September 13, 2016 Volume 12 Issue 34

Mechanical News & Products

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How a BattleBot was built using Onshape

Learn how RoboGym Robotics, a veteran BattleBots team, said goodbye to Solidworks and took their design game to the next level using Onshape, the cloud-native, all-in-one CAD and PDM solution. RoboGym was able to analyze key components of their Roundhouse BattleBot like its armor and weapon bar, run simulations, collaborate, iterate, and optimize their design to its fullest.
Read this informative Onshape blog.


Who knew? How colorants affect plastic

In plastic injection molding, one aspect of polymer characteristics that doesn't always get the consideration it deserves is the addition of colorant. Believe it or not, there is a whole scientific body of knowledge about the ways in which adding color to plastic can affect its behavioral properties. This short article by Denny Scher of ICO Mold takes a high-level look at some of the different, and surprising, ways colorants can affect plastics.
Read the full article.


Smart fixed flange bearings unlock predictive maintenance

igus has developed intelligent two- and four-hole fixed flange bearings with wireless sensing capabilities for wear detection. Constructed from self-lubricating, high-performance plastic, the bearings feature an integrated abrasion sensor, thin circuit board, and cableless battery supply. Wear interrupts the board's conductor paths, causing the electronics to lose the signal. The sensor then transmits a long-range network signal to an igus i.Cee switch cabinet module for analysis, including the percentage of abrasion.
Learn about igus smart bearing technology.


Screw jack configuration and selection tool

Thomson has added a screw jack config and select tool to its online engineering toolset to help design engineers optimize and specify screw jacks for applications involving loads up to 100 tons. Screw jacks are increasingly replacing hydraulic cylinders in many ultra-heavy, low duty-cycle applications. Enter load, speed, travel, duty cycle, and other motion parameters.
Learn more.


Retaining magnets from JW Winco: Universal and clever

JW Winco has expanded its magnet line to support more applications with new materials, shapes, systems, and even raw magnets. Learn about their latest offerings, including retaining magnets designed for corrosive environments (GN 50.8), encapsulated magnets designed for sensitive or painted surfaces (GN 51.8), handle magnets (GN 53.3), and powerful magnets designed to handle challenging environs (GN 52.6).
Learn more.


3D print tool steel with the ease of a plastic

The Virtual Foundry, a pioneer in advanced 3D-printing materials, is excited to announce the launch of their latest innovation: M300 Tool Steel Filametâ„¢ (not a typo). This material answers the demand for FFF 3D-printable Tool Steel, delivering unparalleled strength and versatility. What sets this material apart is its seamless compatibility with various 3D printers, including Creality, Bambu Lab, Ultimaker, and more. The filament prints effortlessly, resembling the ease of working with PLA (plastic).
Learn more.


New from Ruland: Inch-to-metric rigid couplings

Ruland Manufacturing now offers rigid couplings with inch-to-metric bores as a standard product, giving users a wider range of off-the-shelf couplings. This expansion is the latest addition to the company's inch-to-metric, standard coupling product line that includes seven types of motion-control couplings and universal joints. Instead of re-machining or ordering custom-made couplings, using off-the-shelf, inch-to-metric rigid couplings saves time and money.
Learn more.


Case study: YouTuber builds one-of-a-kind PC chassis with Xometry's manufacturing services

Learn how Josh Sniffen, the YouTuber behind the popular PC-building channel Not From Concentrate, leaned on Xometry for a wide range of manufacturing options, personalized DFM feedback, and order management support for his latest creation: the HEXO ATX.
Read this very cool Xometry case study.


E-Z Lok threaded insert CAD models available in online catalog

E-Z Lok, a leading manufacturer and master distributor of threaded inserts for metal, plastic, and wood, has recently launched an online CAD library to showcase a wide selection of its products. Built by CADENAS PARTsolutions, this catalog streamlines the design and spec process for engineers, MRO, and OEMs. Datasheets available for download.
Learn more about E-Z Lok threaded inserts.


70% longer service life for linear bushings

As a result of an optimized production process, Bosch Rexroth's segmental linear bushings with plastic cage used in a wide variety of industries achieve a load capacity that is up to 20% higher and a service life that is up to 70% longer. They are part of a Rexroth round guide with a matching shaft. The increase in load capacity makes it possible to use a smaller size in many cases while meeting the same requirements. Downsizing reduces system costs, saves space, and reduces weight.
Learn more.


Trick to measuring angles in SOLIDWORKS

Learn from the pros at TriMech how to take angle measurements easily in SOLID-WORKS. TriMech has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to SOLIDWORKS tips, and the company is excellent at training too.
View the video.


