus wear, friction, vibration, and hysteresis effects.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Material Selection Guide - Retaining Rings
Mike Likes:
Material Selection Guide - Retaining Rings

Choosing the correct material for your retaining ring or wave spring design can be a critical factor in the success of your application's performance and longevity. Smalley Engineers have created a brand new Material Selection Guide that will help you through the selection process. This easy-to-navigate visual walks you through the 5 most important factors to consider.
Get your Smalley Material Selection Guide.

Image - Fasteners: The aliens have landed. Lock 'em up.
Fasteners: The aliens have landed. Lock 'em up.
It looks “alien,” but it’s the ultimate in box-security fasteners. In fact, the Alien Lock from Micro Plastics is the first and only dedicated box fastener. It is a much less expensive solution than banding or taping your boxes, and it keeps them more secure, too. It’s easy and fast to insert, and it’s incredibly strong. It cannot be pulled out without it being obvious that the box was tampered with -- it must be cut off. This is a 1-step fastener: Push Alien Lock through the lock port, and the locking process is finished.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Fluid Power: Protect circuits with edge-welded bellows
Fluid Power: Protect circuits with edge-welded bellows
Use edge-welded metal bellows to compensate for expanding fluids and to prevent leaks that could damage equipment in many fluid-power and fluid-handling applications. BellowsTech edge-welded bellows are superior to alternative methods because they are able to maintain proper flow during normal operation and expand and contract to compensate for volumetric changes of the liquid or gas that could otherwise result in blown seals, leaks, broken sensors, and premature wear and tear.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Fasteners: Self-clinching pilot pins come in several variations
Fasteners: Self-clinching pilot pins come in several variations
PEM self-clinching pilot pins from PennEngineering are offered in a variety of designs to provide ideal hardware solutions for positioning, alignment, or pivot applications. All install in thin metal sheets and become permanent parts of an assembly, and all install easily into thin metal sheets by pressing them into a pre-punched mounting hole of the proper size. After installation they become permanent parts of an assembly. Type TPS pins install in steel or aluminum sheets, and Type TP4 pins are designed for stainless steel assemblies. Type TPXS pins are engineered with a 15-degree tapered point, while Type MPP micro pins are made for compact consumer electronic assemblies.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Engineers redesign Howitzer recoil system to make gun safer, simpler, more reliable
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.

Image - Move over Wi-Fi: LED bulbs can both light a room and provide data link
Move over Wi-Fi: LED bulbs can both light a room and provide data link
Researchers at Disney Research and ETH Zurich have demonstrated that consumer-grade light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs can, with some modifications, do double duty: illuminate a room and provide a communications link for devices in that room -- simultaneously.
Read the full article.

Image - Alcoa opens 3D-printing metal powder plant
Alcoa opens 3D-printing metal powder plant
Lightweight metals specialist Alcoa has opened a state-of-the-art, 3D-printing metal powder production facility at the world’s largest light metals research center right outside Pittsburgh, PA.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Robotiq brings sense of touch to Universal Robots with new force torque sensor
Watch Robotiq's new Force Torque Sensor FT 300 with Universal Robots in action! This new Sensor opens up a whole range of force-sensitive applications. With plug-and-play integration on all Universal Robots, the FT 300 makes automation of high-precision tasks such as product testing, assembly, and precise part insertion easy and fast to set up.
Click here to learn more.
Click here to watch the FT 300 in action.
Request a quote.

Video Image
NASA's new High Dynamic Range Camera records rocket test
While thousands turned out to watch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) recently complete a full-scale test of its booster, few were aware of the other major test occurring simultaneously. NASA’s High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) project featuring a revolutionary high-speed camera filmed the test, recording propulsion video data in never-before-seen detail. The HiDyRS-X project originated from a problem that exists when trying to film rocket motor tests. Rocket motor plumes, in addition to being extremely loud, are also extremely bright, making them difficult to record without drastically cutting down the exposure settings on the camera. Doing so, however, darkens the rest of the image, obscuring other important components on the motor. Traditionally, video cameras record using one exposure at a time, but HiDyRS-X records multiple, slow-motion video exposures at once, combining them into a high dynamic range video that perfectly exposes all areas of the video image.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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