High-end precision guide rollers -- new design
Guide rollers may seem like simple, standard parts, but these rollers with ball bearings are in exceptionally high demand. JW Winco has expanded its guide roller offering to include the standard part GN 753.1. With its entirely new design, these guide rollers have a special deep groove ball bearing of hardened roller bearing steel. They are available in six sizes, from 0.866 to 1.969 in. (22 to 50 mm) outer diameter. The bearing features permanent lubrication and a typical 2Z seal to protect against dust and dirt (in other words, the bearing is covered on both sides by metal disks).
Learn more from JW Winco.
VariBlast Precision Safety Air Gun is the People's Choice
EXAIR's VariBlast® Precision Safety Air Gun has won the 2022 People's Choice award from Professional Tool and Equipment News (PTEN). These safety air guns provide a focused blast of air capable of handling tough jobs with remarkable strength while minimizing air consumption and noise. This OSHA-safe air gun employs an engineered, full-finger, variable-flow trigger. The VariBlast is available with a standard 12- or 20-in. extension that can also be outfitted with type 316 stainless steel or PEEK thermoplastic air nozzles for non-marring applications.
Stacked conveyor system supercharges tea company production
Watch how Bosch Rexroth's VarioFlow plus conveyor system, designed using a stacked configuration, moves products smoothly and quickly within a narrow footprint at the Yamamotoyama of America tea company in Pomona, CA. The facility operates multiple tea bag manufacturing and carton machines, each of which can produce 300 tea bags (which is 18 full cartons of tea bags) per minute. VarioFlow plus is a flexible, modular plastic chain conveyor system used for moving high-volume packaged goods. The solution has been a huge success for the facility, increasing production speed without damaging products.
View the video.
New sizes: SureFrame cut-to-length T-slotted rails
Automation-Direct has added new 30 x 60 mm and 60 x 60 mm profiles to its SureFrame 30 Series lineup of cut-to-length T-slotted extruded aluminum rails. These structures are lightweight, economical, versatile, and easy to construct, with uses ranging from stands that hold barcode scanners and label applicators to OEM machines made entirely of T-slotted aluminum rail. The rails are available in the most popular profiles and dimensions, are compatible with many other brands, and can be cut to your specified lengths in increments of 0.001 in. with no cutting fees.
Siemens offers Virtual Product Expert for CNC
Siemens has introduced the Virtual Product Expert (VPE), a new online support program for its CNC machine tool users, machine builders, dealers, and importers. Through the VPE program, customers can interact directly with a SINUMERIK CNC product expert and have their specific operation and programming questions answered, from the basic functions of the control to the most advanced machining technology aspects of the hardware and software suites. Best of all, this service is offered to all Siemens CNC community members at no cost.
Create your perfect parts: Xometry Manufacturing Design Guides
Need to order parts and get it right the first time? Xometry provides more than 17 manufacturing processes, including CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding, sheet cutting, and more. Get in-depth design-for-manufacturing tips, specs, and best practices for Xometry's services. Optimize your designs, reduce manufacturing time, and lower your costs. Case studies available too.
View the Xometry Manufacturing Design Guides.
How slip clutches can help maximize your designs
The way they see it over at Polyclutch, there aren't a whole lot of problems you can't solve with a slip clutch. Way beyond using them for overload protection, there are a surprising number of other applications for these versatile and valuable components. From increasing machine speeds and applying constant tension on wire to indexing a conveyor and automatic screw assembly, slip clutches just may provide the design leverage you've been seeking.
Read the full article.
New high-performance metals for 3D printing
3D Systems has added two new materials to its materials portfolio. Certified HX is a high-performance nickel alloy that contains a higher percentage of molybdenum (up to 9.5%) vs. other nickel alloys, which enhances strength and resistance to corrosion, creep deformation, cracking, and oxidation in hot-zone environments. Certified CuCr2.4 is a high-strength, corrosion-resistant copper alloy that is significantly stronger than pure copper and easier to process. Both materials are certified for use with the company's DMP Flex 350 and DMP Factory 350 3D printers. Applications include industrial gas turbines, consumer goods, aerospace and defense, and automotive.
COMSOL Multiphysics Version 6.1 is here!
COMSOL has released the latest version of its modeling and simulation software. COMSOL Multiphysics version 6.1 is full of feature additions and workflow enhancements. "This version provides our users with powerful multiphysics simulation tools in areas of highly competitive R&D, like audio technology and vehicle electrification," says Bjorn Sjodin, VP of product management at COMSOL. "We have also strengthened the software's foundation with new capabilities for optimization and the modeling of turbulent flow and mechanical contact."
How to design a 10-in. cast-iron skillet in SOLIDWORKS in 10 min.
The engineers over at TriMech are always providing new tips, tricks, and tutorials. This time around, they have put together a 10-min. SOLIDWORKS demo on how to design a cast-iron skillet. The video covers sketch relations and dimensions to fully define the geometry and applying three-dimensional features. From beginner to advanced user, TriMech provides excellent training support.
View the video.
ClampDisk micro fastener is new alternative for automotive and consumer electronics
Designed as a unique alternative in assemblies for the automotive and consumer electronics markets, the ClampDisk Press-on Fastener is a new offering from PennEngineering that delivers a fast, simple way to achieve sheet-to-sheet clamped fastening while replacing the use of standard screws, nuts, and adhesives. The most common challenges that can be eliminated or reduced by using ClampDisk include over installation, cross threading, stripped screw heads, broken screws, and damaged product. This fastener can be removed easily with a sharp-edged tool.
