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February 12, 2013Volume 09 Issue 06

Image - New Full Line Catalog -- Full of New Fasteners
New Full Line Catalog -- Full of New Fasteners
Micro Plastics introduces its new catalog #39. With 290 pages of nylon fastener items, 12 new product lines, and over 500 new items added. Contents include: standard and metric machine screws, cap screws, nuts, washers, spacers, insulators, grommets, bushings, rivets, hole plugs, clamps, printed circuit board accessories, suspended ceiling hooks, and wire routing kits. FREE samples are available upon request.

Click here for more information.

In this issue of Designfax

  • U.S. Army embracing 3D design
  • Rotary ball spline technologies
  • Liquid metal in super-stretchable wires
  • Wheels: Simulating Ethernet networks
  • Mike Likes: Most energy-efficient LED light bulb?
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Microwave amplifier design
  • Alternatives to riveting or spot welding
  • Motors for large-diameter projects
  • Scan and design in the same program
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • What do drones see?
    • Incredible PCB motors
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Wheels: Designing the sound of the Porsche 911
    • 3,000 mpg from 1 gal of gasoline?
    • Tiny structure gives big boost to solar power
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: NanoLight omnidirectional LED bulb [Image: NanoLight]


U.S. Air Force selects BAE Systems' award-winning tool to manage obsolete parts

New 'intelligent' wind turbine has a rotor as big as the London Eye

NASA's successful robotic refueling demo points to a bright satellite-servicing future

New Maplesoft project for Toyota leverages symbolic computation in control systems engineering

Image - Born to Design: The Next Level of Extreme Machines
Born to Design: The Next Level of Extreme Machines
The DTV Shredder is the latest innovation in vehicles from the creative minds at BPG Werks. The company founder Ben Gulag continues to push the boundaries of mechanical design and engineering. He and his team rely on the tools in SolidWorks® to help them design vehicles such as the DTV Shredder - an extreme all-terrain dual track vehicle that goes through sand, mud, and snow.

Click here to watch the Shredder in action.

Feature articles
U.S. Army embracing 3D design
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a 3D picture worth? Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, are working on a project to find out. They plan to reap a daisy chain of dollar savings by developing technologies that will be at the center of a revolution in how the Army meets its constantly changing needs for equipment.

A prominent feature of the plan has the Army providing manufacturers the specifications for a needed part in an interactive 3D model format.
Read the full article.

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Request your Protomold demo mold today!
This is a seriously cool tool.

Image - Rotary ball spline technologies and the effective differences of two rotational nut technologies
Rotary ball spline technologies and the effective differences of two rotational nut technologies
Before you specify a rotary ball spline, ask the question, "Should the rotary spline nut be riding on angular contact ball bearings or crossed roller bearings?" Naoki Yamaguchi, assistant technical manager, NB Corporation of America, answers this and a host of other considerations.
Read the full article.
Researchers use liquid metal to create super-stretchable wires
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created conductive wires that can be stretched up to eight times their original length while still functioning. The wires can be used for everything from headphones to phone chargers, and hold potential for use in electronic textiles.
Read the full article.
Simulating Ethernet networks in real time

With its new Ethernet Configuration Package, dSPACE is the first company ever to enable the real-time simulation of service-oriented communication in Ethernet networks of electronic control units (ECUs).
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>World's most energy-efficient LED light bulb?
Mike Likes:
World's most energy-efficient LED light bulb?

Three young innovators got together and pitched their NanoLight project on Kickstarter. They reached their goal of $20,000 in project seed money in the first three days. What's so cool about the NanoLight? It's a super-economical, omnidirectional 12W LED bulb created from folded PCB boards that puts out the equivalent light of a traditional 100W bulb (1,600 lumens) and has a lifespan of 30,000 hr. Better yet, this device needs no heat sink. Check out this unconventional but very cool design.
View the video.
Engineer's Toolbox:
Electromagnetic simulation tools accelerate design of microwave amplifiers

An automated simulation-based design cycle has become a fundamental part of the success of one of today's leading designers of travelling wave tube (TWT) microwave amplifiers.
Read the full article.

