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Engineers at the University of Southampton have designed and flown the world’s first ‘printed’ aircraft, which could revolutionise the economics of aircraft design.

The SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) plane is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) whose entire structure has been printed, including wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches. It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which fabricates plastic or metal objects, building up the item layer by layer.

No fasteners were used and all equipment was attached using ‘snap fit’ techniques so that the entire aircraft can be put together without tools in minutes.

The electric-powered aircraft, with a 2-metres wingspan, has a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour, but when in cruise mode is almost silent. The aircraft is also equipped with a miniature autopilot developed by Dr Matt Bennett, one of the members of the team.

Laser sintering allows the designer to create shapes and structures that would normally involve costly traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology allows a highly-tailored aircraft to be developed from concept to first flight in days. Using conventional materials and manufacturing techniques, such as composites, this would normally take months. Furthermore, because no tooling is required for manufacture, radical changes to the shape and scale of the aircraft can be made with no extra cost.

This project has been led by Professors Andy Keane and Jim Scanlan from the University’s Computational Engineering and Design Research group.

Professor Scanlon says: “The flexibility of the laser sintering process allows the design team to re-visit historical techniques and ideas that would have been prohibitively expensive using conventional manufacturing. One of these ideas involves the use of a Geodetic structure. This type of structure was initially developed by Barnes Wallis and famously used on the Vickers Wellington bomber which first flew in 1936. This form of structure is very stiff and lightweight, but very complex. If it was manufactured conventionally it would require a large number of individually tailored parts that would have to be bonded or fastened at great expense.”

Professor Keane adds: “Another design benefit that laser sintering provides is the use of an elliptical wing planform. Aerodynamicists have, for decades, known that elliptical wings offer drag benefits. The Spitfire wing was recognised as an extremely efficient design but it was notoriously difficult and expensive to manufacture. Again laser sintering removes the manufacturing constraint associated with shape complexity and in the SULSA aircraft there is no cost penalty in using an elliptical shape.”

SULSA is part of the EPSRC-funded DECODE project, which is employing the use of leading edge manufacturing techniques, such as laser sintering, to demonstrate their use in the design of UAVs.

The University of Southampton has been at the forefront of UAV development since the early 1990s, when work began on the Autosub programme at its waterfront campus at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. A battery powered submarine travelled under sea ice in more than 300 voyages to map the North Sea, and assess herring stocks.

Now, the University is launching a groundbreaking course which enables students to take a Master's Degree in unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) design.

This is the first scheme of its kind and from September 2011, postgraduates can take part in a one-year programme covering the design, manufacture and operation of robotic vehicles. The degree will cover marine, land based and pilotless aircraft, typically used in environments that are deemed unsafe or uneconomic, such as exploration under sea ice, or monitoring gas emissions from volcanic eruptions. NASA expects UAVs to become 'standard tools' in fields such as agriculture, earth observation and climate monitoring.

For more information, visit: www.soton.ac.uk

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    The entire structure of the plane was printed, including wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches. It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine.

Ford and TechShop have announced that Allen Park, Mich., is the home of TechShop Detroit, the communal fabrication studio where everyday inventors, from backyard tinkerers to tech-savvy engineers, can come and create their very-own homegrown innovations.

Set to open in Allen Park, Mich., TechShop Detroit is the culmination of a year's worth of collaboration between Ford and TechShop, the world's first and largest membership-based do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop enterprise that also has locations in California and North Carolina.

Ford is the first automaker to work with TechShop to open one of its centers, which offer creative minds of all kinds affordable access to tools, machinery and even "dream coaches" so they can design and develop prototypes of their latest inventions, both automotive and otherwise.

"We are excited to see what started as a simple idea and conversation between Ford and TechShop take physical form so quickly," said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies, the domestic auto industry's only internal intellectual property management and licensing group. "We want this space to inspire all inventive individuals and communities in and around Detroit to innovate and create."

Ford and TechShop first met up in spring 2010 at the largest DIY showcase, Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., where Ford was invited to display an open innovation app creation project that company researchers developed with University of Michigan students. That gathering helped ignite the duo's idea for TechShop Detroit, which was announced only a year ago at the first Maker Faire Detroit.  

Mark Hatch, TechShop CEO, is thrilled to see TechShop Detroit become a reality so quickly and envisions limitless possibilities for the location, especially considering its proximity to the Ford engineering campus, nearby universities and the downtown area. According to recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of under-35 college-educated creatives taking up residence in downtown Detroit is on the rise, bucking the city's overall population decline over the past 10 years.

"Detroit is a market area full of talented communities of makers, hobbyists, backyard mechanics and general tinkerers that continues to grow," said Hatch, who already has more than 1,500 TechShop members registered at his California and North Carolina workshops. "We are excited to open TechShop Detroit and continue our collaboration with Ford to offer an affordable place to go that has the necessary equipment and resources to make inventive ideas a reality."

With more than $1 million invested in high-tech equipment alone, TechShop Detroit will feature everything from top-quality prototyping tools and industrial-grade sewing and textile equipment to laser cutting, welding and machine shop-type gear.

TechShop Detroit will be located in the Fairlane Business Park at 800 Republic Drive in a Ford Land-owned property.

Hub of ideas

The official arrival of TechShop to Detroit is also fueling another vision that Ford Global Technologies hopes to bring to life just as quickly and at the same address — a first-of-its-kind intellectual property exchange and technology showroom where everyday inventors, industry insiders, universities and research labs can display and even license their automotive innovations and other ideas.  

"This showroom idea can be considered TechShop 'Plus,'" said Coughlin. "It will be an open meeting place that will enable inventors to showcase what they create in TechShop and then negotiate, network and even sell their idea to players in the automotive industry, from manufacturers and suppliers to research institutions and startups."

The Innovation Exchange concept is a brick-and-mortar extension of the Detroit-based AutoHarvest Foundation, a new non-profit organization set up by several respected automotive executives to help connect the auto industry with metro Detroit's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ford Global Technologies, along with other automakers, suppliers, universities and research centers actively support AutoHarvest.

What's unique about the AutoHarvest connection, said Coughlin who serves as chairman of the group's Innovation Advisory Council, is that it gives the technology exchange showroom concept and those that use it an established collaborative and secure online platform where intellectual property is shared but also properly protected.

"Selling your technology can be difficult and daunting," he said. "The Innovation Exchange is all about helping spread the word about the innovation occurring inside Tech Shop, giving the creator the foundational resources they need to understand how to sell and commercialize their idea and connect with the right players while protecting their intellectual property."  

Managed by AutoHarvest, the Innovation Exchange would be open to the entire automotive community as well as individual makers in other industries, empowering the crowd to help create and bring to market the next must-have technologies.

For more information, visit: www.techshop.ws

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    TechShop Detroit will feature everything from top-quality prototyping tools and industrial-grade sewing and textile equipment to laser cutting, welding and machine shop-type gear.

Published in Ford Motor Company

Tiny aerial vehicles are being developed with innovative flapping wings based on those of real-life insects.

Incorporating micro-cameras, these revolutionary insect-size vehicles will be suitable for many different purposes ranging from helping in emergency situations considered too dangerous for people to enter, to covert military surveillance missions.

Supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, world-leading research at the University of Oxford is playing a key role in the vehicles' development.

Dr Richard Bomphrey, from the Department of Zoology, is leading this research, which is generating new insight into how insect wings have evolved over the last 350 million years. "Nature has solved the problem of how to design miniature flying machines," he says. "By learning those lessons, our findings will make it possible to aerodynamically engineer a new breed of surveillance vehicles that, because they're as small as insects and also fly like them, completely blend into their surroundings."

Currently the smallest of state-of-the-art fixed-wing unmanned surveillance vehicles are around a foot wide. The incorporation of flapping wings is the secret to making the new designs so small. To achieve flight, any object requires a combination of thrust and lift. In manmade aircraft, two separate devices are needed to generate these (i.e. engines provide thrust and wings provide lift), this limits the scope for miniaturising flying machines.

But an insect's flapping wings combine both thrust and lift. If manmade vehicles could emulate this more efficient approach, it would be possible to scale down flying machines to much smaller dimensions than is currently possible.

"This will require a much more detailed understanding than we currently have of how insect wings have evolved, and specifically of how different types of insect wing have evolved for different purposes," Dr Bomphrey says. "For instance, bees are load-lifters, a predator such as a dragonfly is fast and manoeuvrable, and creatures like locusts have to range over vast distances. Investigating the differences between insect wing designs is a key focus of our work. These ecological differences have led to a variety of wing designs depending on the task needing to be performed. It means that new vehicles could be customised to suit particular uses ranging from exploring hostile terrain, collapsed buildings or chemical spills to providing enhanced TV coverage of sports and other events".

Dr Bomphrey and his team lead the world in their use of both cutting-edge computer modelling capabilities and the latest high-speed, high-resolution camera technology to investigate insect wing design and performance.

Key to the work is the calculation of air flow velocities around insect wings. This is achieved by placing insects in a wind tunnel, seeding the air with a light fog and illuminating the particles with pulsing laser light - using a technique called Particle Image Velocimetry.

The team's groundbreaking work has attracted the attention of NATO, the US Air Force and the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development. The research is expected to produce findings that can be utilised by the defence industry within 3-5 years, leading to the development and widespread deployment of insect-sized flying machines within 20 years.

"This is just one more example of how we can learn important lessons from nature," says Dr Bomphrey. "Tiny flying machines could provide the perfect way of exploring all kinds of dark, dangerous and dirty places."

Dr Bomphrey is using his EPSRC-funded Fellowship to pursue this research. The fundamental aim of the work is to explore how natural selection has impacted on the design of insect wings and how these designs have been affected by the laws of aerodynamics and other physical constraints. "Evolution hasn't settled on a single type of insect wing design," says Dr Bomphrey. "We aim to understand how natural selection led to this situation. But we also want to explore how manmade vehicles could transcend the constraints imposed by nature."

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £850 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

For more information, visit: www.epsrc.ac.uk

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    Incorporating micro-cameras, these revolutionary insect-size vehicles will help in emergency situations considered too dangerous for people to enter, to covert military surveillance missions.

Published in EPSRC

Delcam reseller Trimech Manufacturing is to hold two webinars on feature-based machining during August.  The first webinar, to be held on 3rd August, will cover the stand-alone FeatureCAM programming software, while the second, on 10th August, will feature Delcam for SolidWorks, the integrated CAM system for SolidWorks.  By watching both webinars, companies will be able to compare the stand-alone and integrated approaches to CAM programming.

FeatureCAM was the world’s first feature-based programming system when it was launched in 1995.  Constant improvement since then has ensured that the program has retained its leadership in programming speed and ease of use.  The rate of development has accelerated since FeatureCAM was added to the Delcam range in 2005, in particular through the incorporation of strategies for high-speed and five-axis machining from Delcam’s flagship PowerMILL CAM system.

The FeatureCAM family now offers a comprehensive range of programs for milling, turning, wire EDM and mill-turn, all with the same easy-to-use interface style to minimise training times.  The software incorporates a unique combination of feature-based and knowledge-based functionality that makes programming faster and easier than any other CAM system.

Delcam for SolidWorks combines the benefits associated with PowerMILL and FeatureCAM.  The software offers PowerMILL’s exceptional speed of toolpath calculation, plus the advanced strategies for high-speed and five-axis machining, to ensure increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish.  At the same time, Delcam for SolidWorks has the same strong focus on ease of use as FeatureCAM, including all of the knowledge-based automation that makes that system so consistent and reliable.

Delcam for SolidWorks is fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks.  It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the toolpaths.  However, this associativity is more intelligent than that offered in many other integrated CAM systems.  Delcam for SolidWorks does not simply modify the existing toolpaths but also reviews the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and changes them if necessary.

Both FeatureCAM and Delcam for SolidWorks incorporate Delcam’s industry-leading machining algorithms.  These are continuously developed by Delcam’s development team, the largest in the CAM industry, and are used by around 40,000 organisations worldwide.

TriMech was created twelve years ago to provide complete mechanical engineering software solutions for the Mid-Atlantic region.  Covering a territory that spans the East Coast from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, the company has provided solutions for over 1300 customers and in excess of 4000 users to date.

Further details and registration information can be found at: www.trimechmanufacturing.com/webinars

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    The first webinar, to be held on 3rd August, will cover the stand-alone FeatureCAM programming software, while the second, on 10th August, will feature Delcam for SolidWorks.

Published in Delcam

With more than three months to go before North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event opens its doors, FABTECH 2011 is already expected to be the  largest ever.  Returning to Chicago’s McCormick Place, Nov. 14-17, 2011, the event will offer four full days of activities and provide its projected 32,000 attendees with unlimited opportunities to network, learn and see the latest metal fabrication products and technologies.

According to John Catalano, FABTECH show manager, all signs point to this being a great event.

“Registration is up and we are on track to fill nearly a half million net square feet of exhibit space with more than 1,200 exhibitors,” says Catalano.  “The interest in this year’s event is a positive sign that our industry is alive and thriving.”