6 considerations for selecting a ball valve

Ball valves are the ideal valve of choice for liquid and gas conveyance lines ranging from diesel fuel to compressed air. Although these valves may seem simple, there's a lot more to them. Parker Hannifin offers valuable advice on body materials, configuration, seals, venting, and more in this informative post.
Read the Parker blog.


Great Resources: Sheet metal design guide

If you're looking for a basic guide to sheet metal design, this one from Xometry will serve your needs well. Follow the design requirements and tolerances in this guide to ensure parts fall closer to design intent. This is the type of information you'll sock away and then refer to again and again.
Read the full article.


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.


Engineer's Toolbox: The secret to living hinges that fold flat

Living hinges are often used to produce a container and its lid as a single molded part. If properly designed, they can open and close thousands of times without ever losing strength or flexibility. Proto Labs provides valuable tips on designing these (sometimes thin and fragile) parts.
Read the full article.


GE acquiring two 3D-printing companies for $1.4B, going into additive-manufacturing service biz

GE recently announced plans to acquire two suppliers of additive manufacturing equipment, Arcam AB [Sweden] and SLM Solutions Group AG [Germany], for $1.4 billion. Both companies will report to David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. Joyce will be tasked with leading the growth of these businesses in the additive manufacturing equipment and services industry. In addition, he will lead the integration effort and the GE Store initiative to drive additive manufacturing applications across GE.

Additive manufacturing (also called 3D printing) involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part. Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditionally manufactured parts because they require less welding and machining. Because additive parts are essentially "grown" from the ground up, they generate far less scrap material. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing dramatically expands the design possibilities for engineers. "Ultimately, as we develop more productive machines, we can build additive manufacturing ‘as a service' for our customers," said Joyce.

GE expects to grow the new additive business to $1 billion by 2020 at attractive returns and also expects $3 billion to $5 billion of product cost-out across the company over the next 10 years.

"Additive manufacturing is a key part of GE's evolution into a digital industrial company," said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE. "We are poised to not only benefit from this movement as a customer, but spearhead it as a leading supplier."

In July, GE Aviation introduced into airline service its first additive jet engine component -- complex fuel nozzle interiors -- with the LEAP jet engine. The LEAP engine is the new, best-selling engine from CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. More than 11,000 LEAP engines are on order with up to 20 fuel nozzles in every engine, thus setting the stage for sustainably high and long-term additive production at GE Aviation's Auburn, AL, manufacturing plant.

A 3D-printed fuel nozzle (top left of the part) for GE's LEAP jet engine. [Image credit GE Aviation]

 

 

Production will ramp up to more than 40,000 fuel nozzles using additive by 2020. GE Aviation is also using additive manufacturing to produce components in its most advanced military engines. In the general aviation world, GE is developing the Advanced Turboprop Engine (ATP) for a new Cessna aircraft with a significant portion of the entire engine produced using additive manufacturing.

The acquisitions
Arcam AB, based in Mölndal, Sweden, invented the electron beam melting machine for metal-based additive manufacturing, and also produces advanced metal powders. Its customers are in the aerospace and healthcare industries. Arcam generated $68 million in revenues in 2015 with approximately 285 employees. In addition to its Sweden site, Arcam operates AP&C, a metal powders operation in Canada, and DiSanto Technology, a medical additive manufacturing firm in Connecticut, as well as sales and application sites worldwide.

SLM Solutions Group, based in Lübeck, Germany, produces laser machines for metal-based additive manufacturing with customers in the aerospace, energy, healthcare, and automotive industries. SLM generated $74 million in revenues in 2015 with 260 employees. In addition to its operations in Germany, SLM has sales and application sites worldwide.

Arcam and SLM will bolster GE's existing material science and additive manufacturing capabilities. GE has invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies since 2010. The investment has enabled the company to develop additive applications across six GE businesses, create new services applications across the company, and earn 346 patents in powder metals alone. In addition, the additive manufacturing equipment will leverage Predix (GE's cloud-based platform (PaaS) for Industrial Internet applications) and be a part of GE's "Brilliant Factory" initiative.

The additive effort will utilize GE's global ecosystem, but be centered in Europe. GE will maintain the headquarters locations and key operating locations of Arcam and SLM, as well as retain their management teams and employees. These locations will collaborate with the broader GE additive ecosystem including the manufacturing and materials research center in Niskayuna, NY, and the additive design and production lab in Pittsburgh, PA. They will also complement the technologies brought on by other key acquisitions such as Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing.

Source: GE

Published September 2016

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