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July 28, 2015Volume 11 Issue 28


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

  • Lean Thinking: Redefining work
  • Laser-sintered robotic hand is new kind of gripper
  • Honeycomb design claims superior impact protection
  • Wheels: Stealthy Army mortar system
  • Mike Likes: Replace up to 45 discrete components
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Design tips for multi-cavity molds
  • LED retrofit kits: Upgrade for energy savings
  • Bearings: DX metal-polymer bearings turn 50
  • Micro drives: 4-mm brushless DC motor
  • Encoders: Option for loose mechanical motion
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Five favorite no-cost engineering tools
    • GE engineers fire up mini 3D-printed jet engine
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wings: Ten-engine electric plane prototype
    • Engineer's Toolbox: Spinel as ceramic armor
    • Super-impressive nonstick coating
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Negative stiffness (NS) honeycomb design by UT Austin

News

Diamond and graphene combo demonstrate superlubricity in the lab

Ford reduces production line injury rate by 70 percent using virtual manufacturing and ergonomists

Nanosatellites being tested to communicate with U.S. Soldiers

NASA crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters



Feature articles

Image - Lean Thinking: Redefining work
Lean Thinking: Redefining work
"We need to think about redefining work," says John Shook, Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute. "You may be able to create wealth through a variety of business models or ways of thinking. But if you want to create real value, and jobs that value people, you must think hard about how your people are working every day."
Read the full article.

Image - Laser-sintered robotic hand is new kind of plastic gripper
Laser-sintered robotic hand is new kind of plastic gripper
A lightweight robotic hand with 12 vacuum suckers and a grip jaw has proven to be an ultra-effective workhorse for a German pharmaceutical supplier. The new pneumatic design was achieved using an EOS plastic laser-sintering machine. Improvements over traditional aluminum grippers include integrated air ducts and connectors.
Read the full article.

Image - New honeycomb-inspired design claims superior impact protection
New honeycomb-inspired design claims superior impact protection
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a groundbreaking new energy-absorbing structure to better withstand blunt and ballistic impact. The technology, called negative stiffness (NS) honeycombs, can be integrated into car bumpers, military and athletic helmets, and other protective hardware.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Stealthy mortar system to boost speed, accuracy, enhance Soldier safety
Wheels:
Stealthy mortar system to boost speed, accuracy, enhance Soldier safety

In certain battlefield conditions, such as the mountainous terrain and unimproved roads of Afghanistan, large-caliber indirect-fire weapon systems lack the mobility and maneuverability required to successfully execute an assault. To resolve this concern, engineers at Picatinny Arsenal are developing a revolutionary weapon system called the Automated Direct Indirect-fire Mortar (ADIM), which can be fired while mounted on a light tactical vehicle such as the HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) or its replacement.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Replace up to 45 discrete components with a single device
Mike Likes:
Replace up to 45 discrete components with a single device

The integrated DRV8701 gate driver from Texas Instruments enables designers to scale their platforms using one device across various brushed DC motor models in equipment such as white goods, household appliances, robotics, home automation, power tools, and industrial pumps and valves. With its adjustable gate drive, advanced protection features, and other integrated components, this brushed DC gate driver allows designers to replace up to 45 discrete components with a single device to build smaller and more robust designs.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>5 design considerations to improve your success rate of multi-cavity molds
Engineer's Toolbox:
5 design considerations to improve your success rate of multi-cavity molds

Moving from a single-cavity mold to one that produces two, four, or eight parts at once seems like an easy way to increase production volume and reduce part costs. This can be true in many cases, but only if the right steps are taken and the requisite homework done first. Designing a part for multi-cavity molding is not as simple as copying the CAD file for a single-cavity mold multiple times, says Gus Breiland, Customer Service Engineering Manager, Proto Labs.
Read the full article.