Visitors will see thousands of pieces of equipment in action on the show floor and more than 500 new product debuts.  In addition to the exhibits, FABTECH 2011 will also present more than 100 educational sessions on the latest trends in cutting, finishing, forming and fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding, as well as courses for managers.  The complete lineup can be viewed at fabtechexpo.com/schedule-at-a-glance.cfm.

Other featured events include a keynote on Growing Your Business Through Innovation, a State of the Industry panel discussion and highly anticipated sessions on reshoring and how to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and create jobs.  A new Buyer Appreciation Day has also been added this year and will allow attendees to take advantage of exhibitor show specials and win prizes.

FABTECH is co-sponsored by five industry-leading associations: the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricator’s & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).

For more information, visit: www.fabtechexpo.com

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    The event will offer four full days of activities and provide its projected 32,000 attendees with opportunities to network, learn and see the latest metal fabrication products and technologies.

Published in FABTECH

ROMER Inc., a brand of Hexagon Metrology Inc, announced today the launch of CMS108, a high-precision, non-contact laser scanner available for their portable coordinate measuring machines. The newest option in ROMER’s laser scanning portfolio, the CMS108 is the most adaptable and adept at scanning a wide range of materials with enhanced sensitivity to color and surface finishes. Its improved accuracy makes it attractive for inspection and reverse engineering applications where laser scanners have been unable to meet tight tolerances. The CMS108 mounts with a kinematic joint to the seven-axis ROMER portable CMMs, which include the Absolute Arm SE and the Infinite 2.0 SC Arm.  

The CMS108 is the most precise laser scanner offered by ROMER with an accuracy of 20 microns, which is a 16% gain in accuracy over previous scanning solutions.  In addition, the device was engineered for applications with a wide variety of color and surface finishes.  Flying dot technology allows the laser scanner to rapidly detect changes in color and surfaces via their reflectivity.  An operator can scan traditionally difficult finishes, including shiny and mirrored surfaces, without making manual exposure adjustments.  The laser scanner can transition from matte to shiny features without additional calibration.  With 3 different line widths and differing point densities, the CMS108 is able to perform inspection routines on small intricate parts and large surfaces.

“The CMS108 is the perfect addition to our portable scanning portfolio,” states Eric Hollenbeck, Hexagon Metrology’s Product Manager for portable products, ”With versatility and an exceptional data collection rate, we now offer an incredibly accurate scanner capable of inspecting different consecutive surfaces on the fly with no adjustments.  The CMS108 system integrates our industry leading Scanning System Specification which specifies and calibrates the arm and scanner as a single unit.  Although any organization with portable metrology requirements could potentially benefit from this technology, typical users include those in the automotive, aerospace, medical, rail, and energy production industries.  The addition of the CMS108 to our lineup demonstrates Hexagon Metrology’s commitment to offering the customer unrivaled choice in portable metrology.”

The CMS108 is currently available for the seven-axis Absolute Arm SE with measuring ranges of 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, and 4.5 meters. The sensor can also be added as an upgrade to the seven-axis Infinite 2.0 SC Arm. Both products are produced in the new, state-of-the-art facility in Oceanside, California.

Hexagon Metrology serves the high precision measurement and inspection needs of worldwide manufacturers with its extensive line of metrology hardware, software, accessories and customer services. The company's name-brand portfolio of quality assurance products include Brown & Sharpe, Cognitens, Leica Geosystems, ROMER, Sheffield, PC-DMIS, DEA, Leitz and TESA. Hexagon Metrology has an unrivaled installed base of more than 1.5 million handheld, stationary and portable measurement devices, and over 35,000 seats of PC-DMIS metrology software.

For more information, visit: www.HexagonMetrology.us

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    The CMS108 is the most precise laser scanner offered by ROMER with an accuracy of 20 microns, which is a 16% gain in accuracy over previous scanning solutions.

Published in Hexagon Metrology

NewTek, a worldwide leader of 3D animation and video products, announced LightWave™ 10.1, the latest version of its Emmy® Award-winning 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and rendering software, is now available. With powerful advanced modeling and animation tools designed to integrate into any production pipeline, LightWave 10.1 offers a new off-axis stereoscopic camera rig option, improved Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR), advanced import and export capabilities, including MDD and integrated Autodesk® Geometry Cache support, a new Skin Shader node, and more. Artists count on the features of LightWave to deliver stunning results.

"We're using LightWave 10.1 for everything-from lighting and shading, to working on material from other pieces of software, as well as just producing everything in it-from start to finish," explains John F. K. Parenteau, managing producer at Pixomondo Los Angeles in Santa Monica, California. Pixomondo is currently using LightWave in the creation of Steven Spielberg's new TV series "Terra Nova," slated to premiere this fall. "LightWave provides a very fast turnaround for us. It has become a great tool, particularly with its new capabilities," explains Parenteau.

New Features Provide Impressive Results
LightWave 10.1 enhances creativity with new stereoscopic features that provide access to all major stereo camera rigs, and the ability to dynamically correct for toe-in distortion in the animation pipeline. Additional stereo enhancements include interactive OpenGL off-axis adjustment of the right and left camera planes, click-and-drag convergence point adjustment in the viewport, and the ability to disable the anaglyph representation of the stereo camera in OpenGL. Also in LightWave 10.1, interocular and convergence points can be dynamically animated over time to track stereo changes within a shot.

The LightWave VPR allows artists to directly interact and easily adjust lights, textures, volumetrics and more, within the viewport. Artists can also use the VPR to view updates, quickly deliver realistic, environmental walkthroughs, and perform virtual location scouts. LightWave 10.1 extends the functionality of the VPR with the support of clip maps in the VPR render, the addition of object and distance dissolve, and improved nodal shaders like the new Skin material node that works with the VPR. The Skin Shader node uses a proprietary model for subsurface scattering for an easier method of replicating realistic skin textures.

LightWave 10.1, with integrated Autodesk Geometry Cache Support gives artists the ability to include or exclude models, morphs, animations, cameras and lights, upon export. Other workflow features in LightWave 10.1 offer the ability to import joints as LightWave bones for greater compatibility with other programs; multi-threaded mesh evaluation optimization and sub-d mesh freezing acceleration; linear color space workflow improvements, including new support for .ICC/.ICM monitor profiles, and more. Additional LightWave 10.1 features include:

* Virtual Studio Tools-supports InterSense Virtual Camera Tracking System (VCam™) and 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator™ 3D mouse, allowing interaction with models and scenes in real time
* FiberFX™-hair and fur shader now supports VPR and includes improved speed, stability and displacement handling
* Linear Color Space Workflow-supports custom Look Up Tables (LUTs) for more realistic lighting and compositing flexibility, color space correction for HyperVoxels™,  XYZ, Lab, RGB and CMYK data, and more
* Updated User Interface (UI)-interactive channel sliders, added control for custom colors, and numerous workflow enhancements deliver a more dynamic user experience

Try LightWave free for 30 days at: www.newtek.com/lightwave/lwtrial.php

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    LightWave™ is a 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and rendering software program.  There is a free 30 day trial available.

Published in NewTek

TiE Ohio, the Ohio chapter of The International Entrepreneur, is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 TiE International Entrepreneur Awards. The awards were created to recognize the achievements of international entrepreneurs helping to reshape and rebuild Ohio's business landscape and to highlight how international entrepreneurs contribute to the local economy. The 2011 TiE International Entrepreneur Awards provide awards in 4 categories:

* Immigrant Entrepreneur Award <$5M. This award recognizes an entrepreneur who was born outside the U.S., started his or her company in Ohio, and the business currently generates annual revenues under $5M). Finalists are Laura Bennett (Embrace Pet Insurance), Dr. Charu Ramanathan (CardioInsight), and Bahman Taheri (Alphamicron).

* Immigrant Entrepreneur Award >$5M. This award recognizes an entrepreneur who was born outside the U.S., started his or her company in Ohio, and the business currently generates annual revenues above $5M). Finalists are Saji Daniel (Tradex), Stella Moga-Kennedy (Le Chaperon Rouge), and Alex Sonis (AVADirect).

* Global Entrepreneur Award. This award recognizes an entrepreneur, either foreign-born or local-born, who started his or her company in Ohio and has a global presence today). Finalists are Yuval Brisker (TOA Technologies), Dr. Mehran Mehregany (Nine Sigma), and Rini Das (Pakra).

* International Student Innovator Award. A new award this year, this award recognizes an international student currently enrolled at a higher education institution in Ohio (or graduated within the past year) who has shown leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. Finalists are Lingxiao Xue from CWRU (Chinese Student Housing Program), Kshitij C. Jha from the University of Akron (BienaTech), Mdrakibul Islam from the College of Wooster (Global Prospects) , and Abdullah Alkhaddah from Kent State University (H.O.M.E. Markets).

Award criteria considered in selecting the finalists include business success (revenue generated, capital raised, jobs created, progress with international vendors, entering new markets), impact and leadership in the Ohio community, and the innovation and creativity demonstrated in the and structuring the business. The Finalists will be profiled in the September issue of Inside Business Magazine.

Winners of the awards will be announced at the award ceremony on September 20, 2011 at Windows on the River starting at 5pm. Successful international entrepreneur Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, President & CEO of Quality Electrodynamics, will deliver the keynote speech at the ceremony.

Jeanette Grasselli Brown and Dr. Anthony Yen will be honored by receiving the Community Catalyst Award at the ceremony to recognize their efforts in creating global connections for the region.

The International Entrepreneurs (TiE) is an organization of entrepreneurs who connect, network, and mentor globally to create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. Founded in Silicon Valley by immigrant tech entrepreneurs, TiE has 57 chapters around the globe. TiE is now the world's largest organization for fostering entrepreneurship; its members include some of the world's most well-known entrepreneurs such as Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande and Vinod Khosla. TiE Ohio, a statewide chapter, is the 50th chapter of the global TiE network. It fulfills a critical niche in Ohio's business development landscape by focusing specifically on immigrant and minority entrepreneurs within the region, and by encouraging other such entrepreneurs to consider Ohio as a place to launch their new businesses. TiE Ohio provides focused support to entrepreneurs through mentoring, business education programming, and a business venture competition (TiEQuest).

For more information, visit www.tieohio.org

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    The International Entrepreneurs (TiE) is an organization of entrepreneurs who connect, network, and mentor globally to create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.

Published in NineSigma

FISHER/UNITECH, a provider of product lifecycle management solutions and leading SolidWorks reseller, today announced the grand opening of its new office space in Cincinnati, Ohio, in support of the company’s growing customer base.

“We are thrilled with our new space in Cincinnati, Ohio, that more than doubles what we had in Dayton,” said Tom Miller, Director of Sales at FISHER/UNITECH. “This move positions our team to deliver better service to our customers in Southwest Ohio and Kentucky.”

FISHER/UNITECH’s new office boasts 2,500 square feet and is located at 11260 Chester Road, on the sixth floor of the Spectrum Office Tower at the junction of I-75 and I-275. The state-of-the-art training room can accommodate up to ten students for SolidWorks 3D CAD classes.

A Grand Opening event is planned for Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011, and will run from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Prospects and customers alike are invited to meet local FISHER/UNITECH and SolidWorks staff, test drive SolidWorks 3D CAD, SolidWorks Simulation, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM or 3DVIA Composer software and grab a bite to eat. Product presentations will be available as well as the opportunity to mix and mingle with current customers to learn more about local successes working with SolidWorks products and FISHER/UNITECH. Details and online registration for the Grand Opening event can be found on FISHER/UNITECH’s website.

FISHER/UNITECH, established in 1993, provides Product Lifecycle Management solutions to discrete manufacturing companies. The company's focus is on process improvement for product development. Process improvement is obtained through the integration of advanced software solutions to replace legacy systems. The applications are focused on design, engineering and manufacturing. Professional services are offered for design automation and data management which provides customers with a full service, one-stop source for complex PLM systems. The company offers advanced web-based delivery of education programs with its interactive, instructor-led 3DU.

For more information, visit: www.funtech.com

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    A Grand Opening event is planned for Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011, and will run from 10:00am - 2:00pm.

Published in FISHER/UNITECH

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), has named Pankl Aerospace Systems as the July 2011 Autodesk Inventor of the Month, in recognition of the company’s use of Autodesk software to more effectively manufacture helicopter rotary systems, increasing the performance and reliability of critical components and improving pilot and passenger safety.

Pankl creates 3D renderings of rotary system parts using Autodesk Inventor LT 3D mechanical CAD software, and then virtually runs the digital components through their multistep manufacturing processes — from boring a hole into a drive shaft to applying heat treatments to an engine shaft. This digital process helps verify that the parts adhere to precise performance standards at every stage of manufacturing, thereby confirming the integrity of the finished part.

“With Autodesk Inventor LT, we’re documenting and visualizing every step of the manufacturing process with more confidence and efficiency than ever before,” said Jonathan Charbonnet, manufacturing engineer at Pankl. “Autodesk Inventor LT enables us to review designs for our customers and proactively identify all the things that may cause problems during manufacturing.”

The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) working with Pankl typically provide 3D models of the required parts. Pankl then imports the design model into Inventor LT — regardless of the CAD package used to create it — renders the part in 3D, and then digitally tests the manufacturing processes prior to progressing to the manufacturing phase. Inventor LT also enables Pankl to document processes by creating accurate 2D drawings, which can be applied to work instructions to better communicate design intent to the shop floor.

