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Primary content focuses on the latest exciting applications and products for Electrical/Electronic, Mechanical, Motion Control, Fluid Power, and Materials engineering, including articles on powerful software programs that serve as a primary engineering tool. Take a look at what Designfax offers and then subscribe.

January 14, 2020Volume 16 Issue 02


Image - Eliminate The Need For A Dynamic Seal
Eliminate The Need For A Dynamic Seal
BellowsTech edge welded metal bellows can eliminate the need for a dynamic seal, when used within a bearing housing to translate rotation from an input shaft to a co-linear output shaft while sealing hermetically. Linear and angular motion for "wobble stick" applications is also available.
Learn more.

In this issue of Designfax

  • Is this Boeing's flying car? Prototype takes flight
  • Bell unveils 360 Invictus attack helicopter
  • New bullet design works under water
  • Army fields new modular handgun to military police
  • Skunk Works begins assembling NASA supersonic plane
  • Ford Ranger gets tough with VelociRaptor treatment
  • Michelin and GM roll forward with airless tires
  • New Star Trek replicator-like projection 3D printer
  • Alternative to Styrofoam is environmentally friendly
  • Top Application: Hoover Dam pressure-relief valves
  • Top Product: 3M Glass Bubbles for lightweight composites
  • Top Engineer's Toolbox: Coiled pins as perfect hinges
  • Top Product: Stainless steel for 3D printing
  • Top Product: World's darkest spray paint
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Fly along in a Blue Angels cockpit
    • Planes take off at world's largest toy airport
    • Top Product: How Nord-Lock washers work
    • 7 strangest new drone concepts
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • 'It's like Uber for manufacturing': Meet Xometry
    • Top Product: Cut-and-form LED sheets
    • Hexapod robots in automation applications
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Materials
    Cover Image: Most Popular 2019 -- Part 2

News

Solid-state lithium-ion battery breakthrough: Twice the power, no risk of fire

Army develops cold spray technology to repair Bradley gun mounts

Incredible wraparound conveyor runs for 5 miles, belt turns into its own tube and handles tight bends

Engineers put Leonardo da Vinci's bridge design to the test -- would have been world's longest at the time

Scientists weld glass and metal together



Feature articles
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 prototype for urban air mobility. The electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle currently has a range of up to 50 miles.
Read the full article.
Image -
The 1660 BHT series is optimized for torque and is the perfect solution for recurring intermittent use with high dynamics and precise positioning.


Image - Bell unveils 360 Invictus attack helicopter
Bell unveils 360 Invictus attack helicopter
Bell Textron has unveiled its entrant for the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program, the Bell 360 Invictus. FARA seeks a new platform to become "the 'knife fighter' of future Army Aviation capabilities, a small-form-factor platform with maximized performance." Two other FARA concepts, one from Sikorsky and one from a partnership between AVX Aircraft and L3 Technologies, also debuted in 2019.
Read the full article.

Image - New bullet design works under water
New bullet design works under water
Like something right out of a James Bond movie, a Norwegian company called DSG Technology has invented a special bullet that can work under water. The technology uses supercavitation, where the design of the projectile creates a bubble around the bullet as it travels through water, reducing drag and enabling high speeds.
Read the full article.

Image - Army fields new modular handgun to military police
Army fields new modular handgun to military police
The U.S. Army began fielding M17 and M18 Modular Handgun Systems to the Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to replace the force's aging Beretta M9, a weapon that has been in use since the mid-1980s and is quickly reaching its serviceability limits.
Read the full article.

Image - Skunk Works begins assembling NASA supersonic plane
Skunk Works begins assembling NASA supersonic plane
In the high desert of California, where some of the most important aircraft in aviation history have been built and flown, the next airplane destined to take its place among those aeronautical icons -- NASA's X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology -- starts to take shape on a legendary factory floor.
Read the full article.

Image - Ford Ranger gets tough with special VelociRaptor treatment
Ford Ranger gets tough with special VelociRaptor treatment
Who knew a little 2019 Ford Ranger could look so intimidating? The creative geniuses at Hennessey Performance Engineering did. Known for taking vehicles "from mild to wild," the famous upgrades shop has created a 500-unit special edition VelociRaptor Ranger that looks as big and bad as its high-end Raptor sibling. It's got solid power upgrades too.
Read the full article.

Image - Michelin and GM roll forward with airless tire design
Michelin and GM roll forward with airless tire design
Michelin and General Motors presented a new generation of airless wheel technology for passenger vehicles, the Michelin Uptis Prototype (or Unique Punctureproof Tire System), at the Movin'On Summit for sustainable mobility in Montreal this past June. The partnership aims to put Uptis tires on passenger models as early as 2024.
Read the full article.

Image - New Star Trek replicator-like projection 3D printer makes full objects in single pass
New Star Trek replicator-like projection 3D printer makes full objects in single pass
A new type of 3D printer can create objects all at once by projecting carefully crafted patterns of light "movies" onto a rotating cylinder of liquid that solidifies. The objects are smoother, more flexible, and in some cases more complex than what is possible with most traditional 3D printers. The Star Trek-like tech can also encase an already existing object with new materials, which current printers struggle to do.
Read the full article.

Image - Alternative to Styrofoam is environmentally friendly <br>-- and performs better
Alternative to Styrofoam is environmentally friendly
-- and performs better

Washington State University researchers have developed an environmentally friendly, plant-based material that, for the first time, works better than Styrofoam for insulation. The foam is mostly made from nanocrystals of cellulose, the most abundant plant material on earth.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Application: Hoover Dam pressure-relief valves updated with unique team effort
Top Application: Hoover Dam pressure-relief valves updated with unique team effort
Hoover Dam, one of the most impressive engineering feats of the 20th century, generates hydroelectricity for millions of homes and businesses across the Southwest, and it's a constant challenge to keep the vital power source running smoothly. Recently, a team of innovative engineering experts -- led by Precision Machine & Supply and including Parker Hannifin and Controlled Motion Solutions -- wrapped up a massive multi-year retrofitting and refurbishing project to make the dam safer and more operationally efficient.
Read the Parker Hannifin blog.

