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May 26, 2015Volume 11 Issue 20


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

  • Understanding actuators through simulation
  • NASA tests materials on Air Force space plane
  • Silicon films create vibrant optical colors
  • Wheels: Where the rubber meets the road
  • Mike Likes: Outlast, outperform metal bearings
  • Engineer's Toolbox: DMLS for complex metal parts
  • Valves: High-flow three-way electronic valves
  • Switches: Special and custom switch solutions
  • Materials: Two new TPE grades from Elastocon
  • Motors: Internal rotor drives with incredible power
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Hacker's motorized gadget cracks combo locks
    • World's smallest computer rife with possibilities
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: High-volume aluminum joining
    • Twice as fast as a jet: Mach 5 SABRE engine
    • Camera captures images at speed of light
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Self-driving Freightliner truck takes on Las Vegas

News

College researchers hack teleoperated surgical robot to reveal security flaws

Freightliner Inspiration Truck gets its autonomous vehicle license from Nevada DMV

World first: Photonic laser thruster propels simulated spacecraft

Daimler completes worldwide CAD software migration project to Siemens NX



Feature articles

Image - Understanding actuators through simulation
Understanding actuators through simulation
Mark Solveson, an application engineer at ANSYS, describes in detail how multiphysics system simulation provides insight into the operations of actuators.
Read the full article.

Image - NASA tests materials on Air Force space plane
NASA tests materials on Air Force space plane
NASA is expanding its materials science research by flying an experiment on the U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane. The Air Force operates the unpiloted, robotically controlled, and reusable X-37B space plane to test technology during long-duration missions. By flying the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space (METIS) investigation on the X-37B, materials scientists have the opportunity to expose almost 100 different materials samples to the space environment for more than 200 days.
Read the full article.

Image - Ultra-thin silicon films create vibrant optical colors
Ultra-thin silicon films create vibrant optical colors
A new technology that creates a rainbow of optical colors with ultra-thin layers of silicon has been demonstrated by a research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The technique produces a colorfast material without dyes.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Where the rubber meets the road, it's a sticky situation
Wheels:
Where the rubber meets the road, it's a sticky situation

Friction, the force that slows down objects as they slide across a surface, can save lives when car brakes are slammed. Yet despite its obvious importance, no one knows for sure how friction works at the level of atoms and molecules.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Outlast and outperform standard metal bearings with engineered plastics!
Mike Likes:
Outlast and outperform standard metal bearings with engineered plastics!

Over the past 30 years, there has been a major evolution in the advancement and use of engineered plastic materials in bearing applications. Today, plastic bearings are not only lighter and less expensive than their metal counterparts, but, unknown to many design engineers, these high-tech plastics can outlast metal bearings in unforgiving environments. Uncover common misconceptions and learn the true reliability of iglide® plastic bearings in this free whitepaper from igus.
Get the .PDF whitepaper (no registration required).

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Why DMLS is a reliable additive alternative for complex metal parts
Engineer's Toolbox:
Why DMLS is a reliable additive alternative for complex metal parts

When the first direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) machines hit the production floor, some in the manufacturing community assumed the end of traditional machining was near. As it turns out, the reality of DMLS is slightly different than those early assumptions. DMLS produces fully dense metal parts directly from CAD models, often with an accuracy and surface finish that allows a part to go directly into service. Most importantly, says Proto Labs Engineering Manager Gus Breiland, if you have a highly complex part that is impossible to machine, DMLS may be the answer.
Read the full article.