Embracing 3D With Seamless Access to 2D

Autodesk Gold Partner KETIV Technologies was instrumental in helping Pankl embrace Digital Prototyping and stay current with an industry moving increasingly toward model-based definitions. By switching to 3D modeling software like Inventor LT, Pankl can meet the needs of OEMs much more efficiently and better serve its customer base.

While Pankl uses Inventor LT for all new projects, it is still able to access years of DWG drawings, helping the company to respond more quickly, for example, to requests from OEMs for replacement parts on older model helicopters. The company captures 2D geometry from the past drawings with AutoCAD LT 2D drafting and detailing software, imports it into Inventor LT, where it can then reuse the data to quickly and easily clean up any errors — reducing rework and streamlining turnaround time for delivering replacement parts.

“Pankl is using Inventor LT to save time and reduce its manufacturing costs, all while increasing quality for its customers,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “With Digital Prototyping in place, manufacturers like Pankl can operate at the highest level of performance.”

Headquartered in Cerritos, California, with operations in the United States and Europe, Pankl Aerospace is serving the global aerospace market as a Tier One supplier for transmission components, engine shafts, refueling tubes and landing gear parts for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

For more information, visit: www.pankl.com

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    Pankl Aerospace Systems as the July 2011 Autodesk Inventor of the Month, in recognition of the company’s use of Autodesk software to more effectively manufacture helicopter rotary systems.

Published in Autodesk

VISTAGY, Inc., a leading provider of industry-specific engineering software and services, announced the results of its composites engineering benchmarking survey entitled, “How Does your Composite Design Process Compare to Industry Best Practices?” The study revealed only 56 percent of the composite design companies surveyed considered themselves knowledgeable in composites manufacturing practices and applied that knowledge during design. That implies that 44 percent of companies need to enhance their knowledge of the manufacturing process if they want to improve their competitiveness.

VISTAGY invites all composite design and manufacturing companies to participate in our extended survey and receive a complimentary copy of the report by going to: www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22C74MU8BZ7.

The survey report is comprised of 140 responses across multiple industries, most prominently aerospace, automotive, and wind energy. Other relevant demographics of the respondents include region (65 percent US, 25 percent European, 10 percent Asian), and annual revenue of their companies (24 percent over $1B and 37 percent under $50M).

Goals for companies designing with composites varied, with 81 percent looking to reduce weight, 69 percent seeking to improve strength-to-weight ratios, 51 percent attempting to combine multiple parts, 25 percent seeking to extend product life, and 31 percent striving to lower maintenance costs.

The primary goal achievement metrics provided perhaps the most important results of the survey because they speak to the reasons that engineers adopt composites. The report states that, “Achieving these goals provides insight into the maturity of the company processes, domain expertise, and overall tool implementation and use. Any company that scored high here should be considered a high performing practitioner of composites engineering.”

In this context, best-in-class companies:

* Average combining six or more parts into one (10 percent actually combine 10 or more parts, while 34 percent of companies lag others by treating composites as black metal and only replacing parts at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio)
* Reduce maintenance costs (and likewise improve quality and extend product lifecycles) by 30 percent or more by taking advantage of inherent material properties
* Reduce weight by 30 percent or more with a full 34 percent beating their weight reduction goals.  


“We conducted this study to enable our customers and others in the composites industry to understand where they stand compared to their peers and how they could improve their performance,” said Bruce Boes, vice president of product management and marketing for VISTAGY. “One thing that really stood out was that companies with best-in-class performance had a high correlation to the maturity of their processes. These companies also made the decision to invest in design resources and were more interested in achieving part cost targets than actually lowering their part costs, a major breakthrough in designing to take full advantage of all of the benefits of composites technology.”

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    The survey report is comprised of 140 responses across multiple industries, most prominently aerospace, automotive, and wind energy.

Published in Vistagy

Continuing its partnership and increasing student opportunities with the Savannah College of Art and Design Industrial Design department, Kids II recently completed its third annual product design program and contest with the university. With guidance from the Kids II design team and SCAD professor and associate chair of Industrial Design Jesus Rojas, students had the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s fastest growing infant and toddler product companies in one of two 10-week interactive courses to develop new concepts for the company’s toy and gear product lines.

Twelve SCAD industrial design students—six from the toy class and six from the gear class—earned top honors with their innovative projects and were selected to travel to the company’s offices and facilities in Hong Kong and China.

Additionally, one student from the gear design class, Qing Xu, accepted a unique summer internship with Kids II in Guangdong, China where he will work directly with the Kids II International Product Development team. Furthermore, one student from the toy design class, Aaron Flores, will join Kids II as the newest full-time member of the toy design team in the U.S. corporate headquarters.

According to Jake Sclare, director of Platform Design at Kids II and who oversees the gear program, these top winners brought immense value to the program, fellow students and the company and are leaving a legacy with Kids II.

The leaders of the toy program share Sclare’s feelings on the students’ impact on the company, especially with the launch of its first toddler toy line. “The toy class was and will continue to be a key catalyst for ideas and growth as we develop and enhance the new toddler toy category,” says Brad Reese, who is the design manager for toy and supervisor of the toy program along with Charlie Mitchell, principal designer.

“Kids II received creative, fresh suggestions from these students while providing them with the opportunity to develop real-world concepts and designs that may one day appear in retail stores around the world,” adds Sclare. “We are looking forward to further developing and potentially adding these designs to the Kids II family of products.”

This design program and contest is the brainchild of design innovators and leaders at Kids II. They determine the criteria, objectives, safety requirements and collectively drive the process from start to finish.

“We are an innovative design-driven company always looking for the next generation of product ideas and talent,” says Ryan Gunnigle, president and CEO of Kids II. “SCAD has one of the strongest design programs and has some of the world’s next best design leaders. It only makes sense for us to leverage this talent in our backyard for their knowledge and for potential employment opportunities.”

During this program students receive unprecedented experience at Kids II, according to Rojas. “The Kids II design team dedicates their time and resources to truly educate and guide the students through the intensive design and engineering processes, adding unparalleled value to their education and experiences.”

In its third year, the program continues to be successful. Students have finished with robust portfolios and real-world experiences. In turn, Kids II has recruited well-trained employees and identified freelancers. Currently, the company employs six SCAD graduates in full-time positions and two interns.

For more information, visit: www.kidsii.com

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    “Kids II received creative, fresh suggestions from these students while providing them with the opportunity to develop real-world concepts and designs that may one day appear in retail stores”

Published in Kids II

AdamWorks, LLC, a global provider of advanced engineering and manufacturing solutions, is pleased to announce it has achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification, which demonstrates the organization's commitment to the design and manufacture of composite solutions to our customer's high quality standards. The ISO 9001 certification, which is the most widely recognized industry standard for quality management systems, assures customers of AdamWorks' adherence to documented processes and procedures that ensure continued and ongoing improvements in deliveries to its customers.

"Achieving ISO 9001:2008 certification is an important milestone for both AdamWorks and our customers," said Scot Allen, Chief Operating Officer of AdamWorks. "The certification process required a lot of hard work and demonstrates AdamWorks' continued commitment to our customers, the quality of our products, and our culture of continuous improvement."

ISO 9001:2008 applies to industries involved in the design and development, manufacturing, installation, and servicing of products. The ISO certification process ensures on-going compliance to standards of performance because, once certified, companies are externally audited annually for continuous execution of the standards.

Headquartered in Centennial, CO, AdamWorks is a global leader in innovative engineering and manufacturing solutions for multiple industries. Established in 2007 to provide composite design and prototyping solutions, AdamWorks now designs and manufactures complete composite and systems solutions for aerospace and defense, commercial transportation, and renewable energy customers on a worldwide basis.

For more information, visit: www.adamworksinc.com

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    ISO 9001:2008 applies to industries involved in the design and development, manufacturing, installation, and servicing of products.

Published in AdamWorks

Solidscape®, Inc., the leading manufacturer of high- precision 3D printers for lost wax casting and mold making applications, announces the hiring of CAD Cast Company, Ltd., as its representative in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The company will be marketing the high-precision 3D wax printers to jewelry manufacturers and custom designers to support Solidscape's growth in Southeast Asia.

CAD Cast Co. brings many years of experience servicing the jewelry industry and its equipment needs in Southeast Asia. Its associates speak English, Thai and German providing the professional service CAD CAM equipment users find invaluable.

“This was an obvious choice for us.” Fabio Esposito, VP Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Solidscape remarks. “Their sales and service teams have the jewelry-making experience as well as the in-depth Solidscape product knowledge, making a tremendous difference for us in these very diverse countries.”

The Solidscape T76®plus and R66®plus printers for producing fully castable, high-resolution wax models use an additive technology called drop-on-demand (DoD) and employ the SCP© (Smooth Curvature Printing) technology that provides high-precision and accuracy. Both printers use the fully castable, proprietary plusCast™ and Indura®Fill materials that leave no residual ash, resulting in no shrinkage during the burnout process.

Solidscape®, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSYS), is the leader in high-precision 3D printing systems for lost wax investment casting and mold making applications. Over the years, Solidscape has set the bar for the highest standards in surface finish, accuracy and material castability. Solidscape printers are marketed though a global network of distribution partners, and are used for casting fine jewelry, dental restorations, turbine blades, medical, orthopedics, consumer goods, electronics and many other high-preciison products.

For more information, visit: www.solid-scape.com

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    The company will be marketing the high-precision 3D wax printers to jewelry manufacturers and custom designers to support Solidscape's growth in Southeast Asia.

Published in Solidscape

Renishaw has added a new probe option to its revolutionary REVO® five-axis measurement system, which for the first time, allows surface finish inspection to be fully integrated within CMM measurement routines.

With a measurement capability of 6.3 to 0.05 Ra, the SFP1 surface finish probe provides a unique ‘single platform' that will eliminate the need for hand-held sensors, or the necessity to move parts to costly dedicated surface finish measuring machines, reducing labour costs and inspection lead times. CMM users will now be able to automatically switch between part scanning and surface finish measurement, with analysis all contained in a single measurement report.

High quality surface finish data
As a fully integrated option for the REVO 5-axis measurement system, users of the SFP1 surface finish probe will benefit from a range of powerful features that will boost inspection speed and flexibility.

The probe incorporates a C axis, which combined with the infinite positioning capability of the REVO measuring head and a choice of styli, allows the probe tip to be automatically orientated to any angle to suit the part, ensuring that the highest quality surface data is acquired. The SFP1 is supplied with two dedicated styli, the SFS-1 straight stylus and SFS-2 cranked stylus, which are selected under full measurement program control using the REVO system's modular rack system (MRS). This enables flexible access to component features combined with the consistency of a fully-automated CNC methodology.

A skidded probe type with a 2 µm (0.000079 in) tip radius diamond stylus, the SFP1 surface finish probe outputs Ra, RMS and raw data formats to the metrology application client software via Renishaw's UCCServer software using the I++ DME protocol. The raw data can subsequently be presented to specialist surface analysis software packages for further detailed reporting.

Automated surface finish probe calibration
Calibration of the sensor is also automated and carried out within a CMM software programme. A new surface finish calibration artefact (SFA) is mounted on the MRS rack and is measured using the SFP1 probe. Software then adjusts parameters within the probe in accordance with the artefact's calibrated value.

Find out more about Renishaw's CMM probe systems and software, including a new CMM retrofit service.

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    The new probe allows surface finish inspection to be fully integrated within CMM measurement routines.

Published in Renishaw

3D3 Solutions, a cutting-edge developer of 3D scanning technologies, will be exhibiting at Siggraph 2011, the year’s most comprehensive exhibition of products and services for computer graphics and interactive techniques. The company is excited to offer attendees at the conference free 3D face scanning demonstrations at their booth #879.

The face scanning process involves using a 3D scanner to capture an accurate 3D mesh and color texture directly from a human face. The output is especially useful in the video games, visual effects and medical imaging industry. 3D3 Solutions will feature the HDI 3D Scanner to demonstrate live face scanning at Siggraph. Their scanner uses white-light technology to capture high-resolution, color 3D scan in less than 1.4 seconds. Attendees will be provided with the 3D data of their face scans for personal use.

3D3 Solutions offers 3D scanning systems that are flexible in capturing human shapes, art sculptures, and mechanical parts for industrial inspection. 3D3 Solutions has also worked with a number of leading game companies and universities on developing custom high-speed 3D face scanners. In the latest development, the company’s custom face scanner is capable of performing a 3D scan every 0.2 seconds. “People have a tendency to move just by breathing alone and movement affects scan quality,” said Thomas Tong, President of 3D3 Solutions. “With the ability to generate 3D scans almost instantaneously, users will have cleaner, high quality scan data to work with.”

Please visit booth #879 at Siggraph 2011 to learn more about 3D3 Solutions’ 3D scanning technology.

3D3 Solutions is a cutting edge developer of 3D scanning and visualization technologies. 3D3 Solutions' mission is to offer affordable 3D scanning systems that are versatile across many applications using their expertise in white light scanning technology and the latest digital measurement advancements.

