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September 16, 2014Volume 10 Issue 35


Image - Protomold Protogami
Protomold Protogami
Protogami's three-dimensional flexagons create a continual kaleidocycle that exposes a different set of triangular faces with each turn of its living hinges. The design aid lets product designers and engineers see commonly used materials like ABS, PC and acetal, and how they interact with different surface finishes.

Register for a free Protogami today.


In this issue of Designfax

  • High-performance camera positioning motors
  • Mechatronics: Top 5 mechanical considerations
  • Discovery about metal wear in sliding parts
  • Wheels: Latest smart, programmable headlights
  • Mike Likes: LED lamp in CD format
  • Engineer's Toolbox Military: Thermal mgmt for LEDs
  • Products: Hi-Flux LED Slim Strip Lights
  • Products: Flange reaction torque sensor
  • Products: One-touch fasteners for quick changeover
  • Products: Linear motors with integrated encoders
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • New wind-power concept inspired by birds
    • Convert from pneumatic to electric
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Mechatronics: Top 5 electrical considerations
    • 787 Dreamliner carbon fiber in football gear
    • Hydraulics 'dinosaur' returns, again and again
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Materials
    Cover Image: CMU headlight senses, tracks oncoming drivers

News

Edwards, NASA say goodbye to historic space shuttle carrier landmark

3D printer could turn International Space Station into 'machine shop'; mission launch this week

Ditch the magnets: Tabletop motor with electrostatic drive developed at UW-Madison

Sandia report compiles lessons learned from 'perfect heists' for national security



Image - Think Robots are Beyond Your Reach? <br>Think Again.
Think Robots are Beyond Your Reach?
Think Again.

After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small and medium-sized companies that may regard automation as costly and complex. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days.

Click here for more product information.
Click here to read case studies.
Click here to see a list of distributors.


Feature articles

Image - DC motors and careful engineering yield affordable high-performance camera positioning system
DC motors and careful engineering yield affordable high-performance camera positioning system
Feature filmmakers have the luxury of working with dollies and grips and expensive automated technologies to guarantee accuracy and repeatability of camera angles. Videographers aren't so lucky. With users ranging from bloggers to entertainment channels, to scientists and engineers, the video market presents the same positioning requirements but with only a fraction of the budget. With the help of sophisticated engineering, plus small FAULHABER DC motors from MICROMO, Kessler Crane takes economical performance to a whole new level.
Read the full article.

Image - Mechatronics (Part 2): <br>Top 5 mechanical considerations for electrical engineers
Mechatronics (Part 2):
Top 5 mechanical considerations for electrical engineers

Mechanical and electrical engineers often overlook important issues when specifying their respective parts of an electromechanical system. Here are five good pieces of advice for electrical engineers responsible for electromechanical systems, as provided by a Bosch Rexroth mechanical engineer.
Read the full article.

Image - New discovery may hold keys to metal wear in sliding parts
New discovery may hold keys to metal wear in sliding parts
Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a previously unknown mechanism for wear in metals: a swirling, fluid-like microscopic behavior in one solid piece of metal sliding over another. The findings could be used to improve the durability of metal parts in numerous applications.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Latest smart, programmable headlights are multi-function projectors too
Wheels:
Latest smart, programmable headlights are multi-function projectors too

A smart headlight developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute enables drivers to take full advantage of their high beams without fear of blinding oncoming drivers or suffering from the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at night. The system can also highlight slices of the road, project images, and perform all kinds of useful, impressive functions.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Clever engineers create LED lamp in CD format
Mike Likes:
Clever engineers create LED lamp in CD format

A German company that specializes in making music and video CDs and DVDs has used its technological know-how to make a flat LED light that uses a special high-performance plastic from Bayer MaterialScience as its base. All of the electronic elements required to operate the tiny LEDs, such as resistors and conductor tracks, are thinly printed onto the transparent substrate.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox Military: <br>High-performance thermal management solutions for LEDs
Engineer's Toolbox Military:
High-performance thermal management solutions for LEDs

Military technology is moving toward an increasing trend of miniaturization, and smart resource utilization and cost efficiency are always priorities. LEDs with optimized thermal management solutions are a natural fit for many military applications.
Read the full article.