Image - Top Product: 3M Glass Bubbles enable first-ever, ultra-lightweight sheet molded composites with Class A paintable surfaces for automotive manufacturers
Top Product: 3M Glass Bubbles enable first-ever, ultra-lightweight sheet molded composites with Class A paintable surfaces for automotive manufacturers
3M recently introduced Glass Bubbles S32HS to help OEMs achieve up to a 40 percent weight reduction of composite parts. This innovation makes sheet molded composites (SMCs) an attractive option in automotive design.
Read the full article.

Image - Top Engineer's Toolbox: Clever seam design makes coiled pin a perfect hinge
Top Engineer's Toolbox: Clever seam design makes coiled pin a perfect hinge
Coiled spring pins are manufactured with a seam that is much better for hinges than spring pins. Find out why from SPIROL, and how this simple component can improve your designs.
Read the full article

Image - Top Product: Desktop Metal launches 316L stainless steel for 3D printing
Top Product: Desktop Metal launches 316L stainless steel for 3D printing
Desktop Metal, a 3D-printer maker, has just announced the launch of 316L stainless steel for the company's Studio System, the world's first and only office-friendly metal 3D-printing system. This machine is great for prototyping and low-volume production. A fully austenitic steel known for its corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, 316L is well suited for applications in the most demanding industrial environments, including salt water in marine applications, caustic cleaners found in food processing environments, and chemicals in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Learn more.

Image - Top Product: World's darkest spray paint
Top Product: World's darkest spray paint
A whole range of products can now take advantage of the world's blackest coating, Vantablack, thanks to the development of a spray version called Vantablack S-VIS. It is easily applied at large scale to virtually any surface. Vantablack's carbon nanotube matrix structure absorbs virtually all (99.8 percent) incident light, enabling precision optical systems to be optimized. The material's developer, UK-based Surrey NanoSystems, has mimicked the performance of its original Vantablack with this new version that can be sprayed onto objects, rather than deposited using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - 'It's like Uber for manufacturing': Meet Xometry
'It's like Uber for manufacturing': Meet Xometry
Manufacturing is a notoriously finicky business. Smaller machine shops dependent on a handful of local customers in a single industry are particularly vulnerable to the whims of economic downturns. Since finding new work can be costly and time consuming, some have been hoping for an Uber-like service for manufacturing. The Maryland-based company Xometry recently developed that very model. By Amy Kover, GE Reports
Read the full article.

Image - Top Product: Cut-and-form LED sheets let you bend the rules of lighting design
Top Product: Cut-and-form LED sheets let you bend the rules of lighting design
VCC is bending the rules of lighting design with its new VentoFlex tiles. The VentoFlex modular lighting system opens up countless ways for architects and lighting designers to make an impact. Available in 12-in. x 12-in. sheets, these innovative LED tiles can be cut and formed around any design element, including rounded corners and tight spaces, without taking up much room at all -- just 0.15 in. (3.81 mm). A pair of scissors is the only tool required to cut VentoFlex tiles to the size and shape you desire. Ten or 15 tiles can be linked together to one driver and dimmer to create thousands of square inches of versatile lighting power. Neat.
Learn more about this new and exciting lighting technology.

Image - Hexapod robots in automation applications
Hexapod robots in automation applications
Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after "learning" how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Motion positioning expert PI can answer any technical questions you have about the technology.
Learn about Automation & Alignment.
Read the Hexapod FAQs: Why use 6-DOF motion platforms?

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Fly along in a Blue Angels cockpit
Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators. Ride along with the Blue Angels Diamond pilots as they perform the Double Farvel over Fort Lauderdale Beach during the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Air Show. The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. We challenge you to watch this only once.
Watch and ride in a Blue Angels cockpit.
Take a different ride over Seattle.

Video Image
NEAT. Rexroth linear motion tech helps mini model aircraft take off and land at world's largest toy airport
Since it opened in 2011, Knuffingen Airport at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany, has handled around a million flights. The 1:87-scale model aircraft in the sprawling 125-m2 indoor airport are accurate down to the tiniest detail and look almost real when taking off and landing. Bosch Rexroth's highly reliable linear motion and assembly tech plays a key role in ensuring this fascinating project operates smoothly. The airport serves 40 airlines and handles 360 flights a day. It includes 50,000 figures, 75 buildings, and 90 support vehicles -- all made by hand. Night falls every 15 minutes and lasts 3 minutes. The Miniatur Wunderland also sports the world's longest train installation -- which, of course, is tied into the airport setup.
View the Rexroth video to see behind the scenes.
Watch a more in-depth, early overview of the facility from DW-TV News.

Video Image
Top Product: How Nord-Lock washers work
Can you get a design and functional edge with a wedge? In this animated video, Nord-Lock explains the principle behind their original wedge-locking technology, which secures bolted joints even when exposed to severe vibration and dynamic loads. The company says it is impossible for this washer type to loosen unintentionally, due to the wedge created underneath the bolt head and nut.
View the video.

Video Image
7 strangest new drone concepts
Tech Planet runs through their list of Top 7 weird and sometimes wonderful new drone concepts, including a craft with no moving parts that is powered by ion flows and a UAV that uses supersonic air blown through its wing for control. Throw in some hummingbird inspiration and a flying saucer design, and you've got a real interesting mixed bag of developing technology prepped to get your imagination soaring.
View the video.

Video Image

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