For more information, visit: www.3d3solutions.com or www.siggraph.org/s2011

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    The company will offer attendees at the conference free 3D face scanning demonstrations and provide 3D data of their face scans for personal use.

Published in 3D3 Solutions

Delcam will hold a series of seminars next month to update North American users of its PowerINSPECT inspection software on new developments in the latest releases.  The seminars will be held at Sandvik in Schaumburg, Illinois, on 1st August, at Seco in Troy, Michigan, on 3rd August and at Sandvik in Mississauga, Ontario, on 5th August.

PowerINSPECT Business Development Manager, Phil Hewitt, will attend all the events to demonstrate the new software and to collect users’ suggestions on future development priorities.

The new release of PowerINSPECT is the first that can be used on 64-bit computers.  This will be of benefit for memory-intensive applications where large CAD files need to be manipulated, especially for very complex parts and multi-component assemblies.

Another key enhancement is the introduction of a "Quick Report” option, which makes the analysis of results even quicker and easier.  The latest release also incorporates improvements to the visualisation and handling of point-cloud data, faster creation of automated inspection routines, full integration of DRO (Digital Read-Out) functionality, and easier reuse of measured data to inspect additional features, plus enhancements to the GD&T functionality.

The seminars will also detail PowerINSPECT’s support for the latest probing technology, such as Renishaw’s new PH20 probe.  This allows measurements to be made across all probe angles, rather than simply the incremental angles offered previously.  It also introduces the ability to make rapid ‘head touch’ moves, which use the rotary motion of the probe head to collect the points quickly and accurately, rather than moving the entire machine.

PowerINSPECT is firmly established as the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software.  It combines the ability to work with all types of inspection device with a comprehensive range of inspection routines for making simple measurements, for inspecting geometric features and for checking complex surfaces.  The resulting reports present detailed information in easy-to-read formats that can be understood by all engineers, not just inspection specialists.

For more information or to register, visit: www.delcam.com/NA-PowerINSPECT-Seminar

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    The seminars will be held at Sandvik in Schaumburg, Illinois, on 1st August, at Seco in Troy, Michigan, on 3rd August and at Sandvik in Mississauga, Ontario, on 5th August.

Published in Delcam

MMI Auction is changing the way used machine tools are bought and sold with its online auction site. MMI (Machinery Marketing International, LLC) has been in the business of buying, selling and marketing machine tools for over twenty years. In November 2010, the company launched the online auction platform, a new B2B Internet auction service that lets sellers offer inventory to an audience of over 250,000 potential buyers who compete with each other to purchase the equipment. Customers have used the online auction site to buy and sell equipment, including used CNC lathes, horizontal machining centers, vertical machining centers, horizontal boring machines, vertical boring machines, Swiss screw machines, 5-axis CNC machines and more.

Paul Zimmer, president and founder of MMI, noted that, “Our background and resources enable us to help sellers find the right buyer for these machines through targeted marketing campaigns. We can drive over 10,000 prospective buyers to a single listing within our auction, giving each piece of equipment the best chance to sell for the best price.” He feels that an auction site specifically dedicated to offering CNC machines for sale is far more effective at generating quality sales than other online auction sites, such as eBay, which sell everything.

Because his company specializes in and focuses on the precision machining and machine tool business, it brings a wealth of experience to these transactions that no other auction site can offer. The company’s goals are to maximize the potential reach for clients who want to sell CNC machines, helping them to get top dollar for their inventory, while making a wide range of equipment available and cutting out the unnecessary middleman costs for those who want to buy CNC machines.

MMI hosts a monthly auction featuring as many as 50 machines, with supplemental auctions held at other times depending on the need. One of its specialties is plant liquidations and the sale of surplus machinery. This powerful new B2B Internet auction service offers the convenience of selling used machine tools faster and easier than ever before. CNC machines offered for bid frequently include vertical and horizontal machining centers, lathes and other used equipment from such notable manufacturers as Mazak, Mori Seiki, Okuma and Haas. The next auction begins August 17 at 1 p.m. (U.S. Central time) and already includes lathes, mills and both horizontal and vertical machining centers.

Those who want to sell CNC machines simply sign an online agreement and provide specifications for the equipment along with good quality photos or video. Sellers can choose the standard auction or buy now format and set a reserve price. The company has customer service reps available to provide assistance and answer any questions. It takes less than ten minutes to get the process started and MMI Auction does the rest. The auctions run for two weeks, allowing for as many potential buyers as possible to browse the site for technical specifications, compare equipment, ask questions and submit bids. Both the seller and winning bidder are notified at the close of the auction results. Buyers then arrange for shipping and transfer of funds within five days. Sellers receive full payment before removal.

President Zimmer stated that the revolutionary aspect of this process is that it moves away from traditional sales channels, which can limit sellers’ access to buyers, and may not give buyers full access to other equipment options that may be available. Those transactions would typically move slowly and often stalled in mid-negotiation. With MMI Auction, buyers compete for equipment, bids are binding, and there is no last-minute haggling. “Imagine reaching 250,000 qualified machine tool buyers with the click of a mouse,” he said. “Now imagine them frantically trying to outbid each other for your equipment. We have created a real-time marketplace that takes all the inefficiencies out of the equation, creating a win/win solution for both the seller and buyer.”

All of this occurs within the confines of a safe, secure transactional network. Sellers avoid transfer fees, sales commissions and additional marketing costs while getting top market rates for equipment—frequently up to 60% more than would be realized through the traditional sales channels. With this service, they don’t have to deal with multiple sales channels or lose time negotiating with “tire kickers.” MMI Auction customers realize the benefits of reduced marketing costs and increased time-to-market because their equipment can rapidly be put in front of highly qualified prospects.

Customers who want to sell CNC machines can use MMI Auction to leverage the power of the web and MMI’s worldwide marketing arm to reach the most qualified, most interested audience. All transactions are highly confidential, which is also a great service for those who need to move inventory anonymously—from surplus and remanufactured equipment to outdated inventory. It’s also a remarkably easy tool for testing the true market value of inventory under varying market conditions.

MMI has a global reach with strategic alliances in over forty countries. This vast network of buyers and sellers allows the company to facilitate sales worldwide with confidence. Mark Veley, President of World Class Manufacturing Group - Wiza Division. said that, “In the past, I would spend significant time and money finding a qualified buyer for my used equipment, not knowing if I was really getting the most value out of my machine. Now, there were over 11,000 visits to my auction page and hundreds of bids. My machine sold for more than I expected, and I spent zero resources getting it done.”

Taken together, this strong B2B Internet approach makes buying and selling CNC machines and CNC equipment more efficient and cost-effective than ever. MMI Auction also reaches over 100,000 buyers of CNC machining centers, making it the best way to get top dollar on inventory. In addition to used Mazak, Mori Seiki, Okuma and Haas machines, other equipment comes from companies such as Kuraki, Hitachi Seiki, Toshiba and O-M.

The company also does conventional deals on CNC machines. They will buy one machine or an entire plant. MMI Auction is located at 1101 W. Monroe #1a, Chicago, IL 60607. Further information on the company, CNC machines for sale / Sell CNC machines / Buy CNC machines, or the online auction site may be obtained by calling 312-226-4150, or visiting the company’s online auction site at: www.mmi-auction.com

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    The next auction begins August 17 at 1 p.m. (U.S. Central time) and already includes lathes, mills and both horizontal and vertical machining centers.

Published in MMI Auction

Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSYS) today announced second quarter financial results.

The company reported record revenue of $37.6 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011, compared to $30.1 million reported for the same period in 2010.

The second quarter results include two months of contribution from the company’s acquisition of Solidscape, Inc. The acquisition was completed in April of this year and contributed $2.1 million in revenue to the second quarter results. Excluding the contribution made by Solidscape, revenue was $35.5 million, an 18% increase over the same period last year.

System shipments, excluding Solidscape, totaled a record 690 units for the second quarter of 2011, compared to 682 units for the same period last year.

The company reported net income of $4.0 million for second quarter, or $0.18 per share, compared to net income of $2.3 million, or $0.11 per share, for the same period last year.

Non-GAAP net income, which excludes certain discrete items and stock-based compensation expense, was $5.0 million for the second quarter, or $0.23 per share, representing a 95% increase over the non-GAAP net income of $2.6 million, or $0.12 per share, for the same period last year.

Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of 2011 excludes discrete items associated with the acquisition of Solidscape. These items amounted to $840,000 net of tax, or $0.04 per share. Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of 2011 also excludes the impact of stock-based compensation expense, which amounted to $212,000 net of tax, or $0.01 per share.

The company reported revenue of $71.9 million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2011, compared to $53.1 million reported for the same period in 2010.

The six-month period in 2010 included a $5.0 million one-time non-cash charge against revenue. The charge against revenue was taken in the first quarter of 2010 and represents the fair value of a warrant issued to HP in connection with the distribution agreement signed in January 2010. Excluding the warrant charge in 2010 and the revenue generated by the company’s acquisition of Solidscape in 2011, revenue for the six-month period was $69.8 million, a 20% increase over the $58.1 million for the same period in 2010.

System shipments, excluding Solidscape, totaled 1,257 units for the six-month period in 2011, compared to 1,291 units for the same period last year.

The company reported net income of $9.0 million for the six-month period, or $0.41 per share, compared to net income of $1.9 million, or $0.09 per share, for the same period last year.

Non-GAAP net income, which excludes the warrant charge, discrete items and stock-based compensation expense, was $9.5 million or $0.44 per share for the six-month period of 2011, compared to non-GAAP net income of $5.5 million or $0.26 per share for the same period last year.

Appropriate reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures are provided in a table at the end of this press release. The table provides itemized detail of the non-GAAP financial measures.

“Our record second quarter results reflect strong growth in Fortus system sales and consumable revenue,” said Scott Crump, chairman and chief executive officer of Stratasys. “The growth in these higher margin products, as well as a continued favorable product mix within 3D printing, contributed to significant margin expansion during the period. These factors combined to generate the highest level of quarterly operating profit in our company’s history.

“We continue to make incremental progress in expanding our agreement with HP for the sale and distribution of our proprietary 3D printers. We are pleased to report that we have mutually renewed the agreement for another year. In addition, HP plans to expand into new European markets beyond the five countries they currently serve later this year. Stratasys and HP continue to see a significant market opportunity within 3D printing and both parties remain committed to our collaboration.

“The full potential and ultimate success of our collaboration with HP will require sales and marketing programs that go beyond current commitments. Although we currently have no commitments from HP that the collaboration will expand beyond new European markets later this year, we believe HP can become the ideal partner to grow the sales of our 3D printers. Consequently, while we remain committed to the HP collaboration, we also intend to accelerate independent channel development strategies.

“Fortus system sales sustained strong momentum in the second quarter, expanding by 67% over last year. The growing expertise of our team in marketing the direct digital manufacturing, or DDM, capabilities of our Fortus line have been instrumental in this expansion. We believe the recent launch of the Fortus 250mc will add to this strategy with a product that combines the higher functionality of a Fortus 3D production system with the ease-of-use and affordability of a Dimension 3D printer. Initial bookings of the Fortus 250mc have been strong.

“Consumable revenue grew to a record level in the second quarter, increasing by 20% over last year. Our Fortus line is driving this growth, propelled by an expanding base of systems and the product line’s relatively higher utilization rates, particularly within DDM. We believe our recent introduction of a revolutionary new FDM material will create new DDM opportunities within the electronics industry. The new material, called ABS-ESD7, eliminates static electricity, which can be potentially damaging during the manufacture of sensitive electronic components. With our new material, manufacturers can now make static-free assembly aids and fabrication tools that improve the performance of their manufacturing processes.

“The acquisition of Solidscape was accretive to earnings for the second quarter after excluding any one-time charges and non-recurring expenses associated with closing the transaction. The acquisition adds to our strategy of expanding into DDM applications, as the subsidiary is well positioned for manufacturing applications serving the custom jewelry market. However, as we further develop the technology, we are more excited about the new opportunities that Solidscape provides within a broader set of industrial applications.

“We were pleased to see our leadership position within the additive manufacturing industry reconfirmed in the recently released Wohlers Report 2011. The report indicated that Stratasys had a 41 percent unit market share in 2010, and has maintained a market leading position for nine consecutive years. We believe our position within the industry will be strengthened over the coming quarters as we execute on our new product roadmap and further develop our channel with HP and our independent reseller network.

“We remain encouraged by the positive trends within our business and we begin the third quarter with an active pipeline of opportunities. In addition to our distribution agreement with HP, we are moving forward on new product and distribution initiatives, which we believe will greatly expand our sales. We are observing attractive growth opportunities on multiple fronts and look forward to a successful year,” Crump concluded.

Stratasys plans to hold a conference call to discuss its second quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

The investor conference call will be available via live webcast on the Stratasys Web site at www.stratasys.com under the "Investors" tab; or directly at the following web address: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=61402&eventID=4139319.

To participate by telephone, the domestic dial-in number is 800-659-1966 and the international dial-in is 617-614-2711. The access code is 57483739. Investors are advised to dial into the call at least ten minutes prior to the call to register.

