January 20, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 03

Mechanical News & Products

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SOLIDWORKS: FeatureManager tips for assemblies

Discover tools to make your SOLIDWORKS assembly Feature-Manager design tree display easier to view and use. Learn options to limit the amount of information in each component listing, combine multiple instances of a component into a single listing, and separate fasteners mates into a new folder. Lots more tips on the SOLIDWORKS YouTube channel.
View the video.


Top die casting design tips: Xometry

Optimize your die casting project's manufac-turability with these 23 top design tips from Xometry. Ensure your work is cost effective too, so you can hit the ground running and have the highest chance of success. Tips include: fillets and radii, wall thicknesses, ribs and metal savers, holes and windows, parting lines, finishes, and more.
Read the Xometry article.


8 top ways to wreck your coupling-driven system

Engineers at Ruland Manufacturing Co. have compiled the eight best ways to consistently sabotage or damage your coupling-driven system -- and how to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Misunderstanding performance criteria such as misalignment, torque, or rpm can be all it takes to cause a critical and costly failure.
Read the full article.


New washer tech for leak-free automotive sealing

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has just launched the Rubore® Washer, a unique solution offering virtually leak-free sealing beneath screwheads to safeguard critical systems in vehicles, especially electric ones.
Read the full article.


How Reell electric wrap spring clutches work

Electric wrap spring clutches are ideally suited for critical timing applications requiring consistent, repeatable engagement and disengagement performance. Wrap spring technology used in Reell clutches provides the capability to transmit a large amount of torque in a small size -- package sizes smaller than other clutch technologies such as friction disk, tooth, or magnetic particle. Reell's technology has very positive engagement characteristics and also limits the effects of wear.
Read this informative Reell article.


New 'breathable' rupture disk tech provides overpressure and vacuum relief

To increase equipment safety and reliability, a new rupture disk technology activates at a set burst pressure, but it can also "breathe" to relieve minor pressure fluctuations. The patent-pending, dual-function device from BS&B Safety Systems is ideal for use on low-pressure vessels that are susceptible to ambient temperature changes.
Read the full article.


Engineer's Toolbox: 9 considerations for specifying a slewing ring bearing

In applications that require a bearing to support a structure while it rotates (e.g., cranes, radar, tank turrets), premature bearing failure can put people and equipment at risk. While slewing ring bearings have proven themselves countless times in such applications, designers must consider many factors when specifying them. According to engineers at Kaydon, the bearing's support structure, mounting (including bolt strength, tensioning, and hole patterns), installation, and even storage are all factors in a bearing's success or failure.
Read the full article.


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.


New nylon constant torque hinge

Southco has expanded its line of E6 Constant Torque Hinges with a compact, nylon version designed for small applications. The newest addition to the company's E6 50 Constant Torque Position Control Hinge series measures 45 mm with a torque range of 4 to 16 in./lb and is 65% lighter compared to the standard E6 50 Hinge. It provides constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion, enabling users to easily position doors, display screens, and other mounted components and hold them securely at any desired angle.
Learn more.


What injection molding material do I use?

How do you decide what type of plastic to use for your next injection molding project? Xometry can help you narrow your choices. Discover the different strengths and applications for materials that could be ideal for your application by learning about the most common plastic injection molding materials in detail.
Read this detailed Xometry article.


What are carbon composite bellows springs?

The Carbon Composite Bellows Spring (CCBS) from MW Components is a system of carbon fiber elements that combine to work as a high-performance, lightweight, and design-flexible compression spring meant to replace coil springs or metallic Belleville disc springs. A functional spring is made from several individual elements paired and joined to make a stack. The stack spring rate is determined by the number of elements, the base rate of each element, and their series or parallel orientation in the stack. Applications include motorsports, aerospace, and high-performance activities.
Learn more.


Conductive Brush Ring overcomes current leakage in EV powertrains

SKF's new Conductive Brush Ring paves the way to greater reliability and longer life in high-performance electric vehicle powertrain systems. Using pure carbon fiber bristles, it provides a reliable electrical connection between an EV eAxle rotor shaft and its housing. When used in combination with SKF Hybrid ceramic ball bearings, it helps to alleviate parasitic current effects that can lead to premature failure in bearings and other components. Available in different configurations for wet (oil-lubricated) motor designs -- and soon for dry (sealed) applications.
Learn more.


hyperMILL 2024 CAD/CAM software suite

OPEN MIND Technologies has introduced its latest hyperMILL 2024 CAD/CAM software suite, which includes a range of powerful enhancements to its core toolpath capabilities, as well as new functionality for increased NC programming efficiency in applications ranging from 2.5D machining to 5-axis milling. New and enhanced capabilities include: Optimized Deep Hole Drilling, a new algorithm for 3- and 5-axis Rest Machining, an enhanced path layout for the 3D Plane Machining cycle, better error detection, and much more.
Learn more.


