Round vs. square rails -- which are better for you?
Thomson invented the world's first anti-friction linear ball bushing bearings in 1946. For many years, these round-rail linear guides satisfied every linear motion control requirement. However, as machines required closer tolerances, the round rail didn't always fit the bill. Learn the pros and cons of each design type.
Read this informative Thomson blog.
New bearings reduce wear in heavy-duty applications
igus has introduced a new bearing with an improved iglide material, called TX2, that offers self-lubricating and maintenance-free properties for heavy-duty applications. TX2 increases wear resistance by a factor of 3.5 in load ranges with more than 100-MPa surface pressure. The material is ideal for components in machines that serve construction and agriculture, which can require more than 50 liters of lubricant annually. The material is also very resistant to temperature, chemicals, moisture, corrosion, and seawater, which opens up the applications base for its use substantially.
Aerospace fastener hole drilling and countersinking all in one step
Kennametal has introduced the HiPACS drilling and countersinking system for aerospace fastener holes. Designed to drill and chamfer holes in one operation, the high-precision tool meets the aerospace industry's stringent accuracy requirements while delivering increased tool life in machining composite, titanium, and aluminum aircraft skins. With an industry-standard interface, HiPACS can be utilized on any CNC machine. Three components eliminate the need for custom tooling: a reducer sleeve with a built-in high-precision pocket seat, a PCD countersinking insert, and two series of solid carbide drills.
Why precision metrology is critical for electric vehicle gearing
As the shift from internal combustion engines to electric motors in vehicles continues, the number of drivetrain components will dramatically lessen too. The remaining components will be even more critical to a vehicle's operation and longevity. One such area is the gear components necessary to convert the high-force torque from electric motors to the RPMs at the wheel.
By Michael Schmidt, Zygo Corporation
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Master CNC machining tolerances eBook
Need a refresher on the basics of applying tolerances to custom machined metal and plastic parts? In this ebook, Xometry provides some pointers on designing mating parts and parts for specific functions. Chapters include: general machining tolerances, clearance and interference fit, how to avoid over-tolerancing, CAD drawing prep and specs, and an inspection report cheat sheet.
Get this valuable resource from Xometry.
Specifying metal inserts for molded plastics
Teaming with insert manufacturers that offer engineering expertise throughout the design and manufacturing process can be worth its weight in gold. Learn how two OEMs overcame their metal insert challenges by using advice and products from Tri-Star Industries, including specialty stainless steel parts and modifying the knurling on some inserts.
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Posi-Lok keyless shaft bushings for secure shaft-to-hub connection
Zero-Max offers a variety of options within the Posi-Lok keyless shaft bushings (PSL) product line that allow users to rigidly and reliably secure shaft-mounted components into position for optimal operating results in their machines. Options include material choices, plating, and different mounting methods. Posi-Loks are a superior shaft-hub locking solution, eliminating the need for keyways that can weaken or cause excess wear to shaft components. All Posi-Lok models easily slide onto a shaft for mounting and provide reliable, zero-backlash performance.
Automation: ECONOmaster drilling units -- affordable, flexible, get the job done
Suhner's ECONO-master® is a low-cost, high-output automated drilling unit that puts holes in light metal, composite, thermoplastic, and even wood substrates at high speed with excellent accuracy. It features low power and air consumption. On a recent project for Mid-State Engineering, Suhner custom ECONOmaster drill units -- featuring selectable drill heads that can be used in combination or individually -- were used to automatically drill holes into fiberglass panels for truck trailer bodies.
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Great Resources: Ultimate Guide to Injection Molding
Xometry has put together a comprehensive resource for injection molding -- from the basic principles to applications, tooling, materials, design features, and more. Learn how to optimize your part designs and choose the right surface finishes, textures, and post-processing for your projects. A super-handy resource worth bookmarking.
Read the Xometry Ultimate Guide to Injection Molding.
Sealing fasteners may 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.
Spirit levels with adjustment and cross-measurement
They may seem like relics from the past, but spirit levels remain indispensable tools in everyday industrial operations. Two new types from JW Winco now offer even better and faster alignment. The cross spirit levels GN 2276 combine two perpendicular linear levels within a single, round aluminum housing to show the alignment in two planes at once, making installation and leveling easier and faster. The new screw-on spirit levels GN 2283 are used to check the horizontal position of jigs, machines, devices, appliances, and instruments. These are available in a directly mountable, flat version (AV) and as an adjustable version (JV) with an alignment cam.
New cast urethane materials and finishes
Xometry has added new urethane resins and finishes as options for quick and affordable low- to mid-volume production. Urethane casting is used to make end-use, highly durable parts with robust mechanical properties. It is considered a "soft-tooled" process, where a silicone mold is formed around a master pattern -- usually 3D printed. Xometry has materials in two main durometer classes, rigid (Shore D) and rubber-like (Shore A). Finishes include matte/frosted, semi-gloss, high-gloss, and custom.