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    The company reported record revenue of $37.6 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011, compared to $30.1 million reported for the same period in 2010.

Published in Stratasys

3DVision Technologies Corp., a value-added reseller (VAR) of mainstream CAD, CAE, and PDM software serving Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, is thrilled to announce the addition of the new Fortus 250mc 3D Printer to its 3D Printer product line.

Ideal for budget-minded buyers, the new Fortus 250mc 3D Production System is the most affordable Fortus machine available. This new hybrid machine combines the efficiency of Dimension 3D Printers with the versatility of Fortus 3D Production Systems.

Powered by Insight software, customers can access more file processing options to customize build speed, part accuracy and surface finish. Built on a proven Stratasys platform for reliable operation, the Fortus 250mc allows users to produce parts in a variety of ABSplus colors and easily remove supports with SR-30 support material. The Fortus 250mc also offers a build envelope of 254 x 254 x 305 mm (10 x 10 x 12 in), allowing adequate space to produce most parts.

Like all Fortus 3D Production Systems, the Fortus 250mc utilizes Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling™ (FDM®) technology to build parts from the bottom up with precisely deposited layers of modeling and support material.

The Fortus 250mc delivers reliable, flexible part production for prototyping and direct digital manufacturing -- all at an affordable price.

Advanced FDM
FDM is the industry's leading additive manufacturing technology, and the only one that uses production grade thermoplastics, enabling the most durable parts.

No special facilities needed
Customers can install a Fortus 3D Production System just about anywhere. No special venting is required because Fortus systems don't produce noxious fumes, chemicals or waste.

No special skills needed
Fortus 3D Production Systems are easy to operate and maintain compared to other additive fabrication systems because there are no messy powders or resins to handle and contain. They're so simple, an operator can be trained to operate a Fortus system in less than 30 minutes.

About 3D Printing
3D printing offers a fast, low-cost alternative for building concept and working models. Using durable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, Stratasys 3D printers build functional 3D models from the bottom up, one layer at a time.

Designed for workstation and network access, 3D printers are small, affordable, and suitable for office installation near the end user providing convenience and ease.

Stratasys 3D printers can help you quickly fine tune designs and cut weeks, even months, from your development schedule. Now you can test form, fit and function and explore as many design iterations as you like -- over your network, right from your desktop.

While there are many variables in comparing service provider costs with internal 3D printing costs, i.e., part complexity, size and tolerances, etc., a company sending one relatively simple part per week to an outside service provider could, by comparison, pay for a 3D printer in a matter of months -- and maintain control and confidentiality internally.

For more information, visit: www.3dvision.com

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    3DVision Technologies is a value-added reseller (VAR) of mainstream CAD, CAE, and PDM software serving Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Published in 3DVision Technologies

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $10 million grant over five years to launch a national center based at Stanford University for teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering. Directed by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center at Stanford's School of Engineering, the new national center addresses the critical need for innovative and entrepreneurial engineers across the United States. STVP's key partner on this initiative is the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).

The center, which begins operation in September 2011, will catalyze major changes in undergraduate engineering programs by developing an education, research and outreach hub for the creation, collection and sharing of innovation and entrepreneurship resources among the almost 350 engineering schools in the U.S. The center will actively engage participation by U.S. faculty and students in helping create the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and conduct an on-going assessment to enhance its impact and reach. Project principal investigators include Stanford professors Tom Byers, Kathleen Eisenhardt and Sheri Sheppard.

"This center is an opportunity for U.S. engineering educators to openly share knowledge about preparing students to be entrepreneurial leaders," says Byers. "With the participation of faculty across America, the center will fundamentally change how engineers are educated in this country."

The center is co-funded through NSF's directorate for Education and Human Resources and the directorate for Engineering.

"The objective is to create graduates who have deep engineering skills, as well as the ability to understand and design for end users," said EHR Program Director Don Millard. "In meeting the country's needs for innovators, we want to develop students who can work in and manage creative teams; communicate effectively and think critically; understand business basics; and be leaders who can solve open-ended problems."

"We want to catalyze a wave of change in undergraduate engineering education in the U.S.," said Engineering Deputy Division Director Sue Kemnitzer. "The new initiatives made possible through the center should inspire students across the country to envision possibilities and create viable and innovative products, services and processes for lasting positive economic and societal impact."

Collaboration is a key component of the center, as evidenced by STVP's partnership in developing the center with NCIIA. Leveraging their membership of nearly 200 universities across the U.S., NCIIA will be involved in developing, disseminating and delivering the center's offerings across the country. NCIIA Executive Director Phil Weilerstein sees real value in creating a center with such a dedicated focus.

"The need for innovation and entrepreneurial engineers is at an all-time high," says Weilerstein. "NCIIA is looking forward to applying its expertise to helping universities build cultures of innovation on their campuses, and to supporting the entrepreneurial endeavors of engineering students and faculty."

Based on evolving tools and techniques in engineering education, the center will provide U.S. engineering students and faculty with resources for curriculum, program and professional development.

"Hundreds of educators are already working to develop new programs addressing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as essential components in an engineering education," says Tina Seelig, STVP's executive director. "We look forward to gathering the most effective approaches and to sharing them with faculty and students across thecountry."

The center's efforts to deliver the latest research and insights into classrooms will not only benefit students, but will also allow participating faculty to leverage the center's network to disseminate research on the efficacy of entrepreneurship education. This accelerated approach will also impact the future development of the center and its processes.

In anchoring the center, the Stanford Technology Ventures Program will leverage its extensive experience in entrepreneurship education. STVP's entrepreneurship and innovation courses are built upon the program's passionate commitment to experiential learning.

"STVP's approach embraces key ideas to unlocking entrepreneurship and innovation, such as learning to reduce barriers, understanding customers and developing scalable business models," says serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, who serves as a Stanford adjunct faculty member. "Stanford's willingness to throw open the doors to new ideas is very attractive to students and is an incredible opportunity for faculty who want to make a real impact."

To augment NSF funding and provide additional real world experience, the center has established a set of corporate partners, including some of the most innovative companies and venture capital firms in the U.S., including Accel Partners; Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ); Edison International; IDEO; Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers; Microsoft; MWH Global; Raytheon; and the X-Prize Foundation. These partners will provide resources for curriculum development, dissemination tools and student access to industry mentors.

"Now is the best time for the creation of this center," according to DFJ Partner Tim Draper. "Engineers are technical wizards, but their skills can be raised to new heights when infused with the drive and knowledge to turn ideas into the products and organizations that will shape our nation's collective future."

For more information, visit: www.nsf.gov

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    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $10 million grant over five years to launch a national center based at Stanford University for teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering.

The June 22, 2011 Mouser Electronics, Inc., "Newest Products & Advanced Technologies" online event hosted by GlobalSpec drew more than 1,600 participants. Mouser – a top design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components – designed the event to educate attendees on the latest news, research and developments within the electronic component industry. The free virtual conference is now available on demand, through September 22, to give engineers easy access to educational presentations and industry leading supplier resources from the live-day event.

"Newest Products & Advanced Technologies" offered design engineers targeted opportunities to discover new products, technologies and applications from leading manufacturers while gaining valuable knowledge on developments relevant to their industry and profession. At this event, attendees discovered the latest in consumer technology and solid-state lighting and learned the newest developments regarding medical, smart grid and energy technology through educational forums and an exhibit hall featuring leading manufacturers and suppliers.

"Mouser partnered with some of the best suppliers in the industry to bring engineers what's next," said Kevin Hess, vice president of technical marketing for Mouser Electronics. "The exceptional program content and networking connections gave attendees the unique opportunity to learn and share successful approaches to innovation challenges with the newest products and advanced technologies.

"Together, GlobalSpec and Mouser Electronics created a must-attend event," said Chris Chariton, senior vice president of product management & supplier marketing for GlobalSpec. "Our demonstrated expertise in online event management, combined with our ability to deliver the right audience of design engineers and related professionals interested in electronic components, ensured that the event offered attendees an exceptional learning experience."

For more information, or to access the on-demand Mouser event, visit: http://www.globalspec.com/events/eventdetails?eventId=118

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    The free virtual conference is now available on demand, through September 22, to give engineers easy access to educational presentations and industry leading supplier resources from the live-day event.

Published in GlobalSpec

Delcam has launched a multi-lingual learning zone for the 2011 version of its PowerSHAPE Pro CAD software for product design, tooling design and reverse engineering.  This includes full details on the new release, including "What’s New” videos from expert Application Engineers, and customer testimonials.  The learning zone can be found at www.delcam.tv/PS2011/lz.

The languages included on the learning zone reflect the range of languages in which PowerSHAPE is available.  These are English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Polish and Czech.  The site also includes links to Delcam’s international reseller network so that visitors can contact their local representative for further information or to request an evaluation copy.

PowerSHAPE Pro is the only CAD software to offer "Tribrid Modelling” – the addition of triangle modelling to the combination of surface and solid modelling that is offered in many other CAD packages as "hybrid modelling”.  Having all the different modelling techniques in a single package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product development process.  The extended range of functionality, for example, the ability to undertake Boolean operations between triangle meshes and solids or surfaces, makes PowerSHAPE Pro ideal for the re-engineering of existing products into improved designs or for creating bespoke products, for example, for individual patients in the healthcare industry.

With Tribrid Modelling, PowerSHAPE Pro offers a flexible and pragmatic approach that allows the design intent to be captured from the physical model rather than simply producing a duplicate digital representation.  This is particularly important when generating models from items that might be worn or damaged, and in cases where the quality of the initial data is less than perfect.

Other great strengths of PowerSHAPE Pro are in data translation and modelling for manufacture.  The software incorporates the Solid Doctor, which allows users to tackle all the common problems that can be found when translating low precision and incomplete data, including gaps and overlaps between surfaces, or duplicated and missing surfaces, and generate a valid, high-precision solid model.

The Solid Doctor uses a combination of automatic data repair tools, together with surface creation and editing options for more challenging errors.  This combination means that simple repairs can be carried out quickly and easily, while more complex problems can be overcome by deleting and replacing the existing surfaces within the model.

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    The learning zone is for the 2011 version of its PowerSHAPE Pro CAD software and includes full details on the new release, including videos from expert Application Engineers, and customer testimonials.

Published in Delcam

Automotive companies today are constantly seeking to improve vehicle operating efficiency and thus improve fuel efficiency, especially in light of the ongoing upward climb in gas prices. Improving efficiency, however, is no longer easy; the low hanging fruit has already been picked. So, in their pursuit of this goal, automakers and major auto suppliers are increasingly turning to tech savvy partners to help them turn innovative ideas into reality. This was the situation recently when an axle manufacturer partnered with 3-Dimensional Services of Rochester Hills, MI, on an innovative new testing device.

3-Dimensional Services is a firm that specializes in the design, engineering and analysis, in-house tool construction, and complete build of prototype first-off parts and low to medium volume production runs. Its use of advanced process methods, manufacturing technologies and staff talents means that prototype parts are typically provided faster than conventionally equipped prototype shops are able to offer -- sometimes as much as 70% faster.

In this instance 3-Dimensional was asked to focus its various areas of expertise on a transfer case oil flow testing system for a new axle design for cars and light trucks. “When our customer creates a new axle design they’ve got to make sure that the actual oil flow within the transfer case is what they envisioned it to be,” says Scott Duffie, senior sales engineer for 3-Dimensional. “This is a key aspect of efficient operation for the axle and, ultimately, for the vehicle itself.”

To test that, they create a prototype of the new transfer case, cycle oil through it during test bed operation, and “see” what happens.

“See” being the operative word. “Typically this part would be a casting,” notes Duffie, and despite the marvels of today’s sensor technology, it is still tough to see what’s happening on the other side of a cast iron wall. To get a better understanding of how the new design actually performed, the axle manufacturer opted to go with a clear plastic transfer case prototype. They needed a partner who could bring the required rapid prototyping, molding, and precision machining skills together and do it quickly. They found that partner in 3-Dimensional.

First, 3-Dimensional quickly created a master pattern using stereolithography (SLA). Based on the part’s CAD design, the SLA's laser beam cures light sensitive polymers into the shape of the part. This, by the way, is one of four rapid prototyping technologies that can be deployed by 3-Dimensional, depending on the nature of the project, the others being laminate object manufacturing (LOM), selective laser sintering (SLS) and metal laminating.

Note that for many applications an SLA prototype is sufficient. 3-Dimensional’s intimate knowledge of the technology, however, led them to conclude that for this application a tougher, more resilient prototype than could be created with SLA was required.  Thus the SLA master pattern was used to create a silicone tool.

The intersection of craftsmanship and technology
Before that could happen, though, the master pattern had to be hand polished to a mirror finish. This was to ensure that the resulting tool, and thus the eventual prototype, would be left with no surface finish defects that could impede smooth oil flow or viewing.

The polishing entailed wet sanding alternating with a painting technique that 3-Dimensional employs in these cases. “The painting technique helps us identify surface areas that might be suspect and thus require more attention,” explains Duffie. He notes that while most of 3-Dimensional’s operations involve an array of high tech tools, this part is an instance of old-style craftsmanship. “It’s an art,” he adds.

