January 16, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 02

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.


Ultra-light aluminum produced by USU chemist may be a material design breakthrough -- maybe

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto, Utah State University

If you drop an aluminum spoon in a sink full of water, the spoon will sink to the bottom. That's because aluminum, in its conventional form, is denser than water, says Utah State University (USU) chemist Alexander Boldyrev.

But if you restructure the common household metal at the molecular level, as Boldyrev and colleagues did using computational modeling, you could produce an ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum that's lighter than water. Boldyrev, along with scientists Iliya Getmanskii, Vitaliy Koval, Ruslan Minyaev, and Vladimir Minkin of Southern Federal University in Rostov-on Don, Russia, published findings in the Sept. 18, 2017, online edition of The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

The team's research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Science and Education.

USU professor Alex Boldyrev and colleagues from Russia's Southern Federal University computationally designed a new, metastable, ultra-light form of crystal aluminum. The new material could have important applications in space flight.

 

 

 

 

"My colleagues' approach to this challenge was very innovative," says Boldyrev, professor in USU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "They started with a known crystal lattice, in this case, a diamond, and substituted every carbon atom with an aluminum tetrahedron."

The team's calculations confirmed such a structure is a new, metastable, lightweight form of crystal aluminum. And to their amazement, it has a density of only 0.61 grams per cubic centimeter, in contrast to convention aluminum's density of 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter.

"That means the new crystallized form will float on water, which has a density of one gram per cubic centimeter," Boldyrev says.

Such a property opens a whole new realm of possible applications for the non-magnetic, corrosive-resistant, abundant, relatively inexpensive, and easy-to-produce metal.

"Spaceflight, medicine, wiring and more lightweight, more fuel-efficient automotive parts are some applications that come to mind," Boldyrev says. "Of course, it's very early to speculate about how this material could be used. There are many unknowns. For one thing, we don't know anything about its strength."

Still, he says, the breakthrough discovery marks a novel way of approaching material design.

"An amazing aspect of this research is the approach: using a known structure to design a new material," Boldyrev says. "This approach paves the way for future discoveries."

Published November 2017

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