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February 05, 2019Volume 15 Issue 05


Image - Custom Wave Springs from Smalley
Custom Wave Springs from Smalley
Smalley can manufacture custom Wave Springs quickly and economically to meet your specific application requirements. Because force and deflection requirements are application-specific, custom springs are often needed. With Smalley's No-Tooling-Cost™ manufacturing process, customs can be produced from .157" to 120" diameters in carbon steel, stainless steel, or other readily available exotic alloys. Prototypes can be available in as little as two weeks for testing. Free samples are available of standard parts for testing.
Learn more.

In this issue of Designfax

  • Wards 10 Best Engines 2019
  • Neat! Gecko Gripper with NASA tech comes to market
  • Nickel 'metallic wood' has strength of titanium
  • Harley goes electric with LiveWire motorcycle
  • The always-on magnetic encoder!
  • Selecting the best option for coloring plastics
  • Top Tech Tip: Bearing insulation prevents electrical damage
  • Direct interface for cobots and CNC machines launched
  • Quiet 3-to-1 speed reducers -- 98% efficient
  • Springs made of high-performance, engineered plastic
  • Gain more torque with a cooler-running motor
  • Integrate Alexa and more into your product
  • NASA ebook: The Power for Flight
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Universal Robots automates resistive welding
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Is this Boeing's flying car? Prototype flies
    • Toyota Supra is back! Sportier than ever
    • Solar device turns water into superheated steam
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Harley goes electric: 2020 LiveWire

News

New battery-free 'rectenna' converts Wi-Fi signals to electricity using 2D materials

Research raises awareness of indoor air quality risk from 3D printers

If self-driving cars cruise to avoid paying to park, then autonomous vehicles 'have every incentive to create havoc,' transportation planner says

MIT robot combines vision and touch to learn the game of Jenga



Image - World's Smallest Stepper Motor is a Big Win
World's Smallest Stepper Motor is a Big Win
MICROMO presents the FAULHABER FDM 0620 series stepper motor. Measuring just 6 mm in diameter and 9.7 mm in length, including all components and connections, and with a 0.25 mNm holding torque rating, the FDM 0620 stepper motor series is small enough to fit in the most compact spaces for limitless applications. This micro stepper motor is also now available for purchase online with and without leadscrew options.
Click here to learn more.

Feature articles

Image - Wards 10 Best Engines 2019: Gasoline, electrified, and even hydrogen powertrains
Wards 10 Best Engines 2019: Gasoline, electrified, and even hydrogen powertrains
WardsAuto has announced the winners of its annual Wards 10 Best Engines award program, and for the first time ever three pickup truck engines are honored, while four electrified powertrains make the cut for the second year in a row.
Read the full article.

Image - Neat! Gecko Gripper with NASA tech comes to market
Neat! Gecko Gripper with NASA tech comes to market
End-effector tooling specialist OnRobot is now taking orders for its Gecko Gripper, which uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillar stalks that adhere to a surface using powerful van der Waals forces -- the same way that geckos climb. The technology was first developed at Stanford and perfected by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. It's fascinating how it works. It's kind of like Velcro -- if you only needed one side of the Velcro tape.
Read the full article.

Image - Nickel 'metallic wood' has the strength of titanium and the density of water
Nickel 'metallic wood' has the strength of titanium and the density of water
University researchers have built a sheet of nickel with nanoscale pores that make it as strong as titanium but four to five times lighter. The empty space of the pores, and the self-assembly process in which they're made, make the porous metal akin to a natural material, such as wood.
Read the full article.

Image - Harley goes electric with LiveWire motorcycle
Harley goes electric with LiveWire motorcycle
There's a new sound at Harley-Davidson, and it's not that deep rumbling roar you hear from their traditional two-wheelers. It's more of a high-pitched zip, and it comes from LiveWire, the company's first electric production motorcycle, which is now available for pre-order. LiveWire's instant torque rockets riders from 0 to 60 mph in under 3.5 sec, so that mosquito-on-steroids buzz sound is no indicator of the bike's real power.
Read the full article.

Image - The always-on magnetic encoder!
The always-on magnetic encoder!
Novotechnik's RSM2800 Series measures up to 5,760° of rotation (16 turns) while measuring angles to less than 0.1° resolution. The RSM2800 continues to count turns and measure angle -- even when you lose power! There are no gears, optics, or batteries. Applications include robotics, material handling, forklifts, overhead doors, agricultural machines, and more.
Learn more.

Image - Selecting the best option for coloring plastics products
Selecting the best option for coloring plastics products
Designers of plastic products know the importance of choosing a dynamic color in order for a product to stand out from the competition. Not surprisingly, many are not as familiar with the fundamentals of color matching in plastic and the challenges certain resins can pose. Unfortunately, often this isn't discovered until deep into the product development cycle and after considerable time and money are invested in the project.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Tech Tip: Bearing insulation prevents electrical current damage
Top Tech Tip: Bearing insulation prevents electrical current damage
Bearing damage can occur when electrical currents use the rolling contact as a conducting path. Insulated bearings prevent premature bearing failures eventually caused by stray electrical currents. But insulation properties must remain stable regardless of environmental conditions, in particular when bearings are stored, handled, and operated in humid climates. SKF dives deep into this issue.
Read the full article.