“Once that tooling is complete then we’ll close it all off and pour urethane into it. After 24 hours of cure we pull the tool apart and we’re left with the prototype.”

Well, almost. First, 24 helicoils needed to be inserted. These provided the means to attach the transfer case to the rest of the prototype axle so that realistic cycling tests could be run. The part’s mating surfaces were machined flat on a mill, then pilot holes were drilled into the urethane, then a tap was run. Into these drilled and tapped holes the helicoils, or threads, were inserted on a CNC vertical milling center. These strong steel threads would enable the customer’s engineers to assemble and disassemble the part as many times as they saw fit.

There was no question of the part having to wait for a machine to become available. 3-Dimensional has over 40 CNC machining centers along with 75 knee mills and lathes, so neither machining capacity nor machining expertise were an issue.

“The entire operation took just three weeks,” says Duffie. In that length of time we provided a tough, clear transfer case prototype in which they could see and study every aspect of oil flow under a variety of conditions. Unexpectedly, they were also provided with an improvement on their original design.

“There were some strengthening ribs in their original design that our analysis concluded were not necessary and would, in fact, inhibit the viewing of smooth oil flow,” recalls Duffie. “They let us eliminate them and, after their subsequent testing, were pleased with the result.”

The 3-Dimensional Services Group, consisting of 3-Dimensional Services, Urgent Plastic Services, and Urgent Design & Manufacturing, provides rapid prototyping services that allow them to design, engineer and build functional prototype parts and low-to-medium volume production parts from 50 to 70% faster than conventional prototype shops. Their capabilities encompass virtually all relevant processes, including injection molding and casting, stamping, CNC machining, robotic and manual welding, laser cutting and welding, waterjet, hydroforming, tube bending, vibration welding, casting and pattern fabrication, RIM tooling, SLA, LOM and SLS rapid prototyping, and assembly.

For more information, visit: www.3dimensional.com

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    3-Dimensional Services specializes in design, engineering and analysis, in-house tool construction, and complete builds of prototype first-off parts and low to medium volume production runs.

NASA has selected four universities to design habitat and science concepts that could be used by future deep space explorers. The teams will participate in the second eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge led by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation.

The teams are from Oklahoma State University; University of Maryland, College Park; Ohio State University; and University of Bridgeport, Conn. The undergraduate students will design, manufacture, assemble and test their concepts and hardware. A panel of engineers and scientists will assess their progress at each stage of the competition. The National Space Grant Foundation will fund the cost of the teams' design development and their participation in testing next summer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

"This is an amazing opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in fields ranging from engineering and science to business management," said Doug Craig, strategic analysis manager for analog systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Last year's competition proved to be intense, demonstrating the creativity, dedication, and technical excellence of the team members."

The 2012 X-Hab challenge will look at volume, geometry and habitability of a deep space habitat and technologies for plant growth and geo-science sample handling. The challenge is a participatory exploration effort designed to encourage studies in spaceflight-related engineering and architecture disciplines. NASA is committed to training and developing a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future.

NASA's Exploration Mission Directorate, Directorate Integration Office via the Habitat Demonstration Unit Project, is sponsoring the challenge. NASA is dedicated to supporting research that enables sustained and affordable human and robotic exploration. This educational challenge contributes to the agency's efforts to train and develop a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs/xhab_challenge.html

For more information about the Habitation Development Unit Project, visit: www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs/hdu_project.html

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    The 2012 X-Hab challenge will look at volume, geometry and habitability of a deep space habitat and technologies for plant growth and geo-science sample handling.

Published in NASA

The “Magnesium Research Award”, endowed with 5,000 euro, has been conferred by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht since 2007. This prize offers recognition to young researchers for their innovative research in the field of magnesium. The prize winner this year is the Chinese scientist, Professor Xiaoqin Zeng of the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai.

Lightweight construction in automobile and aircraft manufacture leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The utilisation of the magnesium alloys developed by Prof. Xiaoqin Zeng can make an effective contribution to these light construction endeavours. What is so innovative about the new alloy is that it contains rare earths as a special ingredient. Professor Dr. Karl Ulrich Kainer, head of the Geesthacht Magnesium Innovation Center at the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, explains the selection of this particular award winner as follows: “The possibilities of this new material family are highly promising. Professor Xiaoqin Zeng has presented groundbreaking results in the field of hardenable magnesium alloys for high-vacuum die casting processes”.

Magnesium is up to four times as light as steel, and one and a half times lighter than aluminium. Pure magnesium is, however, rarely utilized due to its low hardness and great susceptibility to corrosion. Magnesium alloys, on the other hand, have the advantageous characteristics of low weight, high strength and corrosion resistance. They are being increasingly employed in the manufacture of vehicles. The future overall potential for magnesium is estimated at more than 50 kilograms per vehicle. Magnesium alloys could, therefore, become a very important light construction material, as they have a high level of availability and can, in principle, be recycled effectively.

Magnesium alloys with rare earths
Professor Xiaoqin Zeng, National Engineering Research Center of Light Alloy Net Forming, School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, is conducting research into new magnesium alloys with rare earth elements. These include, for example: gadolinium, dysprosium, neodymium or cerium. Even very small additions, amounting to less than one percent, can considerably improve material properties such as toughness, high temperature resistance and creep resistance.

Magnesium alloys with rare earth constituents present great opportunities for a new family of high performance alloys which are particularly suitable for cast construction parts requiring good mechanical properties at room temperature or at high temperatures.

For more information, visit: www.hzg.de

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    Magnesium is up to four times as light as steel, and one and a half times lighter than aluminium. Pure magnesium is, however, rarely utilized due to its low hardness and great susceptibility to corrosion.

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today that General Motors, an early adopter of 3D printing, continues to extend the technology boundaries so that designers and engineers from its studios and technical centers around the world are able to see and touch their creations faster and at lower cost through the digital manufacturing capabilities at the GM Design Center.

Selective laser sintering (SLS®) and Stereolithography (SLA®) 3D printers from 3D Systems allow designers to quickly and affordably go from computer models to one-off parts for evaluation and wind-tunnel testing so more iterations can be tested in a less time. GM engineers and manufacturing personnel use rapid prototype parts to reduce tooling costs and speed up the validation and early build processes.  Every GM program benefits from rapid prototyping technology during development.

"General Motors, one of the first automotive companies to embrace our solutions, is leveraging 3D printing for rapid prototyping as well as the manufacture of real, end use parts," said Abe Reichental, CEO and President of 3D Systems. "The opportunity to partner with innovators like GM Design provides tangible customer and marketplace benefits well beyond transportation."

"3D rapid prototyping is enabling the designers and engineers at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to stretch the creative envelope," said John Green, Superintendent, GM Design Fabrication Operations. "We can bring more attractive, functional and aerodynamic vehicles to market in less time and at lower cost than ever before."

For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com

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    Selective laser sintering and Stereolithography 3D printers from 3D Systems allow GM engineers to rapid prototype parts to reduce tooling costs and speed up the validation and early build processes.

Published in 3D Systems

Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, made news today by demonstrating a full-size folding stool able to support over 100 kg. Like the Objet 3D-printed skateboard, Objet engineers printed the stool in a single print job, using the new Objet ABS-like Digital Material (RGD5160-DM) – a new functionally advanced material which is jetted as a composite material on the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer.

The folding stool, which sits 48 cm (19 inches) off the ground, has similar high dimensional stability, thermal resistance, and toughness as ABS-grade engineering plastics, enabling it to repeatedly sustain the weight of a person.

Commenting on the folding stool, Gilad Gans, Executive Vice President at Objet said; “The folding stool is a demonstration of the unique possibilities available using Objet’s multi-material 3D printers including the new Objet260 Connex. Our technology represents the most effective way of functionally testing complex design ideas. Whether skateboards or folding stools, the prototypes that come out of Objet Connex 3D printers look like the real thing and also perform like the real thing. Not only can this stool carry the weight of a person, but it was actually printed in the fold-up position in a single print job and then opened-up upon removal from the printer to be used.”

The Objet ABS-like Digital Material is a high-impact material (65-80J/m or 1.22-1.50 ft lb/in), with high-temperature-resistance (65°C or 149°F and after thermal post treatment 90°C or 194°F). The material is ideal for manufacturers and engineers looking to functionally simulate products made of ABS-grade engineering plastics, including snap-fit parts, durable and movable parts and products requiring drop-testing.

With the new ABS-like Digital Material, the number of Objet 3D printing materials is brought to a total of 65, including 51 composite materials (Digital Materials), for a wide range of rapid prototyping purposes, enabling realistic product visualization to advanced functional verification.

For more information, visit: www.objet.com




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    Objet engineers printed the stool in a single print job, using the new Objet ABS-like Digital Material (RGD5160-DM).

Published in Objet

Proto Labs, Inc. announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. All shares of the common stock to be sold in the offering will be offered by Proto Labs. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not been determined.

Jefferies & Company, Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. William Blair & Company, L.L.C. and Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC are acting as co-managers for the offering. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the preliminary prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from Jefferies & Company, Inc., Attention: Equity Syndicate Prospectus Department at 520 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, or via telephone at 877-547-6340 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or Piper Jaffray & Co., Attention: Prospectus Department at 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or via telephone at 800-747-3924.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

Proto Labs is a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. Proto Labs provides “Real Parts, Really Fast” to product developers worldwide. Proto Labs utilizes computer numerical control (CNC) machining and injection molding to manufacture custom parts for its customers.

For more information, visit: www.protolabs.com

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    All shares of the common stock to be sold in the offering will be offered by Proto Labs. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not been determined.

Published in Proto Labs

A unique, new advanced process control gauging system has been showcased in Scotland at a leading industry event hosted by Heriot-Watt University.

The Equator™- a versatile automated gauging system – has been designed and developed by Renishaw plc, to meet the process control needs of manufacturing companies within a diverse range of industries.

Delegates at the Agile Manufacturing annual conference at Heriot-Watt University - which brought together academia and industry from around the world, to share knowledge and ideas to support business growth and diversity - were told the new system would have a significant impact on the sector.

Equator has been developed as an alternative to traditional dedicated gauging, with the ability to be pre-programmed for multiple parts and re-programmed for design changes.  The patented low-cost design, unique in construction and method of operation, is capable of high-speed comparative gauging for inspection of high-volume manufactured parts.

Professor Marc Desmulliez, Director of the Heriot-Watt University James-Watt Institute commented that "We are delighted that Renishaw has supplied an Equator system for our Advanced Metrology Laboratory. Such equipment will increase our research capability as well as increase our interaction with industry. This reflects the strength of the strategic alliance between Renishaw and our university and is testament to the excellent collaborative research links that both institutions have forged with each other over recent years.”

Dr Kevyn Jonas, a Director at Renishaw plc, was a keynote speaker at the conference and told delegates: “There is nothing like this product available on the market.”

“Equator uses the traditional principle of comparison of production parts to a reference master part, providing repeatable data that results in more efficient and effective operations,” he added.

“The Equator has been rigorously field-tested and was positively received when we launched at the Control show in Stuttgart, Germany in May.  We were therefore delighted to have the opportunity to show it for the first time in Scotland at the Agile Manufacturing conference.”

“Given the extremely positive reaction we have had to the system so far, we remain confident of the significant improvements Equator can make to companies through increased automation and flexibility and we look forward to showcasing the product's abilities further in the UK and beyond.”

For more information, visit: www.renishaw.com

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    Equator has been developed as an alternative to traditional dedicated gauging, with the ability to be pre-programmed for multiple parts and re-programmed for design changes.

Published in Renishaw

Breaking new ground in materials innovation, Henkel Electronic Materials has announced its success with a revolutionary silver (Ag) sintering technology that enables high volume production of modern power packages in a process that does not require pressure. In its market debut, Henkel’s Ag sintering capability has been designed into Ablestik SSP2000, a high reliability die attach material well-suited for use with power modules such as IGBTs and high power LED products.

Sintering is a process in which particles are joined together by heating the material in a sintering furnace below its melting point until there is particle adhesion.  Conventional Ag sintering is achieved by applying both heat and pressure to the material, or device, until the metal joint is formed.  The drawback to the pressure application technique in semiconductor packaging, however, is its volume limitation, as devices must be processed individually on capital-intensive die bonding systems.  With Ablestik SSP2000, because the silver particles are joined via a unique surface tension mechanism, the pressure requirement is eliminated and the material can be cured in a standard batch oven at a temperature as low as 200 degree centigrade.  In addition, Ablestik SSP2000 can be processed on standard die bonding systems, eliminating the need to reinvest in specialist equipment and making the transition from existing materials simple, fast and cost-effective.

“The ability to now exponentially increase UPH from traditional silver sintering techniques at roughly 30 units per hour to a remarkable 6,000 units per hour with the Henkel technology is incredible,” enthusiastically explains Henkel’s Dr. Michael Todd, Vice-President of Product Development and Engineering.  “Now, semiconductor packaging specialists can have high volume and high reliability with a silver sintering material.”

