Click this link if you cannot read the issue below: Designfax - Tech for OEM Design Engineers
March 12, 2013Volume 09 Issue 10

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.

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In this issue of Designfax

  • New cooling jets for ultra-thin tablets
  • LED aircraft landing light
  • Researchers build robotic bat wing
  • Wheels: Honda joins steel and aluminum
  • Mike Likes: Moving magnet voice coil actuator
  • HUGE Machines: Making giant wind turbine bearings
  • Ultra-flexible coating for electronics
  • New fire-resistant plastic bushing
  • Brushless motors with integrated electronics
  • CADSTAR 14 packs a punch
  • Proven plastics perform same as traditional metals
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • BigDog robot gains a pitching arm
    • SF Bay Bridge: World's largest light sculpture
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Stretchable lithium-ion battery
    • Powertrain engineer wins second award
    • Wheels: Intelligent tire sensors
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Software
    Cover Image: Robotic bat wing helps Brown researchers study aerodynamics [Credit: Breuer and Swartz labs/Brown Univ.]


element14 celebrates Raspberry Pi's first birthday

Running out of plastic material for your 3D printer? Michigan Tech professor says you can make your own

Volvo Car Group reveals world-first 'cyclist detection' with full auto brake

Tesla Motors boosts production capabilities with Mentor Graphics electrical design software

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
Piezoelectric cooling jets let ultra-thin tablets and laptops take the heat
Tired of your laptop or tablet getting too hot? Fear not. GE has a new fanless solution, adapted from technology originally developed for commercial jet engines, for future mobile computing designs.
Read the full article.

Image - First PAR64 LED aircraft landing light is cash, energy saver
First PAR64 LED aircraft landing light is cash, energy saver
Hoffman Performance Lighting has introduced the first-ever PAR64 LED Landing Light, a drop-in replacement for existing Q4559 and Q4559X quartz halogen lamps. The ruggedized PAR64 is used on a wide range of commercial, civil, law enforcement, aero-medical, and military aircraft. But what's really so cool about this LED?
Read the full article.
Dynamics of flapping flight:
Brown researchers build robotic bat wing

Researchers at Brown University have developed a robotic bat wing that is providing valuable new information about the dynamics of flapping flight in real bats. By measuring the power output of the three servo motors that control the robot's seven movable joints, researchers can evaluate the energy required to execute wing movements.
Read the full article.
Honda develops new tech to join steel and aluminum

Automakers are making some real inroads with new aluminum processes. Just a few months ago, GM announced that it had invented an industry-first aluminum spot welding technology expected to enable more use of the lightweight metal on future vehicles. Now it's Honda's turn.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Linear actuator with moving magnet offers precise positioning
Mike Likes:
Linear actuator with moving magnet offers precise positioning

Moving magnet actuators lend themselves to applications that require moderate speed and controllable, gentle stop points, functions not achievable with solenoids or standard voice coil actuators. BEI Kimco Magnetics' new Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuator Series allows for precise positioning to meet high accuracy requirements. When combined with smart drive electronics, this actuator can be controlled for speed and desired output force. By keeping the magnet mass low, the system inertia is well controlled, resulting in more precise speed and position control. Typical applications include remotely controlled circuit breakers, medical hand tools, and other delicate instrumentation.
Click here to learn more.

Image - HUGE Machines: <br>Optical and magnetic encoders make for high-accuracy production of giant wind turbine bearings
HUGE Machines:
Optical and magnetic encoders make for high-accuracy production of giant wind turbine bearings

Blade pitch adjustment is one of the most critical functions of wind turbine operation, and the giant bearings in the adjustment mechanism can now be manufactured with accuracy typically reserved for small parts using a new vertical turn/grind machine from Swedish builder KMT Lidköping. The machine combines advanced motion systems with Renishaw optical and magnetic linear and angle encoders on critical axes to achieve incredible precision.
Read the full article.

Image - Chemtronics introduces ultra-flexible conformal coating for electronics
Chemtronics introduces ultra-flexible conformal coating for electronics
Konform Conformal Coatings are used to protect printed circuit boards, components, and flex circuitry. These coatings provide excellent electrical insulation and withstand hot and cold operating environments, as well as heat generated by electronic circuitry. Konform Flexcoat Conformal Coating is designed for applications where flexibility and protection are paramount. It is as flexible as an RTV silicone, but without the disadvantages of silicone. This coating provides a soft, even, rubbery coating and a durable protective barrier against humidity, salt, corrosive vapors, and fungus. It is ideal for both flexible and rigid printed circuit boards and electronic assemblies.
Click here to learn more.

