July 19, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 27

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Custom maintenance-free toothed belt pulleys delivered in just 48 hr

Motion plastics leader igus has expanded its 3D-print and online ordering offering to include custom-format toothed belt pulleys. Toothed belt pulleys are a common component in many machines and are widely used in linear drives of printers, robots, and packaging machines. However, if an individual variant is required, developing a custom component can take days or even weeks. igus now offers manufacturing by 3D printing, reducing delivery times from several weeks to just 48 hours.
Learn more.


Machine-ready blanks from TCI Precision Metals

TCI Precision Metals will be showing its precision Machine-Ready Blanks capabilities to customers at IMTS 2022 this September. Machine-Ready Blanks of aluminum, stainless steel, and other alloys help shops shorten setup time, reduce scrap, and increase overall throughput up to 25% by eliminating material prep. These blanks are guaranteed to arrive machine-ready for production, with standard-size blanks in low quantities ready for immediate shipping, Custom blanks in production quantities can be ordered for quick turnaround.
Learn more.


Engineer's Toolbox: How to pin a shaft and hub assembly properly

One of the primary benefits of using a coiled spring pin to affix a hub or gear to a shaft is the coiled pin's ability to prevent hole damage. Another is the coiled pin absorbs wider hole tolerances than any other press-fit pin. This translates to lower total manufacturing costs of the assembly. However, there are a few design guidelines that must be adhered to in order to achieve the maximum strength of the pinned system and prevent damage to the assembly.
Read this very informative SPIROL article.


Xometry launches Industrial Buying Engine: Access 500,000 top suppliers

Xometry had a lot of news to share on June 16, including the launch of its Industrial Buying Engine on Thomasnet, where enterprise customers can source and purchase from more than 500,000 top suppliers. The new capability digitizes the request-for-quote process, condensing to just hours or minutes what once took days or weeks to complete. Buyers can request quotes for products and services from trusted, high-value suppliers, and they can also access the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine for more immediate transactions. Learn all about it -- and Xometry's other manufacturing news -- in this on-demand webinar.
Watch the Xometry presentation. No registration required.
Read about the new Xometry capabilities.


Knob with a twist makes for easier operation

Created with ergonomics in mind, Rogan's new ST series clamping knobs feature a contoured design that allows for more comfortable operation and ease of function. Perfectly engineered for applications in industrial, medical, lawn and garden, and consumer, ST knobs are made of glass-reinforced polypropylene with zinc-plated brass inserts or zinc-plated steel studs. Available in black, grey, white, blue, yellow, green, or red. Completely customizable too.
Learn more.


Tech Tip: Wave spring vs. coil spring -- what's the difference?

The key advantage of using a wave spring is in the axial space savings. Whether it is a static or dynamic application, a wave spring can provide the same force and deflection as a coil spring -- but in considerably less space. There are many other advantages of using wave springs, including cost savings when considering the whole assembly.
Learn more in this informative Smalley blog.


Turn any pipe or hose into a conveyor! Now with custom options

EXAIR's Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors provide an efficient method of converting ordinary pipe, hose, or tubes into powerful in-line conveyors. EXAIR can customize Line Vacs to different specs, such as unique sizes, shapes, and materials, for the perfect system fit. Even smaller sizes can be created while still offering the same quality of conveyance. In applications where stock aluminum or 303 and 316 stainless steels won't work, alternate materials are available. Prices start at just over a hundred bucks.
Learn more.


Slash setup times with One Touch Sliding Locks

One Touch Sliding Locks from IMAO Fixtureworks provide quick and secure positioning and locking. Users can prevent misalignment and quickly lock with a quarter turn of the knob or handle. Ideal for slide position adjustment with a sliding bar or a slotted hole, these easy-to-use sliding locks reduce set-up times in a wide variety of applications. They feature secure locking with a wedge mechanism.
Learn more.


What's a magnetic GHOST fastener?

PEM® GHOST™ Fastening Technology from Penn-Engineering uses a fully concealed pinch-lock mechanism to create a secure and sleek lock with zero visible evidence of disassembly once engaged. Using a magnetic release tool on the concealed fastener actuates the internal components, unlocking the pinch-lock grip and instantly releasing the pin from the fastener. From automotive interiors to access control systems, this clever fastening tech is adaptable to many applications.
View the video.


Torque transducers and test machinery use Zero-Max CD Couplings

Torque transducers and test machinery experience extreme demands, including high torque loads and high operating speeds that cause stress on connected components. To assure these systems generate accurate test data, system designers specify CD Couplings from Zero-Max. Using Zero-Max's proprietary Composite Disc-Pack (CD), CD Couplings provide the ideal combination of high torque capacity, high torsional stiffness, and low reaction loads under misalignment.
Learn more.


Desktop Metal introduces robotic sand 3D-printing system

Desktop Metal has launched the automated ExOne S-Max Flex large-format binder jetting system that 3D prints sand tooling, which foundries can use to cast complex metal designs for the aerospace, automotive, and energy industries, among others. Sand binder jet 3D printing has been used in foundries for more than two decades to create metalcasting tooling cost effectively and with low turnaround times.
Read the full article.