Image - LED retrofit kits: Upgrade for energy savings
LED retrofit kits: Upgrade for energy savings
New UL-Listed LED Universal Retrofit Kits from LEDtronics provide a true screw-in retrofit unit for installation into just about any existing lighting fixture. Other kits require the user to bolt/strap in a plate or heavily modify their existing fixture to accommodate the device. This next-generation retrofit kit does not. Replace from 80 W to 1,500-W HPS and Metal Halide lamps while using only 35 to 450 W -- up to a 70 percent reduction in energy consumption. Various mounting options provided.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Bearings: DX metal-polymer bearings turn 50
Bearings: DX metal-polymer bearings turn 50
GGB Bearing Technology’s iconic DX bearings turn 50 this year. Developed to fill the gap between fully lubricated bearings and the company’s self-lubricating DU bearings, the DX bearing material offers extraordinary advantages in high-load, slow-speed applications with linear, oscillating, and rotating movements under conditions of intermittent operation or boundary lubrication. Key to this superior performance is its unique construction incorporating a highly effective grease-retention system. Unlike “dry” DU bearings, DX bearings are tape-based containing indents in the sliding layer that serve as reservoirs for grease lubrication. The bearings are also available with plain sliding layers.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Micro drives: 4-mm brushless DC motor
Micro drives: 4-mm brushless DC motor
The EC 4 brushless DC motor combined with the GP 4 gearhead is maxon motor's ultra-compact (4-mm) solution for driving micropumps, analytic and diagnostic devices, and laboratory robots. Precise and reliable, this combo can adjust lenses, dispense fluids, or position sensing devices. The motor is available in two lengths, with power ratings of 0.5 W and 1 W. Equipped with an ironless maxon winding, the EC 4 stands out for its robust design, high power density, and energy efficiency.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Encoders: Option for loose mechanical motion
Encoders: Option for loose mechanical motion
RSF Elektronik offers a linear motion feedback encoder system specifically designed for machines with loose mechanical motion during operation. Called the MSA 37x series, these encoders are especially well suited for motion applications such as press brake and metal forming/bending machines, or any other type of machine that has significant flexure near the area requiring motion feedback. Available in North America through Heidenhain, the MSA 37x design includes a bearing set internally for guiding the scanning optics, and a bearing set externally for the attachment of a coupling rod that affixes to the machine, allowing for measurement of the moving elements of the machine.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wings: <br>Ten-engine electric plane completes successful flight test
Wings:
Ten-engine electric plane completes successful flight test

Imagine a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. That is a concept being developed by NASA researchers called Greased Lightning or GL-10.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Spinel wears new mantle as transparent armor for Soldiers, products
Engineer's Toolbox:
Spinel wears new mantle as transparent armor for Soldiers, products

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smartphone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called spinel {spin-ELL} that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been researching over the last 10 years.
Read the full article.

Image - Super-impressive nonstick coating slides into market
Super-impressive nonstick coating slides into market
The days of wasting condiments -- and other products -- that stick stubbornly to the sides of their bottles may be gone, thanks to MIT spinout LiquiGlide, which has licensed its nonstick coating to a major consumer-goods company. LiquiGlide is a liquid-impregnated coating that acts as a slippery barrier between a surface and a viscous liquid. Applied inside a condiment bottle, for instance, the coating clings permanently to its sides, while allowing the condiment to glide off completely, with no residue.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Five favorite no-cost engineering tools
Jeremy Regnerus, product marketing specialist for SolidWorks, takes a look at his five favorite free tools (not all SolidWorks!) for engineers. Each tool provides valuable time-saving capabilities. Watch and learn how each tool works and where to find it.
View the video.

Video Image
GE engineers fire up mini 3D-printed jet engine
Engineers at GE Aviation made a simple 3D-printed mini jet engine and then had it roar to life at 33,000 rpm. The backpack-size screamer was built over the course of several years to test 3D printing’s capabilities with metal and high-strength, high-temperature alloys. “We wanted to see if we could build a little engine that runs almost entirely out of additive manufacturing parts,” said Steve Grimm, the plant leader at the Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati, in a GE Reports interview. “This was a fun side project.”
View the video.

Video Image

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