Image - Direct interface for cobots and CNC machines launched
Direct interface for cobots and CNC machines launched
Manufacturers struggling to get CNC machines to communicate directly with their collaborative robot now have a solution: VersaBuilt's CNC Communication URCap is a simple yet powerful interface for machine-tending applications with Universal Robots. Launching at Universal Robots' booth 4605 at the ATX West show this week in Anaheim, the URCap allows a UR cobot to easily execute any machining program stored on the CNC directly through the cobot's own teach pendant.
Learn more.

Image - Quiet 3-to-1 speed reducers use traction drive technology for 98% efficiency
Quiet 3-to-1 speed reducers use traction drive technology for 98% efficiency
Rolling Motion Industries (RMI) has released two new traction drive speed reducers. With only six moving parts, they typically outlast conventional gearboxes and speed reducers by a factor of three. The MAR17-1-3.1 Speed Reducer is designed for input speeds up to 3,600 rpm with 10 to 20 in.-lb of torque, and the MAR-23-1-3.1 Speed Reducer is rated for the same speeds but with an input of 20 to 30 in.-lb of torque. As the output speed is reduced by a factor of three, the output torque increases by a factor of three. These high-efficiency speed reducers generate up to 72 percent less heat because they use a special engineered fluid that cools and lubricates the traction drive.
Learn more.

Image - Springs made of high-performance, engineered plastic
Springs made of high-performance, engineered plastic
Lee Spring's LeeP plastic composite compression springs molded from Ultem resins provide critical advantages over traditional metal alloy springs. They feature high strength-to-weight ratio, no magnetic interference, high corrosion resistance, and dielectric insulation for non-conductive applications. They are stocked in a variety of standard sizes, each available in a "rainbow" of strengths formulated from different Ultem resins. They were designed to meet a wide range of spring applications where non-corroding, non-metallic, inert materials are preferred.
Learn more.

Image - Gain more torque with a cooler-running motor
Gain more torque with a cooler-running motor
The slim-design G3718V whisper torque motor from Lin Engineering incorporates a heat-sink design within the stator laminations to allow for passive cooling. When your motor operates cooler, you can increase power to gain more torque without overheating, or you can save energy and still perform at optimal performance. At only 22.8 mm long, this motor produces 25 oz-in. of torque.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Integrate Alexa and more into your product or project
Integrate Alexa and more into your product or project
The MATRIX Voice Development Kit from MATRIX Labs aims to lower the barriers to entry for the creation and deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) voice applications. This platform enables users to develop voice recognition and detection projects that utilize Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa -- or any other voice recognition API. This open-source platform for the Raspberry Pi consists of a 3.14-in.-diameter development board, a radial array of 7 MEMS microphones, a Xilinx Spartan6 FPGA with 64 Mbit SDRAM, 18 RGBW LEDs, and 64 GPIO pins. It can also be used as a standalone device with the ESP32. Available from Newark element14.
Learn more from MATRIX Labs.
See purchase options from Newark element14.

Image - NASA ebook: The Power for Flight -- NASA's Contributions to Aircraft Propulsion
NASA ebook: The Power for Flight -- NASA's Contributions to Aircraft Propulsion
Since 1958, NASA researchers have pushed the boundaries of the design of power plants for both subsonic and supersonic flight. Innovations that emerged from NASA programs contributed to the development of ultra-high bypass turbofans, advanced turboprops, and refined systems reflecting the desire for more efficient, quieter, cleaner, and safer engines. "The Power for Flight" by Jeremy R. Kinney is a survey of NASA's work in aircraft propulsion from its origins as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to the early 21st century -- all neatly packed into more than 300 pages. Enjoy!
Learn more (no registration required).

Most popular last issue

Image - Is this Boeing's flying car? Prototype takes flight
Is this Boeing's flying car? Prototype takes flight
Is this what you thought a flying car would look like? Boeing's NeXt program has begun testing its passenger air vehicle prototype to "advance the safety and technology of urban air mobility." The electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle currently has a range of up to 50 miles.
Read the full article.

Image - Toyota Supra is back! And it's sportier than ever
Toyota Supra is back! And it's sportier than ever
After 20 years out of production, Toyota is resurrecting the Supra, the sporty two-door that traces its DNA back to the Celica, but also shares a more than 50-year lineage with unique Toyota sports and GT cars. This fifth-generation Supra is a fully forward-looking sports car, brimming with a cutting-edge powertrain, chassis, and multimedia technology. The 2020 GR Supra is also the quickest Toyota-branded production vehicle to date.
Read the full article.

Image - Solar device turns water into superheated steam
Solar device turns water into superheated steam
MIT engineers have built a device that soaks up enough heat from the sun to boil water and produce "superheated" steam hotter than 100 degrees Celsius, without any expensive optics. On a sunny day, the structure can passively pump out steam hot enough to sterilize medical equipment, as well as to use in cooking and cleaning.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Universal Robots automates challenging resistive welding task, delivering 40% efficiency increase
"Using collaborative robots to tend resistive welders? To the best of our knowledge, this was not something anyone in the industry had done before." Watch how T&W Stamping in Ohio solved a challenging automation task with UR cobots, delivering a 40% efficiency increase at a price point that stunned the management team.
View the video:
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