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August 26, 2014Volume 10 Issue 32


Image - Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Micro Plastics announces a new product line of Special Standard Round Spacers. The new line of molded nylon round spacers includes over 250 sizes, with diameters of 1/8" through 1 1/2" and lengths from 1/8" to 2 3/4". These tough, resilient spacers can be used in a variety of assemblies. Useful in electronic and electrical applications, they may also be used as bushings, bearings, rollers, gliders, and bumpers. They are resistant to vibration, abrasion, and corrosion; are electrically insulating; and have a high strength-to-weight ratio.

Click here to learn more.


In this issue of Designfax

  • NASA validating use of 'green' propellant
  • Military: Safer, more accurate tracer round
  • Thermoelectrics: Running on waste heat
  • Wheels: Plastic bearings show their mettle
  • Mike Likes: World's first robot with advanced safety
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Super-clever robotics gripper
  • Cool Tools: USB 200x microscope/magnifier
  • Products: Really smart foldable development board
  • Products: ID/OD retaining ring lock
  • Products: Mini rotary actuator
  • Products: Brighter, stronger, cooler flip-chip LEDs
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • 3D-printed M.C. Escher drawings (not a typo)
    • Skunk Works' future of aeronautics
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Engineer's Toolbox: Rifle-barrel maker
    • Beyond GPS: Five next-generation technologies
    • Catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: igus plastic bearings go on world tour [Image: igus]

News

5 billion transistors and counting: DARPA SyNAPSE program develops advanced brain-inspired chip

Volvo unveils revolutionary inflatable child seat concept

To Mars and beyond: NASA begins engine test project for Space Launch System rocket

Truly transparent solar concentrators aim to make energy and keep your window view



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IMPORTANT message for gmail users -- both personal and corporate email accounts
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Feature articles

Image - NASA spacecraft to validate use of 'green' propellant
NASA spacecraft to validate use of 'green' propellant
Milestone progress is being made in readying NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for launch in 2016, a smallsat designed to test the unique attributes of a high-performance, non-toxic, "green" fuel on orbit.
Read the full article.

Image - Military: <br>Army engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round
Military:
Army engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Engineers at the U.S. Army's Picatinny Arsenal are developing a new type of tracer round that will give only those at the shooter location the ability to see where the round is headed.
Read the full article.

Image - Thermoelectrics: <br>Running on waste heat
Thermoelectrics:
Running on waste heat

Think thermoelectric generators for tanks are a good idea to help save on expensive fuel? Well they're in the works. MIT's Gang Chen has created a spin-off company that makes thermoelectric devices that turn waste heat into electricity for vehicles and other machines.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Replacement plastic bearings show their mettle on worldwide car tour
Wheels:
Replacement plastic bearings show their mettle on worldwide car tour

Here's a great promotional idea. To celebrate 30 years of their line of self-lubricating plastic bearings called "iglide" (and tied into the company's 50th anniversary), igus has been traveling around the world with its orange iglide Smart car, retrofit with 56 of igus' plastic bearings in applications including the throttle valve, windshield wipers, alternator, and more. After a half-year of traveling through Asia and South America, and 17,500 miles of driving through deserts, rainforests, and some of the world's busiest cities, the tour car has made it to the United States. The igus team will be visiting customers across a massive range of industries, from automotive and motorcycle manufacturers, to aerospace, manufacturing equipment, and more.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>World's first robot with advanced safety settings
Mike Likes:
World's first robot with advanced safety settings

With eight new adjustable safety-rated functions, Universal Robots now provides the only robot in the world that adapts advanced safety settings to each specific application. The third generation of the company's UR5 and UR10 robot arms also comes equipped with True Absolute Encoders that eliminate the need for re-initializing the robot, enabling automatic startup and easier integration into other machinery.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Impressive 'coffee-filled' soft robotics gripper now available commercially
Engineer's Toolbox:
Impressive 'coffee-filled' soft robotics gripper now available commercially

An extremely clever robotic gripper invented by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University a few years ago is now available commercially. Empire Robotics, the company founded to commercialize the "jamming gripper" invention, is taking orders for its product called VERSABALL, which wowed industry and academic professionals nationwide with a prototype that was a party balloon filled with vacuum-packed coffee.
Read the full article.