Learn more and see how ClampDisk works.
Design Tips: Build strength into parts with insert molding
Plastic injection-molded parts are tough and strong, able to withstand heavy loads, moderately high temperatures, and the corrosive effects of acids and alkalis. In some cases, plastic even competes with metal, and is lighter and usually less expensive to boot. But once in a while plastic needs a little help, like when the bore in an all-plastic pulley quickly wears out or tapped holes in molded handles and knobs get prone to stripping. In these cases, say hello to insert molding.
Read the full Protolabs article.
New flame-retardant resin for 3D printing
3D-printing tech company Carbon has introduced an all-new photopolymer resin called EPX 86FR that the company says offers an unmatched combination of flame retardance, functional toughness, high strength, and long-term stability for end-use parts, functional prototypes, and tools in the automotive and industrial sectors.
New TurboBlast Safety Air Gun for heavy-duty jobs requiring powerful blowoff
EXAIR's new TurboBlast Safety Air Gun is the latest addition to the EXAIR line of Safety Air Guns. This dynamic air gun is capable of producing up to 23 lb of force with a simple press of a button trigger and is the ideal solution for blowoff applications requiring maximum force such as removing stubborn or heavy debris like slag and flash, part drying, or cooling from a distance, as well as heavy-duty cleanup in busy facilities. Available in different flow rates and extensions up to 6 ft long.
Guide to vibration-proof fasteners
How do you ensure the fasteners you're using won't loosen in an application that is prone to vibration? Engineers frequently debate that question. The experts at JW Winco run through the common solutions, including threadlockers, pre-installed nylon patches, and more.
Read this short, informative engineering tip.
Can you melt a diamond? Powerful Sandia machine-learning model shows it can be done
A Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulation model called SNAP that rapidly predicts the behavior of billions of interacting atoms has captured the melting of diamond when compressed by extreme pressures and temperatures.
At several million atmospheres, the rigid carbon lattice of the hardest known substance on Earth is shown in SNAP (Spectral Neighbor Analysis Potential) simulations to crack, melt into amorphous carbon, and then recrystallize. The work could aid understanding of the internal structure of carbon-based exoplanets and have important implications for nuclear fusion efforts that employ capsules made of polycrystalline diamond.
"We can now study the response of many materials under the same extreme pressures," said Sandia scientist Aidan Thompson, who originated SNAP. "Applications include planetary science questions -- for example, what kind of impact stress would have led to the formation of our moon. It also opens the door to design and manufacture of novel materials at extreme conditions."
This multi-billion atom simulation of shockwave propagation into initially uncompressed diamond (blue) uses a high-accuracy SNAP model from Sandia National Laboratories to predict that the final state (orange) is formed by recrystallization of amorphous cracks (red) that take shape in the light blue, green, and yellow compressed material. [Image with colors added courtesy: Sandia National Laboratories]
The effect of extreme pressures and temperatures on materials also is important for devising interior models of giant planets. Powerful DOE facilities like Sandia's Z machine and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility can recreate near-identical conditions of these worlds in earthly experiments that offer close-up examinations of radically compressed materials. But even these uniquely powerful machines cannot pinpoint key microscopic mechanisms of change under these extreme conditions, due to limitations in diagnostics at the level of atoms.
"Only computer simulations can do that," said Thompson.
A technical paper describing the simulation was selected as a finalist for the Gordon Bell prize, sponsored annually by the Association of Computing Machinery. The diamond-specific modeling, which took only a day on the Summit supercomputer (the fastest in the U.S.) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was led by Prof. Ivan Oleynik at the University of South Florida. In addition to Sandia and USF, the collaborative team also included software developers at the Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and NVIDIA Corp.
The team's simulations relied on SNAP, one of the leading machine-learning descriptions of interatomic interactions, to model and solve a very important problem, said Thompson.
"We created gigantic simulations of a micron-sized hunk of compressed diamond," said Thompson. "To do this, we track the motion of billions of atoms by repeatedly calculating the atomic forces over very many, exceedingly tiny, intervals of time."
SNAP used machine-learning and other data science techniques to train a surrogate model that faithfully reproduced the correct atomic forces. These were calculated using high-accuracy quantum mechanical calculations, which are only possible for systems containing a few hundred atoms. The surrogate model was then scaled up to predict forces and accelerations for systems containing billions of atoms. All local atomic structures that emerged in the large-scale simulations were well represented in the small-scale training data, a necessary condition for accuracy.
Another critical part of the final result was performance optimization of the software to run efficiently on GPU-based supercomputers like Summit, said Thompson. "Since 2018, just by improving the software, we have been able to make the SNAP code over 30 times faster, shortening the time for these kinds of simulations by 97%. At the same time, each generation of hardware is more powerful than the last. As a result, calculations that might have until recently taken an entire year can now be run in a day on Summit."
"Since supercomputer time is expensive and highly competitive," said Thompson, "each shortening of SNAP's run time saves money and increases the usefulness of the model."
The first version of SNAP was created in 2012 with support from Sandia's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Software improvement has been supported continuously since 2017 by the DOE Exascale Computing Project, a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Published February 2022
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