Image - New fire-resistant plastic bushing
New fire-resistant plastic bushing
igus, an expert in triboplastics, has released a new polymer plain bearing that is fire retardant and classified according to UL94 with V0 standards. iglide GV0 has exceptional physical and thermal properties, boasting a maximum short-term application temperature of 410 deg F and a maximum long-term application temperature of 266 deg F. iglide GV0 offers similar all-round properties to igus' standard plastic bearing material iglide G300, such as an extremely high load capacity at low to medium sliding velocities and excellent wear resistance on most shaft materials.
Click here to learn more.

Image - DCmind brushless motors feature integrated electronics
DCmind brushless motors feature integrated electronics
The latest in the DCmind offering from Crouzet includes the TNi21 and SMi21 brushless motors, which feature integrated electronics, power capabilities from 60 W to 150 W, and high accuracy. The integrated electronics save space and provide a smart, compact motor solution. Other important characteristics include an optimized control loop that allows simple and accurate motor management, carefully designed internal thermal protection for improved safety, and intuitive, easy-to-use software. Excellent EMC characteristics assure operational safety and reliability. Available options include mechanical brake and a variety of planetary and worm gearboxes. Either model can be used as a stand-alone motor or in combination with other motors, or controlled by a PLC.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Zuken's CADSTAR 14 packs a punch in the fight against design errors
Zuken's CADSTAR 14 packs a punch in the fight against design errors
PCB designers play a pivotal role, collaborating with both electronics engineers and mechanical designers in the electronic product development process. One of the most common issues faced is identifying critical design errors late in the process when the file has already been sent to manufacturing, which leads to costly changes and delayed time to market. Designers using Zuken's CADSTAR version 14's expert desktop design solution will benefit from improved productivity and reduced design times through key enhancements, including improved error report management, an updated BGA wizard, and automatic net rerouting.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Proven plastics perform same as traditional metals
Proven plastics perform same as traditional metals
The inclusion of high-modulus fibers (HMF) into high-flow VICTREX PEEK materials offers the strength and stiffness that have given engineers the confidence to displace metals such as steel, aluminum, titanium, brass, and magnesium in aircraft system attachments, industrial machinery, and semiconductor and medical equipment. New to the Victrex product portfolio, VICTREX PEEK HMF polymers are based on the Victrex 90-Series formulation that has primarily been used to mold tough, thin-wall parts. Lightweight thermoplastics such as VICTREX PEEK HMF polymers not only can help engineers reduce component weight by up to 80 percent when compared to metals like steel and brass, but offer an equivalent stiffness and strength.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue
Stretchable lithium-ion battery developed to complement stretchable electronics
Northwestern University's Yonggang Huang and the University of Illinois' John A. Rogers are the first to demonstrate a stretchable lithium-ion battery: a flexible device capable of powering their innovative stretchable electronics.
Read the full article.
Outstanding patent recognized:
Chrysler powertrain engineer wins company technology award for second time

Chrysler Powertrain Synthesis Manager Mark J. Duty was named the winner of the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award on February 27, given to holders of Chrysler Group's most outstanding patents. Duty, a 47-year-old engineer who joined the company in 1996, earned the prize (his second) for work on the Powertrain Matching Analysis Toolset. Known within Chrysler Group as PMAT, it helps identify engine-transmission pairings that afford the most bang for the customer's buck.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Intelligent tire sensors aim to detect vehicle weight, more
Intelligent tire sensors aim to detect vehicle weight, more

Where in the past only special vehicles were capable of checking permitted axle loads, future vehicles will be able to calculate this information -- and more -- automatically on the basis of data from tire pressure sensors being developed by Continental.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
BigDog robot gains a pitching arm
We've seen our favorite BigDog robot from Boston Dynamics carry many a heavy load. Now it can pitch one, too. Engineers at Boston Dynamics say their goal with this phase of the project is to use the strength of the robot's legs and torso to help power motions of an additional arm -- in this case chucking a 35-lb cinder block. This dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation is used routinely by human athletes and should enhance the performance of advanced robots in the future. Boston Dynamics is developing the control and actuation techniques needed for this type of dynamic manipulation. So far, the robot's best throw is a bit more than 17 ft. The research is funded by the Army Research Laboratory's RCTA program.
View the video.

Video Image
World's largest light sculpture:
The engineering behind the San Francisco Bay Lights project

Artist Leo Villareal talks to about how his Bay Lights project will transform San Francisco's Bay Bridge into a spectacular light show each night for the next two years. The project had its Grand Lighting ceremony last Tuesday, March 5. Villareal explains the algorithms that control and choreograph 25,000 individually programmable, white LED lights made by Philips Color Kinetics to create complex patterns across the bridge's western span. The energy-efficient lights are mounted in single strands on the bridge's vertical cables. Prototype fasteners were designed using simple MakerBot 3D printing machines. Together, the lights will use 150 kWh to 175 kWh of energy while operating for approximately 7 hr each night. It will cost approximately $11,000 per year in energy to light the piece, which translates to $30 per day at $4.25 per hour. This is a long video, so no harm done in skipping around.
View the video.

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