One-part epoxy changes from red to clear under UV

Master Bond UV15RCL is a low-viscosity, cationic-type UV-curing system with a special color-changing feature. The red material changes to clear once exposed to UV light, indicating that there is UV light access across the adhesive material. Although this change in color from red to clear does not indicate a full cure, it does confirm that the UV light has reached the polymer. This epoxy is an excellent electrical insulator. UV15RCL adheres well to metals, glass, ceramics, and many plastics, including acrylics and polycarbonates.
Learn more.


SPIROL Press-N-Lok™ Pin for plastic housings

The Press-N-Lok™ Pin was designed to permanently retain two plastic components to each other. As the pin is inserted, the plastic backfills into the area around the two opposing barbs, resulting in maximum retention. Assembly time is quicker, and it requires lower assembly equipment costs compared to screws and adhesives -- just Press-N-Lok™!
Learn more about the new Press-N-Lok™ Pin.


Carnegie Mellon lunar rover wows XPRIZE judges, wins milestone prize

By Byron Spice, Carnegie Mellon University

The Google Lunar XPRIZE announced Dec. 16, 2014, that Andy, a four-wheeled lunar rover designed and built by Carnegie Mellon University, is the winner of a Milestone Prize for mobility after judges concluded it is thus far the only robot among the competing teams to meet development benchmarks for flight readiness.

Other teams continue to contend for Milestone Prizes, which will be awarded Jan. 26, 2015, in San Francisco, but the CMU team is the first and only team to meet the Milestone mobility objectives thus far, XPRIZE said. Likewise, CMU's partner, Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Technology, is the first winner of a Milestone Prize in the imaging subsystem category.

"Andy has proven to be a tough, smart, sure-footed machine," said William "Red" Whittaker, professor of robotics, who led a team of about 50 students, faculty, and staff members from across the CMU campus to create the rover. "We've shaken it to simulate launch forces, driven it through moon dirt, and exposed it to the extremes of lunar temperatures among many, many tests. Our team and our machine faced a rigorous evaluation by world-class judges and came out on top."

The Mobility Milestone Prize includes a $500,000 cash award.

"We don't do anything just for a prize," Whittaker added, "but when a check like this comes our way, we cash it." The prize money will be used to continue Andy's development.

The robot can scramble around giant moon pits, explore lunar caves, or seek polar ice.

Carnegie Mellon is building the rover as it works in partnership with Astrobotic Technology to win the $20 million-plus Google Lunar XPRIZE by landing and operating a robot on the moon. Astrobotic, a CMU spinoff, is developing commercial hardware and services to support space exploration. In addition to the imaging technology for which it won a Milestone Prize, Astrobotic also is developing the Griffin landing craft that will deliver Andy to the moon.

The Milestone Prizes created by Google and the XPRIZE Foundation included three categories: landing system, mobility subsystems, and imaging subsystems. Astrobotic is continuing to pursue the Milestone Prize for landing systems. Other teams still in the running for Milestone Prizes include Hakuto (Japan), Team Indus (India), Moon Express (U.S.), and Part-Time Scientists (Germany).

XPRIZE officials also announced that they have extended the deadline for the competition until Dec. 31, 2016. At least one team must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by Dec. 31, 2015, for all of the teams to move forward in the competition, the officials said.

"We feel confident that we can land on the moon in 2016 and show that a private company can set the course for future lunar exploration," said John Thornton, Astrobotic's CEO.

Planetary Robotics Team Introductions from Carnegie Mellon Lunar Team on Vimeo.

To receive the mobility prize, the CMU team had to demonstrate that Andy could survive the vacuum, high radiation, and extreme cold of the moon. The team also had to show that the robot could complete -- and could prove that it completed -- a 500-m traverse on the lunar surface, one of the conditions for winning the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Andy's prize-winning features include:

  • A wide stance, low center of gravity, and high belly clearance combine for unprecedented stability, slope climbing, and straddling of rocks.
  • A soft footprint -- weighing less than 10 lb on the moon -- and wide wheels give Andy superior mobility, while a novel suspension provides strong pulling power.
  • A new method for combining landing imagery with 3D path reconstruction data to plan and document Andy's exploration route.
  • Innovative software that, combined with redundant electronic components, achieves high reliability of electronic systems despite the moon's high radiation levels.

Andy, which derives its moniker from university namesakes Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, was developed with technical expertise and resources contributed from across the university, including the School of Computer Science, the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts, and the Mellon College of Science.

Whittaker said many team members contributed long hours to the creation of Andy. Notable among them were Jon Anderson and Curtis Boirum, both master's degree students in robotics; Joe Bartels, Nate Otten, and Heather Jones, Ph.D. students in robotics; Luke Metro, a sophomore electrical and computer engineering major; John Mann, a junior computer science major; and Jay Jasper, a master's degree student in mechanical engineering.

More information about Andy and Carnegie Mellon's Lunar Exploration Initiative is available online at lunar.cs.cmu.edu

Published January 2015.

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