Image - Cool Tools: <br>USB microscope/magnifier boasts 200x power
Cool Tools:
USB microscope/magnifier boasts 200x power

If you need easy super-magnification at your desktop (and who doesn't?), Saelig's MV200UM is a 2-megapixel USB digital microscope for capturing high-quality magnified images and video for display on a PC using a simple USB 2.0 PC connection. The handy unit can take snapshots and time-lapse sequences. It contains a built-in white LED illumination ring for viewing tiny components and markings, examining traces and solder joints on printed circuit boards, or for detailed product examination and record-taking, inspection, and quality-control purposes. For 60 bucks, a real cool tool or a great thing to pick up for your kid's impending science project.
Learn more about this product.
View a very thorough video review of this product.

Image - Products: <br>Smart enclosure provides a stow-away workspace for multiple development boards
Products:
Smart enclosure provides a stow-away workspace for multiple development boards

Bud Industries has come up with a really smart solution to the problem of organizing multiple development boards and a maze of wiring. Using a "flat or folded" approach, the patent-pending Board-ganizer enclosure provides a tidy work platform, keeps components of a design project in one place, and makes breadboarded designs easy to store and transport. Popular PC development boards such as the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Freescale Freedom, etc. easily attach to the Board-ganizer using adhesive rubber feet. Up to three development boards and a breadboard may be installed on a single enclosure. The enclosure's hinged design makes it easy to work on a project with the boards located side by side. Fold the project into a compact 5 in. x 5 in. x 3 in. enclosure for storage or transport -- no need to disconnect any wires.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Products: <br>ID/OD retaining ring lock
Products:
ID/OD retaining ring lock

Spirolox Retaining Rings, available only from Smalley, can operate in an internal and an external groove at the same time! Spiral-type retaining rings have many great benefits for the ID/OD Lock, some of which include concealed fastening, no required assembly tooling, and a 360-degree rotational capacity.
Click here to see application examples and more.

Image - Products: <br>Mini rotary actuator has highest torque and power output
Products:
Mini rotary actuator has highest torque and power output

New Scale Technologies has demonstrated a miniature rotary actuator module (M3-R) with torque of 0.17 Nm and speeds of more than 400 degrees per second in a compact, 60-mm-diameter by 8-mm-thick design. Resulting from the successful completion of a Phase 1 SBIR project for the U.S. Navy, the non-inductive rotary actuator module delivers higher power output in a smaller footprint than electromagnetic pancake motors or other piezoelectric actuators. Applications include guided munitions and missile systems, MRI-compatible medical devices, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controls, gimbal systems, and computer equipment.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Products: <br>Brighter, stronger, cooler flip-chip LEDs
Products:
Brighter, stronger, cooler flip-chip LEDs

TitanBrite Wireless Bonded LEDs from Lumex feature "flip chips" that are up to 15 percent brighter than any others in the market. In addition to the standard 3-W and 6-W LEDs, Lumex's TitanBrite Wireless Bonded LED is also available in 9 W. Wireless bonded LED technology, also referred to as "flip chip," offers several key performance benefits over traditional surface-mount technology (SMT) LEDs, including enhanced durability, enhanced heat dissipation, and superior light performance. A flip-chip LED is up to 15 percent brighter, 5x stronger, and 25 percent cooler than alternative technologies. Applications include: automotive interiors, appliance backlighting, industrial control lighting, medical lighting, signage, construction, and military.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Rifle-barrel maker takes hole-making to new level
Engineer's Toolbox:
Rifle-barrel maker takes hole-making to new level

Fred Feddersen is a rifle-barrel maker on a mission to do something that's never been done before: create a production barrel that can shoot successive bullets through the same hole, using an inexpensive semiautomatic rifle, not a bolt-action Olympic race gun.
Read the full article.

Image - Beyond GPS: Five next-generation technologies for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT)
Beyond GPS: Five next-generation technologies for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT)
Penny-sized inertial sensors, pulsed lasers, and tracked lightning strikes are among novel approaches to provide precise location-based insights in GPS-denied areas.
Read the full article.

Image - New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel
New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Making M.C. Escher's drawings come to life with 3D printing
Is it possible to create 3D objects that represent some of M.C. Escher's head-scratching 2D drawings? Well that is what Prof. Gershon Elber of Israel's Technion's Faculty of Computer Science has done. See the impossible come to life using an Objet 3D printer. Super cool.
View the video.

Video Image
Skunk Works' vision of future aeronautics
Take a peek inside the minds of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works engineers as they describe advanced aeronautics that are on the horizon, including morphing vehicles made of far-out materials.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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