Read this informative Xometry blog.
Get the Xometry Urethane Casting Design Guide.
New molded-in aluminum threaded inserts for plastics
SPIROL has introduced a new, high-performance series of Molded-In Inserts for plastics assemblies. The rugged design of the Series 63 Through Hole Inserts and Series 65 Blind End Inserts consists of multiple bands of helical knurls to maximize torque resistance, balanced with radial undercuts to achieve high pull-out (tensile) force. These Molded-In Inserts are designed to be placed in the mold cavity prior to plastic injection. They offer exceptional performance due to unrestricted plastic flow into the retention features on the outside diameter of the Inserts.
How to avoid premature linear screw actuator failure
At their core, electric linear screw actuators deploy mechanical technology such as ball bearings, ball screws, and roller screws that have a finite life. These components do not last forever -- even though that is the expectation of some customers. But how long will an actuator really last? Tolomatic engineers provide a way to calculate, estimate, and size the electric linear screw actuator to achieve the desired life for your applications.
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.
3D Printing: Desktop Metal qualifies 316L stainless steel for high-volume manufacturing -- thousands of parts per week
3D-printer machine maker Desktop Metal has qualified the use of 316L stainless steel for its additive manufacturing platform called the Production System, which provides some of the fastest build speeds in the market for mass production and can make thousands of parts per week. This article includes very useful cost-per-part and time-to-manufacture information using five different application examples.
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Finnish-Dutch business partnership says nanodiamonds boost 3D-printed polymer performance, will offer enhanced filaments
Finnish nanodiamond manufacturer Carbodeon and Dutch 3D-printing specialist Tiamet 3D have announced the first nanodiamond-enhanced filaments for 3D printing.
The Carbodeon/Tiamet 3D filaments are based on a jointly patented technology that significantly improves the mechanical and thermal properties of 3D-printed items.
"By joining forces, we've already developed filaments with a 100 percent increase in tensile strength, improved printability, and better thermal properties," said Reid Larson, CEO of Tiamet 3D. "Printing also runs more quickly and more reliably with the addition of Carbodeon polymer-tailored nanodiamonds."
"Nanodiamonds offer the potential to make 3D-printed components that perform as well as or better than comparable injection molded components, but with massive cost reductions and production speed improvements, especially for prototype, on-demand, and short-run production," said Carbodeon CEO Dr. Vesa Myllymäki.
3D printing using improved-performance thermoplastics has potential in almost all manufacturing environments, but especially in electronics, automotive, and aerospace industries. As well as improving thermal management, conductivity, and tensile strength of the base polymer, nanodiamonds can increase the glass transition temperature of the end product or component to achieve more robust and reliable polymer products, suitable for more challenging environments.
But how does adding nanodiamonds help the final result? Myllymäki told Designfax exclusively, "The way selected nanodiamond addition affects the polymer is affecting both its thermal and mechanical properties. Regarding thermal, both thermal conductivity and glass transition temperature are affected, resulting in enhanced printing speed (three- to fivefold looks possible for the PLA filaments), printed item isotropic strength (better layer-to-layer adhesion), and higher temperature range for said item use." Regarding mechanical properties, Myllymäki said the nanodiamond particles act as a nucleus for crystallization (if distributed well in parent matrix) to enable tailoring of the polymer crystallinity (strength). While tailoring the polymer structure, their dispersion strengthens the composite structure and prevents the movement of dislocations.
Myllymäki told Designfax the nano-sized particles are spherical and applied at very low concentrations -- the concentration varies per application and targeted property, but it is always less than 0.5 wt. percent. The particles don't cause wearing of production tools. From a safety point of view, they are not cytotoxic nor immunotoxic (on the contrary, they are heavily investigated as a drug carrier within many pending biomedical applications). Carbodeon's U.S. agent Silicon Sense and Carbodeon have received EPA registration as the first nano-diamond actor in the United States.
Myllymäki said the detonation nanodiamonds Carbodeon manufactures are 4 to 6 nm spherical diamond particles, with covalently bound surface termination. It is this tailored surface that allows perfect electrostatic coupling of these diamond particles to the applied parent polymer. "Here, we can now select between carboxylated, amine-terminated, and hydrogen-terminated nanodiamonds. In addition to nanodiamond development and manufacturing, Carbodeon has made significant investments in developing nanodiamond material use within various polymer thermal compounds, metal finishing, polymer coatings, CVD seeding, and within 3D-printing filaments."
The first Carbodeon/Tiamet 3D filaments will be PLA (polylactic acid) based, with further development focused on higher-performance thermoplastics. The companies have signed a strategic partnership agreement on joint filament development, along with an agreement for Carbodeon to supply nanodiamond materials to Tiamet 3D.
The newly developed PLA filament product will be available both from Carbodeon and Tiamet 3D. Carbodeon filament products will be sold under the uDiamond® brand.
Published April 2018
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