While high UPH is a central advantage of Ablestik SSP2000, even more notable is the material’s thermal resistance and reliability.  When compared to high-lead soft solders, which are the current material of choice for power semiconductor devices, Ablestik SSP2000 has far superior power cycling reliability.  In power cycle testing where solder failed at 200 cycles, Henkel’s Ag sintering technology was able to reach more than 2,000 cycles before the first failure.  With thermal conductivity and thermal resistance that are superior to that of solder, Ablestik SSP2000 offers better performance and reliability. For high power devices such as IGBTs, that presents tremendous latitude as compared to traditional solutions.

“Because of Ablestik SSP2000’s superior power handling performance, IGBT designers and manufacturers are now able to reduce the number of chips in a package and save on valuable device real estate,” comments Todd.  “This material provides a technical solution that popular high-lead soft solders simply don’t have. What’s more, all the performance is achieved in a non-pressure process with lower curing temperatures, which is icing on the cake!”

Not only do semiconductor packaging specialists want higher throughput, higher performance materials, but are also actively seeking viable replacements to high-lead solders – particularly in the power device segment. The RoHS deadline for the elimination of lead-based materials from the power device market is currently set for 2014, which means that in less than three years suitable alternatives must be in place.  For power device manufacturers, Henkel already has the solution with the first Ag sintering die attach material of its kind.

As Todd concludes, the flexibility of Henkel’s solution is simply untouchable.  “The lead-free advantage, design latitude, thermal and electrical performance, reliability and high UPH capability – it’s all there.   Our silver sintering technology is already proving its worth in the power device market, has shown great promise in the high power LED market and, frankly, is ideal for any application that requires high thermal capability in high volume.  This will no doubt be a game-changer.”

For more information, visit: www.henkel.com/electronics

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    Silver particles are joined via a unique surface tension mechanism eliminating the pressure requirement and the material can be cured in a standard batch oven.

Published in Henkel

Whether a futuristic concept like the EN-V or a contemporary family hauler like the GMC Acadia Denali, three-dimensional rapid prototyping accelerates the creative process and reduces the time and money spent on clay modeling and molding of expensive prototype parts.

Designers and engineers from General Motors studios and technical centers around the world are able to see and touch their creations faster and at lower cost because of the digital manufacturing capabilities at the GM Design Center.

Selective laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA) techniques allow designers to quickly and inexpensively go from computer models to one-off parts for wind-tunnel testing so more iterations can be tested in less time.  Aerodynamics engineers can put a current production vehicle into the wind-tunnel and skilled trade technicians can quickly swap body parts like bumper covers, grilles, spoilers and mirrors between test runs.

Before the parts are fabricated in the rapid prototyping shop, the computer models are tested for proper airflow using state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics software.  These pre-tested parts can then be replaced much more rapidly and with better repeatability than old-style clay models can be re-sculpted. More time is spent evaluating the changes than waiting for adjustments to be made.  In fact, testing capacity has doubled in the past two years.

"Long before a full-size model or vehicle is built, rapid prototyping helps to improve the accuracy of the one-third scale models that are used for early aerodynamic testing," said Aerodynamic Development Engineer Suzanne Cody. "Air-flow through the engine compartment and underneath the car is critical to both cooling the engine and lowering drag."

In the past, modelers would carve a rough approximation of the front structure and the engine from foam or wood to evaluate the air flow through the engine bay.  GM's 3D prototyping lab can generate a fully detailed model including the engine, transmission, brake lines, drive-shafts, exhaust system, suspension and other components under the car.

"The end result is better correlation of air-flow measurements between the model and the full-size car or truck and fewer expensive changes are needed late in the program," said Cody. "With the design of components like cooling systems locked in earlier, fewer prototypes are needed and vehicles can go from concept to production more quickly."

Rapid prototype parts also speed up test track and on-road evaluations.  When 80 pre-production Chevrolet Volts were being built in mid-2009, several interior parts were fabricated by the RP shop and installed directly in the test cars.

"In design, we work with conceptual ideas in preproduction. Early part iteration allows us to get hands on to see what works and what doesn't at the point where people actually touch the car," said Checo Pacheco, a lead creative designer in the Branded Component Studio.

Some of the most public applications of RP components to date have been the EN-V personal urban mobility concepts that were featured during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.  Three body styles were crafted for the EN-V at GM Design studios in Los Angeles; Melbourne, Australia; and Russelsheim, Germany.  The RP shop in Warren fabricated the bodies and many of the components for the demonstration fleet.

"3D rapid prototyping is enabling the designers and engineers at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to stretch the creative envelope," said John Green, superintendent, GM Design Fabrication Operations. "We can bring more attractive, functional and aerodynamic vehicles to market in less time and at lower cost than ever before."

Rapid Prototyping at GM Video: http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/videos.html

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    "3D rapid prototyping is enabling the designers and engineers at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to stretch the creative envelope"

Published in GM

The annual Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems Conference (COMS 2011) being held Aug 28-31 in Greensboro, is again shaping up to be a who's who of the micro-nano technology (MNT) community, bringing together leaders in North Carolina with those from around the globe. Plenary Speakers include: Anthony Atala, MD, Joseph M. DeSimone, PhD and Paul M. Zavracky, PhD.

Dr. Atala is the W.H. Boyce Professor, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University. Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon and a key thought leader in regenerative medicine. His current breakthroughs include the world's first engineered urethras using 3D printers to engineer human kidneys in a laboratory, and he is currently working to launch the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest Center for Veterinary Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. DeSimone is the Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University. DeSimone is also an adjunct member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His research group is focused on nanofabrication techniques translated from the semiconductor industry that enables the manufacture of highly uniform nanoparticles with precise size and shape. This process, called Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates (PRINT), is currently being commercialized for biomedical applications through the spin-out company Liquidia Technologies, which has a PRINT-enabled flu vaccine therapeutic in clinical development.

Dr. Zavracky, President of North American and European Operations at MEMSIC Corporation, has more than 30 years of business, scientific and academic experience, serving most recently as Dean of Northeastern University's School of Technological Entrepreneurship. Prior to that, he co-founded The MicroOptical Corporation and, while serving as president and COO, developed two-axis MEMS micro-mirrors and successfully launched the company's military, medical and consumer head-mounted display businesses. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the founding team and COO of Kopin Corporation, where he spearheaded its development of silicon on insulator (SOI) materials and SOI MEMS devices.

Demonstrating the support for these important emerging technologies, James Hunt, Governor of North Carolina (1977-1985; 1993-2001) and Kay R. Hagan, United States Senator for North Carolina, will deliver keynote addresses. Also speaking is Sally Tinkle, PhD, Acting Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee, Committee on Technology National Science and Technology Council. The NNI brings together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field—creating a framework for shared goals, priorities, and strategies that help each participating Federal agency leverage the resources of all participating agencies. With the support of the NNI, nanotechnology R&D is taking place in academic, government, and industry laboratories across the United States. MANCEF is not only proud to welcome these distinguished members of the policy making bodies to COMS, but also welcomes members of the triple helix; Education, Government and Industry, to join us in leading the next revolution of emerging technologies.

The Micro and Nanotechnology Commercialization Education Foundation (MANCEF) is a global membership association focused on the commercialization of small technologies. As an educational non-profit, our goal is to facilitate connections and to educate those bringing emerging technologies to market. MANCEF members are the top international players in the Micro-Nano Marketplace. We help create global relationships and alliances which accelerate the commercialization of small technologies.

For more information, visit: www.mancef.org/coms2011

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    The annual Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems Conference (COMS 2011) will be held Aug 28-31 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Published in MANCEF

Seco has announced that it will be holding a seminar on working with difficult-to-machine materials on Monday, August 8 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. Covering materials such as Inconels, Hastalloys, composites and compacted graphite irons, this premier technical training session will be hosted at DMG Mori Seiki’s U.S.A. Headquarters & Chicago Technical Center at 2400 Huntington Boulevard in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

“Materials technology is in a state of constant change, and manufacturers must constantly adapt to retain their competitive edge,” says Don Graham, Seco Education & Technical Services Manager. “This seminar will cover recent developments and demonstrate how tooling and machine technologies can be successfully used to tackle some of the most difficult materials in the industry.”

The day’s agenda will include four distinct sessions, including a current overview of difficult-to-machine materials, failure analysis, the latest tools and techniques and applying machine tools to advanced materials. Lunch and snacks will be provided onsite.

Manufacturers who wish to attend may register at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e4e17aplf306a994&oseq=

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    The seminar will be hosted at DMG Mori Seiki’s U.S.A. Headquarters & Chicago Technical Center at 2400 Huntington Boulevard in Hoffman Estates, Illinois on August 8th.

Published in Seco Tools

Modern Plastics, one of the largest distributors of high-performance and engineering-grade stock shapes and medical-grade plastics, has moved from its former home in Bridgeport to Shelton, Connecticut. The new address is 88 Long Hill Cross Road, Shelton, Connecticut 06484 USA.

This new facility features an advanced environmentally controlled clean room for storage of its medical-grade plastics, manufacturing space and a retail store for items such as cut-to-size Plexiglas and Lexan sheet.

"We are thrilled to serve customers worldwide and in the local market from our new home, just off of Bridgeport Avenue in the commercial heart of Shelton," said Bing J. Carbone, President of Modern Plastics.

All of Modern Plastics' materials are bar-coded for complete resin, lot and batch traceability with a 20-year record retention on all documents and certifications. Modern Plastics fabricates plastics and offers machining services as well.

Modern Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 certified.

The company has been in business since 1945 and ships products worldwide.

For more information, visit: www.modernplastics.com

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    The new facility features an environmentally controlled clean room for storage of its medical-grade plastics, manufacturing space and a retail store for items such as cut-to-size Plexiglas and Lexan sheet.

Published in Modern Plastics

The website of the Thermoset Resin Formulators Association (TRFA) continues to invite the industry to “Ask TRFA” technical, logistics and management questions related to the thermoset resin industry.

Questions have ranged from such straightforward technical topics as “What is the definition of a structural adhesive?” to “What are the commonly used VOC exempt solvents (by EPA Method 24) in epoxies and urethanes? and “Where can I find information regarding compatibility between Thermoset and Thermo plastics used in the manufacturing of finished components?”

“Ask TRFA” is one of a handful of initiatives the association has launched to better serve its growing membership as well as the larger thermoset resin industry. TRFA is the only organization dedicated to serving the needs and interests of all thermoset formulators and has a broader focus than just epoxy.

Questions are submitted via the website.  After a review by legal counsel, questions are forwarded to the appropriate committee chairman for the committee to answer. Answers to general technical questions that do not involve confidential information or trade secrets will be posted on the website. Check back in four to six weeks to see the answer to your question. The “Ask TRFA” webpage contains only the most current questions and answers from “Ask TRFA.” Older questions and answers are a valuable resource available to TRFA members on the members-only website.

In addition to “Ask TRFA,” the association has compiled a substantial library of Technical Presentations, all of them available free-of-charge to association members via a members-only website, and to other interested individuals within the industry for purchase. An important list of more than 160 regulatory acronyms is also available on the public website. TRFA’s Regulatory Committee publishes Fact Sheets covering regulations that have been passed by governments and Issue Alerts, covering new issues, trends, etc., that are not yet regulations. These are available on the members-only website.

TRFA is comprised of thermoset formulators and fabricators, raw material suppliers, distributors, equipment manufacturers, manufacturer sales representatives of materials or equipment, importers of raw materials or processing or other equipment, consulting firms and academic institutions serving industries which include adhesives, coatings, civil engineering applications, electrical laminates, composites, tooling, castings and moldings.

For more information, visit: www.trfa.org/ask_trfa/index.aspx

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    Any questions can be submitted via their website and answers to general technical questions that do not involve confidential information or trade secrets will be posted on the website.

Published in TRFA

Delcam will be the only CAM sponsor of the DS SolidWorks Asia-Pacific Reseller Conference to be held in Beijing, China, from 10th to 12th August.  Delcam’s decision to be a Gold Sponsor at the event reflects the developing relationship between the two companies within the Asia-Pacific region, and the growing popularity of the Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM software with SolidWorks resellers and customers since it was awarded Certified Gold Product status.

Delcam staff at the Conference will include Delcam plc Commercial Director, Bart Simpson, Delcam China General Manager, Joe Zhou, Delcam China Vice General Manager, David You, and Delcam China Channel and Partnerships Director, Jingli Li.

The event will be attended by owners and management executives of SolidWorks value-added resellers in Asia-Pacific, the DS SolidWorks team for the region and other key solution partners like Delcam.  Over 200 attendees are expected from China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  Delcam already works with a number of these companies but expects that the conference will provide opportunities for meetings with other established SolidWorks resellers wanting to add its CAM software to their product ranges.

Delcam for SolidWorks combines the benefits associated with Delcam’s PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems.  It is based on Delcam’s proven machining algorithms that are already used by more than 35,000 customers around the world.  These strategies ensure increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish, even when cutting the hardest, most challenging materials.

At the same time, Delcam for SolidWorks has the same strong focus on ease of use as FeatureCAM, including all of the knowledge-based automation that makes the software so consistent and reliable.  Most importantly, Delcam for SolidWorks includes FeatureCAM’s Automatic Feature Recognition system which automatically extracts detailed feature information from the SolidWorks model.  Once the features have been identified, Delcam for SolidWorks undertakes automatic selection of cutting tools, machining strategies, and feeds and speeds, to complete the programming operation.