Image - Great alternatives to riveting or spot welding
Great alternatives to riveting or spot welding
PEM SpotFast self-clinching fasteners enable two sheets to be joined permanently in a flush-attachment connection without protrusions on either side. These practical alternatives to riveting or spot welding provide ideal solutions to attach two metal sheets too thin to weld, fasten sheets of unequal thicknesses, join dissimilar metals, attach ultra-thin metal sections, or join metal sheets to PCB or plastic panels. Their rotational capability offers additional application advantages by allowing the fastener to act as a hardened pivot point. SpotFast fasteners install smooth with the top sheet and flush or sub-flush with the bottom sheet. Can be installed in aluminum or steel sheets as thin as .030 in./0.8 mm.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Motors for large-diameter direct-drive projects
Motors for large-diameter direct-drive projects
Applimotion routinely scales its LARC (Linear Arc) motors for large-diameter applications greater than 1 m in diameter. The modular nature of these motors allows them to integrate with large assemblies for scanning, imaging, and metrology applications where size requirements take priority over high torque requirements. LARC motors come in modular pieces and will bolt into any large-diameter servo motor application. The motors operate from standard brushless motor amplifiers from 24V to 300V. They work nicely with encoders, resolvers, or the recently introduced magnetic encoders for direct-drive applications.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Geomagic Spark: <br>Scan and design in the same program
Geomagic Spark:
Scan and design in the same program

Geomagic Spark is the only 3D software that combines a live 3D scanning interface, built on Geomagic's robust 3D point and mesh editing platform, with a comprehensive direct modeling package, built on the innovative SpaceClaim platform. In addition, Geomagic Spark includes powerful assembly modeling and 2D drawing capabilities. The result is an intuitive and powerful product that will allow CAD experts and CAD novices alike to create models for conceptualization, prototyping, manufacturing, or documentation easily and in one complete package. Geomagic Spark's direct modeling CAD environment relies on a gesture-based user interface, a simple push/pull toolset, and a familiar ribbon-based GUI. Now, users can skillfully create accurate, manufacturable solid models and assemblies using scan and CAD data in the same application within minutes, even from partial scan data.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels: <br>Classical music -- designing the sound of the Porsche 911
Classical music -- designing the sound of the Porsche 911

Designing any exhaust system today is a challenge, considering the role the exhaust plays in emissions reduction and fuel efficiency. But, says Jesse Crosse, designing a system for a legendary sports car which not only satisfies noise regulations but also meets the emotional requirements of an iconic brand is tougher still.
Read the full article.
3,000 mpg? Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies helps U-of-M Supermileage team push for ultimate fuel efficiency
Students on the University of Michigan's Supermileage Team are trying to figure out how to squeeze more than 3,000 miles from a single gallon of fuel during the SAE International's Supermileage competition. FNST is offering the financial and professional resources needed to cross the finish line.
Read the full article.
Tiny mesh structure gives big boost to solar power
Princeton researchers have found a simple and economical way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells, the cheap and flexible plastic devices that many scientists believe could be the future of solar power.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
What do drones see?
Wow. In this brand new PBS NOVA video clip, an engineer describes the super-secret (up to now) 1.8-billion-pixel surveillance sensor called ARGUS used by some high-level UAVs. The sensor makes for the world's highest-resolution camera. UAVs equipped with the device can see objects as small as 6 in. on the ground from 17,500 ft up, stream all their video in real time, and also record everything spotted: up to 1 million TBs of video a day. Wait a sec for video to load after clicking.
View the video.

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Incredible PCB motors
Danish motion control innovators at PCBMotor put piezo ceramics to impressive use in this excellent introduction to their system of building one or more motors directly onto a PCB. There are numerous applications that can use this technology, including laser and optics, camera, medical, telecom, aviation/aerospace, robotics, and instrumentation.
View the video.

Video Image

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