Friction bearing universal joints for packaging

Friction bearing universal joints are available from Ruland in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and materials, giving packaging equipment designers more than 3,000 standard options to choose from. These components are selectively heat treated and ground for higher strength compared to competitor units. Single universal joints are best suited for space-constrained applications with angular misalignment up to 45 degrees; double for applications with a wide distance between shafts or those in need of extreme angular misalignment accommodation up to 90 degrees. Can be equipped with nitrile boot covers for abrasion and oil resistance.
Learn more.


NASA partners with Xometry to fast-track critical life support systems on the ISS

Xometry was chosen to help produce mission-critical parts for NASA's Environmental Control and Life Support Systems team at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This video features air purification units designed by NASA engineers and manufactured with Xometry's large-format CNC machining capabilities. Watch to see how Xometry and NASA overcame challenges to build spaceworthy parts for the International Space Station (ISS).
View the video.


Sealing fasteners can optimize your designs

Highly specialized sealing fasteners include sealing screws, sealing nuts, sealing bolts, and sealing washers. Unlike ordinary fasteners, sealing fasteners are configured with a rubber O-ring (or a rubber element) that, when squeezed, permanently seals out a wide range of contaminants from entering and damaging equipment while preventing leakage of toxins into the environment. ZAGO sealing fasteners are designed to withstand harsh weather and extreme temperatures and are vibration and pressure resistant.
Learn all about ZAGO's wide selection of sealing fasteners.


Case studies demonstrate Xometry's CNC capabilities

Xometry's comprehensive CNC machining service empowers engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs around the world. Check out some of their recent CNC machining case studies to see what new heights you can reach with Xometry's help. Examples include NASA life support systems, a robotic BattleBot, and air-purifying respirator parts.
Check out the Xometry case studies.


Diamond mirror withstands 10-kW Navy laser shots strong enough to burn through steel

Illustration of a high-powered continuous laser hitting nanostructures on a diamond mirror. [Credit: Loncar Lab/Harvard SEAS]

 

 

By Leah Burrows, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Just about every car, train, and plane that's been built since 1970 has been manufactured using high-power lasers that shoot a continuous beam of light. These lasers are strong enough to cut steel, precise enough to perform surgery, and powerful enough to carry messages into deep space. They are so powerful, in fact, that it's difficult to engineer resilient and long-lasting components that can control the powerful beams the lasers emit.

Today, most mirrors used to direct the beam in high-power continuous wave (CW) lasers are made by layering thin coatings of materials with different optical properties, but if there is even one tiny defect in any of the layers, the powerful laser beam will burn through, causing the whole device to fail.

If you could make a mirror out of a single material, it would significantly reduce the likelihood of defects and increase the lifespan of the laser, but what material would be strong enough?

Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have built a mirror out of one of the strongest materials on the planet: diamond. By etching nanostructures onto the surface of a thin sheet of diamond, the research team built a highly reflective mirror that withstood, without damage, experiments with a 10-kW Navy laser.

"Our one-material mirror approach eliminates the thermal stress issues that are detrimental to conventional mirrors, formed by multi-material stacks, when they are irradiated with large optical powers," said Marko Loncar, the Tiantsai Lin Professor of Electrical Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper. "This approach has potential to improve or create new applications of high-power lasers."

The research is published in Nature Communications.

Loncar's Laboratory for Nanoscale Optics originally developed the technique to etch nanoscale structures into diamonds for applications in quantum optics and communications.

"We thought, why not use what we developed for quantum applications and use it for something more classical," said Haig Atikian, a former graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper.

Using an ion beam to etch the diamond, the researchers sculpted an array of golf tee-shaped columns on the surface on a 3 x 3 mm diamond sheet. The shape of the golf tees, wide on top and skinny on the bottom, makes the surface of the diamond 98.9% reflective.

SEM image of the diamond mirror. [Credit: Loncar Lab/Harvard SEAS]

 

 

Zoomed SEM image of the mirror. [Credit: Loncar Lab/Harvard SEAS]

 

 

"You can make reflectors that are 99.999% reflective, but those have 10 to 20 layers, which is fine for a low-power laser but certainly wouldn't be able to withstand high powers," said Neil Sinclair, a research scientist at SEAS and co-author of the paper.

To test the mirror with a high-power laser, the team turned to collaborators at the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory, a Department of Defense designated U.S. Navy University Affiliated Research Center.

There, in a specially designed room that is locked to prevent dangerous levels of laser light from seeping out and blinding or burning those in the adjacent room, the researchers put their mirror in front of a 10-kW laser, strong enough to burn through steel.

The mirror emerged unscathed.

"The selling point with this research is that we had a 10-kilowatt laser focused down into a 750-micron spot on a 3-by-3-millimeter diamond, which is a lot of energy focused down on a very small spot, and we didn't burn it," said Atikian. "This is important because, as laser systems become more and more power hungry, you need to come up with creative ways to make the optical components more robust."

In the future, the researchers envision these mirrors being used for defense applications, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, and deep space communications. The approach could also be used in less expensive materials, such as fused silica.

Harvard OTD has protected the intellectual property associated with this project and is exploring the commercialization opportunities.

Published June 2022

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