Image - Valves: High-flow three-way electronic valves
Valves: High-flow three-way electronic valves
The DV Series was designed as the next generation of Clippard's original EV line of popular "Mouse" valves. The DV-3 line of Minimatic electronic valves consists of precision-built three-way control valves that utilize a unique, patented valving principle. With a solid and sleek design, high flow rates to 70 l/min., and a cycle life over a billion, these valves are ideal for many applications across numerous diverse industries. This series is also highly modifiable with many flow, mounting, pressure, voltage, material, and other options.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Switches: Special and custom switch solutions
Switches: Special and custom switch solutions
Integra Electronics, a specialty electronics distributor, has launched a Special Manufacturing Program (SMP) that delivers tailored switches, switch assemblies, and sub-assemblies that meet customer design requirements. Serving a wide range of applications including mil/aero, industrial, appliance, and commercial, Integra Electronics partners with CW Industries to offer an efficient switch solution for OEMs with small-to-medium volume custom switch requirements. Solutions range from rocker, toggle, slide, and pushbutton actuators to sealed and high-temperature switch bodies.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Materials: Two new TPE grades from Elastocon
Materials: Two new TPE grades from Elastocon
Two new grades in the 8000 Series of general-purpose thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) -- 8088N (colorable) and 8088BL (black lubricated) -- have passed FMVSS302 specifications for flammability, making them suited for automotive interior applications. Both are supplied as ready-to-use pellets in 1,000-lb quantities and capable of being overmolded onto polypropylene (PP). Elastocon 8088N is a Shore A 88, colorable TPE for applications that call for rubber-like properties and a good surface finish ideally suited for consumer goods and industrial applications requiring U.V. stability. Elastocon 8088BL is a Shore A 90 black, lubricated TPE for applications that call for high impact resistance and a reduced COF (coefficient of friction).
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motors: Internal rotor drives with incredible power
Motors: Internal rotor drives with incredible power
For applications demanding very high torque, drive specialist maxon motor has created its EC-i 40 DC brushless motor in three high-torque versions. The iron-core internal rotor drive is available with a diameter of 40 mm and is ideally suited for applications in robotics, prosthetics, and industrial automation. The strongest motor in this series offers a maximum nominal torque of 234 mNm and is 56 mm in length. It exceeds the performance of its precursor model by up to 70 percent.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: <br>Vastly improved high-volume joining process expands use of aluminum in autos
Wheels:
Vastly improved high-volume joining process expands use of aluminum in autos

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers have demonstrated a new process for the expanded use of lightweight aluminum in cars and trucks at the speed, scale, quality, and consistency required by the auto industry. The process reduces production time and costs while yielding strong and lightweight parts, for example delivering a car door that is 62 percent lighter and 25 percent cheaper than that produced with today's manufacturing methods.
Read the full article.

Image - Twice as fast as a jet: U.S. Air Force confirms feasibility of Mach 5 SABRE engine concept
Twice as fast as a jet: U.S. Air Force confirms feasibility of Mach 5 SABRE engine concept
U.K.-based Reaction Engines Ltd. recently announced that analysis undertaken by the United States' Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has confirmed the feasibility of the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) engine cycle concept. SABRE is an innovative class of aerospace propulsion that has the potential to provide efficient air-breathing thrust from standstill on the runway to speeds above Mach 5 (4,500 mph) in the atmosphere -- twice as fast as jet engines.
Read the full article.

Image - Ultrafast camera captures images at the speed of light
Ultrafast camera captures images at the speed of light
A National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) grantee has developed an ultrafast camera that can acquire two-dimensional images at 100 billion frames per second, a speed capable of revealing light pulses and other phenomena previously too fast to be observed.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Hacker's motorized gadget cracks combo locks
C-C-C-Combo Breaker is a motorized, battery-powered, 3D-printed, Arduino-based device that can crack any Master combination lock in less than 30 seconds. According to an NBC News report, the device was created by Samy Kamkar, a hacker and engineer "who in April revealed a method of cracking Master locks by feeling carefully for hitches in the dial's spin, which hint at the actual combination and limit it to eight options. ... One part grips the dial and spins to the numbers as it goes through the process of checking for the resistance that indicates the combo. Meanwhile, a little lever tugs on the shackle at the right moments -- and to see if the lock opens after each attempt."
View the video.

Video Image
World's smallest computer rife with possibilities
University of Michigan engineers have taken the lead in constructing millimeter-size fully autonomous computing systems that can perform on many alternating platforms. Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw, professors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, have developed the Michigan Micro Mote (M3) units capable of harvesting solar power to utilize wireless communication, pressure, and temperature sensors -- and even still-image and video processing. You can fit 150 of these computers inside a thimble.
View the video.

Video Image

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