Image - Products: <br>Hi-Flux LED Slim Strip Lights
Products:
Hi-Flux LED Slim Strip Lights

Hi-Flux LED Slim Strip Lights from LEDtronics come in a sealed enclosure with water-clear lens and are IP68-certified waterproof. With a great-looking strip illumination that provides even lighting without the buzzing and flickering that afflicts fluorescents, the TBL4520 series offers versatility in applications such as passenger interiors in RVs, buses, and trains; task lighting, under cabinets, concealed lighting, and edge lighting; illumination for cubicles, marine recreation areas, coolers, freezers, retail store displays, and many more.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Products: <br>Flange reaction torque sensor with exclusive high-torsional stiffness
Products:
Flange reaction torque sensor with exclusive high-torsional stiffness

The Model T120 Flange Reaction Torque Sensor from SensorData Technologies includes special features such as best-in-class high-torsional stiffness, along with the industry's most compact and lightweight torque sensor design. Typical applications include high-accuracy non-rotating torque measurements of motors, pumps, compressors, tire braking, as well as a variety of twisting measurements.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Products: <br>One-touch fasteners for quick changeover
Products:
One-touch fasteners for quick changeover

Imao "One-Touch" fasteners from Fixtureworks are pin-and-receptacle units that are used to attach fixtures, plates, machine covers, and more to join components with moderate clamping force. A convenient alternative to cumbersome nut-and-bolt assembly, they provide for quick, easy, and secure changeover and installation without the need for any tools. One-Touch fasteners can be used in automation to attach conveyors, star wheels, guide plates, and more.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Products: <br>Direct-drive linear motors with integrated encoders
Products:
Direct-drive linear motors with integrated encoders

New patent-pending SDLM-051 direct-drive linear motors with built-in encoder from MotiCont eliminate backlash and provide users with high acceleration, high speed, high resolution, and long life. Available in several off-the-shelf models, these compact motors feature resolutions of 5.2 µm (0.000206 in.), 1.25 µmm (0.000049 in.), and sub-micron resolution.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Mechatronics (Part 1): <br>Top 5 electrical considerations for mechanical engineers
Mechatronics (Part 1):
Top 5 electrical considerations for mechanical engineers

Mechanical and electrical engineers often overlook important issues when specifying their respective parts of an electromechanical system. Consider these five targeted pieces of advice for mechanical engineers responsible for electromechanical systems, as provided by a Bosch Rexroth electrical engineer.
Read the full article.

Image - Wings: <br>Excess carbon fiber from Boeing 787 Dreamliner comes to the football field
Wings:
Excess carbon fiber from Boeing 787 Dreamliner comes to the football field

If football players had wings, just imagine what they could do. Now they just might get them ... sort of. Boeing and Russell Athletic are working together to incorporate excess carbon fiber from 787 Dreamliner production into football protective gear, such as the CarbonTek shoulder pad and exoskeleton system.
Read the full article.

Image - Hydraulics: <br>The 'dinosaur' returns, again and again
Hydraulics:
The 'dinosaur' returns, again and again

Over the past 40 years, hydraulic systems have been continually deemed a dying technology -- if not pronounced dead altogether. And these views don't seem all that farfetched in light of the on-going energy-efficiency debate and the apparent cure-all: electric drive systems. Perhaps the "dinosaurs of drive technology" are truly at an end. Yet they keep coming back and are more sustainable than ever -- all thanks to consistent, systematic thinking.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
New wind-power concept inspired by birds
Taking a cue from the natural airfoil design of bird wings, the creative wizards at pneumatics specialist Festo have come up with a totally new concept for generating wind power. The horizontal DualWingGenerator uses an opposing-wing design to generate electricity and is especially effective at low wind speeds. This video explains the simple mechanical inner workings. A really fresh -- and inspiring -- design.
View the video.

Video Image
Convert from pneumatic to electric actuation
James Marek, director of new product development for Thomson, demonstrates how the PC-Series electromechanical actuators give machine builders a new way to convert from pneumatic to electric actuation -- enabling more compact designs, improved reliability, and extended travel life. Electric actuation also gives more precise control of velocity and position with substantially lower assembly and energy costs. Using the Thomson RediMount system, the PC-Series has a fast, three-step motor mounting process.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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