Delcam for SolidWorks is fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks.  It offers full associativity with any changes in the CAD model reflected automatically in the toolpaths.  However, this associativity is more intelligent than that offered in other integrated CAM systems.  Delcam for SolidWorks does not simply modify the existing toolpaths but reviews the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and changes them if necessary.

For more information, visit: www.delcam.com

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    The DS SolidWorks Asia-Pacific Reseller Conference will be held in Beijing, China, from August 10th to 12th.

Published in Delcam

The additive manufacturing industry will greatly benefit from a new ASTM International standard that will allow computer- aided design programs, scanners and 3D graphical editors to communicate with 3D printers and additive manufacturing equipment. The standard will answer the growing need within the industry for a standard interchange file format that can work with features such as color, texture, material, substructure and other properties of a fabricated target object.

The new standard, ASTM F2915, Specification for Additive Manufacturing File Format (AMF), was developed by Subcommittee F42.04 on Design, part of ASTM International Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies.

“As additive manufacturing technology is quickly evolving from producing primarily single-material, homogeneous shapes to producing multi-material geometries in full color with functionally graded materials and microstructures, there is a growing need for a standard interchange file format that can support these features,” says Hod Lipson, Ph.D., associate professor, Cornell University, and an F42.04 member. “ASTM F2915 is XML-based, covers these new capabilities and allows for expansion.”

According to Lipson, ASTM F2915 will provide engineers, architects, artists and anyone involved in 3D design and printing to seamlessly transition from design to physical printed object, independent of the specific software or printer hardware being used.

“This is similar to the PDF file format that allows any document to be viewed and printed regardless of the display and printer being used,” says Lipson. “The availability of such a standard is key to growth of the additive manufacture industry and the proliferation of new applications.”

Lipson notes that geometric design software vendors and 3D printer manufacturers will be the primary users of ASTM F2915, but he also says that anyone involved in the design, aggregation, fabrication and consumption of 3D objects using new additive manufacturing technologies would benefit from use of the new standard.

A website with files, documentation and forums for ASTM F2915 is located at: www.stl2.com

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    ASTM F2915 will provide seamless transition from design to physical printed object, independent of the specific software or printer hardware being used.

Published in ASTM

Designers, drafters, engineers, architects and other professionals using CAD in a specific industry will be able now to speed up the drawing process thanks to the millions of ready-to-use blocks placed at their disposal and ready to improve and facilitate the time-consuming routine work of drafting from scratch.

Moreover, the company has heeded another customers’ request, this time concerning the ALE Blocks Manager. Instead of an awkward and difficult to handle ALE Manager, a new completely different iCADLib Module for blocks management is introduced in the new version. The iCADLib Module enables intuitive and seamless work when creating, saving and inserting blocks in your drawings. The new Blocks Manager contains over 20.000 2D/3D ready-to- use blocks for various industries such as Construction, Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and others.

The new progeCAD 2011 version offers a plug-in for architects, Easy-Arch, an automated building tool implemented in the software to increase productivity in architectural and interior design and renovation. The Easy-Arch tool is designed to facilitate architectural and interior design providing parametric elements to quickly and easily create such building elements as walls, roofs, openings, stairs and many other functionalities.

Finally, another enhancement designed to beef up the productivity of a CAD professional is the integration of the Traceparts content library in progeCAD 2011 Professional. This feature will become particularly interesting and useful for a Mechanical Designer and Engineer. However, there can be also found electric, electronic, agricultural, furniture and many other parts to satisfy professional needs of CAD professionals from a wide range of sectors. The Traceparts portal is one of the biggest parts libraries in the world offering over 100 million 2D and 3D CAD models. Now the new progeCAD 2011 Professional version provides personalized and exclusive access to the Traceparts library with unlimited and free download of any elements from the catalogues as well as different parts complying with the following international standards: ANSI, ASME, BS, JIS, DIN, ISO and UNI. The downloaded components are seamlessly integrated in the blocks libraries and can be easily and quickly inserted in all your drawings like all the other iCADLib blocks.

One of the progeCAD’s most important innovation introduced with version 2011 is certainly the the iCARE Subscription services. The new iCARE Subscription maintenance and support program offers a variety of benefits to help customers get the most out of their progeCAD® software. It enables the Customer to cut down upgrades costs (they’ll receive the next progeCAD version at no charge, for instance) and receive comprehensive technical assistance via the web with the new help desk service through ticket, email, live chat and remote support.

“In the new version of progeCAD we’ve focused our efforts on meeting the needs of the CAD professionals who come from various industries but use mainly the generic CAD platform in their projects. We are striving to make our CAD platform more flexible and intuitive for each professional who uses our CAD package. However, we’re still committed to our principal goal that is to comply with the market leader, adding at least a little touch of the AutoCAD-like look and feel and compatibility to our product.” commented Damiano Croci, progeCAD’s CEO.

Current progeCAD users are reminded that they can upgrade to the latest version at a significant discount to the already-low price of the full version. progeCAD 2011 Professional proposes very flexible licensing: Single licenses with the possibility of an additional installation, Network NLM licenses with a Take-Away technology for remote work and Corporate licenses with unlimited installations at an unrivalled price.

The new version is available for immediate download at: http://www.progesoft.com/en/downloads

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    The new Blocks Manager contains over 20.000 2D/3D ready-to- use blocks for various industries such as Construction, Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and others.

Published in progeCAD

Delcam will launch the 2012 version of its PowerMILL CAM system for high-speed and five-axis machining at the EMO World of Metalworking exhibition to be held in Hannover from 19th to 24th September.  The new release will include a number of new strategies, together with more general enhancements to make programming faster and machining more efficient with the best-possible surface finish.

The most important new option is flowline machining.  With flowline machining, the toolpath is divided between a pair of drive curves in a constant number of passes, rather than having a varying number of passes with a constant stepover.  The toolpath will have its start and end passes on the drive curves, with the intermediate passes blending between them.

This approach gives smoother results since it ensures that each pass travels over the full length of the area, rather than leaving the part, or making major changes in direction, during the pass.  It produces a better surface finish on the part and minimises wear on the cutter and the machine tool.

In PowerMILL, flowline machining can be applied across part of a surface, across a complete single surface or across multiple surfaces.  In addition, intermediate curves can be added between the boundaries of the area to give even greater control over the toolpaths.  These might be needed for particularly complex fillets or when machining gently-curved surfaces to a smooth finish.

PowerMILL has offered an optional module for automated machining of blades, blisks and impellors for some time.  This module has now been enhanced with the addition of a spiral machining strategy.  This keeps the cutter on the surface of the part for the complete operation and so gives more even tool loading and a better surface finish.

Another new option that will give better results during five-axis machining is the ability to control the angular point distribution.  This option can be used to keep the machine tool moving smoothly when there is rapid angular change in one of the rotary axes of the machine tool.  The problem occurs mainly when moving around sharp corners but is also important when the machine is operating near a vertical tool axis.  If the machine tool is near the gimbal lock position, small movements in the tool-axis vector can result in large movements in one of the axes.

In both examples, smoother tool-axis changes can be achieved by increasing the density of the points in these areas.  The user can specify the maximum angle that the tool axis can move between points.   Extra points are inserted automatically to ensure the specified maximum angle is not exceeded.  This gives a more even movement of the machine and so gives a better surface finish, with no risk of dwell marks.  The smoother motion also reduces wear on the machine.

A more general enhancement is the ability to use Bezier curves rather than polylines when sketching geometry in PowerMILL.  Bezier curves give smoother boundaries, patterns and drive curves, and so enable better quality toolpaths to be produced.

Other enhancements include more control over the clearance distances applied to the cutter and its holder.  This is especially desirable when machining near-vertical faces, as a smaller clearance can be set for the shank, while still allowing a larger clearance for the holder.  It allows the shortest safe cutter to be chosen, with no risk of collisions.  Using shorter cutters will usually allow faster machining and minimise chatter so giving a better surface finish.

In addition, thread milling options have been added, and workplane editing, and Z-height selection and limiting, have been made easier.  It has also been made easier to obtain measurements, including distances, angles and directions, from the part model and enter these values into forms automatically.  Finally, the use of the PowerMILL macro language to programme repeat operation has been extended to give users more options to customise the system for their particular needs.

For more information, visit: www.delcam.com or www.emo-hannover.de

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    The new release will include a number of new strategies, together with more general enhancements to make programming faster and machining more efficient with the best-possible surface finish.

Published in Delcam

L A Aluminum Casting Company of Hayden, ID, has recently completed the addition of 10,000 square feet of additional warehouse space. This addition has allowed the company to add their own in-house custom powder coating line. The company has always offered powder coated machined castings, but now they can offer powder coating as a stand alone process. They have the capacity to powder coat anything from tiny steel pieces to fencing that is 8 feet long by 8 feet wide. They will coat any conductive material. This includes steel, iron, and aluminum.

According to Michelle Richter, the sales and marketing manager, the system at L A Aluminum is quite unique. They have 3 ovens and 2 spray booths. The line is not automated like most other powder coating operations. The process starts with a 5 stage cleaning and sealing process. This ensures total adhesion of the powder to the metal. The next step is a pre-heating of the part in the first oven. Then the part is sprayed with a base coat, sanded if needed, baked in the second oven, then sprayed with a top coat and baked in the third oven. After all of this attention to detail, the parts look perfect!

"Perfect" is actually the quality criteria for one of L A Aluminum's largest customers. L A Aluminum powder coats their own castings for the dental industry. They also powder coat their casting for the wind generators they make for Southwest Windpower. Southwest Windpower recently moved 4 parts from China back to America for manufacturing by L A Aluminum because of issues they were having with powder coating and poorly made parts.

Michelle said, "We are making enough on powder coating our own castings, we can offer less expensive powder coating for general commercial parts." Our process is also a closed system, so no contamination or dust will be on the parts. The area is kept pristine to ensure a perfect surface finish.

For more information, visit: www.laaluminum.com

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    L A Aluminum has always offered powder coated machined castings, but now they can offer powder coating as a stand alone process.

Geomagic, the leading provider of 3D software for creating digital models of physical objects, today launched its new multi-lingual website.

The web site is designed to showcase information on the latest developments and trends in reverse engineering and inspection software and its applications across a wide range of business and industry sectors. It includes a blog which enables people to share their reverse engineering, 3D digital modelling and 3D inspection experiences and to comment on topics of mutual interest.

A feature of the new site is the Geomagic Community. This includes Geomagic Labs which provides early access to new technologies, innovation and product concepts before they appear in commercial software. It also includes a video channel where we broadcast product highlights, corporate news and interesting user stories as well as our CEO’s involvement with the President in White House. Geomagic software demonstration videos are also hosted here.

“This new web site is designed to bring Geomagic and professionals who rely on 3D scanning and imaging technologies closer together”, said Ping Fu. “Whether they are involved in the design and development of industrial, medical or consumer products, the digital reconstruction or archiving of art and archaeological finds, the inspection of as-built parts, or the creation of virtual worlds, these users will find valuable content. This is is our window to the world and our social network site that engages our users, partners and like-minded people,” she added.

“Geomagic supports a global ecosystem of design professionals and partners who help users select and implement reverse engineering and inspection solutions,” said Tom Kurke, COO, Geomagic. “I am excited about our new web presence as it highlights our commitment to support our partners and users globally with dynamic and fresh information.”

This first major phase of the new site delivers the Corporate web site, plus 7 regional sites, which communicate directly with professionals in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia/Pacific) regions.

View the new web site now at: www.geomagic.com

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    The web site is designed to showcase information on the latest developments and trends in reverse engineering and inspection software.

Published in Geomagic

Flow Science, Inc. announces the availability of a new release of its FLOW-3D computational fluid dynamics software. FLOW-3D version 10.0 is a major release that features fluid structure interaction and thermal stress evolution models that simulate and analyze the deformations of solid components and solidified fluid regions and resulting stresses in response to pressure forces and thermal gradients. The models use a combination of conforming finite-element and structured finite-difference meshes and have broad applications across industries.

Current users will experience a boost in speed with the implementation of SMP parallelization across the board for almost all models in FLOW-3D v10.0.

“Version 10 is one of the most important releases in the history of FLOW-3D. The code has advanced tremendously with the addition of the fluid structure interaction and thermal stress models, both of which give our users even more sophisticated and fundamental numerical modeling capabilities,” said Michael Barkhudarov, Flow Science’s Vice President of Research and Development.

Key models and improvements include:

* Fluid Structure Interaction Model
* Thermal Stress Evolution Model
* Iron Solidification Model
* Granular Flow Model
* Surface Wave Generator Additions
* Moisture Drying Model
* Solid Solute Dissolution Model
* Extended SMP Parallelization
* Optional Materials Properties Database

For more information, visit: www.flow3d.com

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    FLOW-3D simulatse and analyzes the deformations of solid components and solidified fluid regions and resulting stresses in response to pressure forces and thermal gradients.

Published in Flow Science

C&J Industries announced today the completion of Phases I and II of their $6 million plant expansion. With these 2 Phases complete, C&J now has three Class VIII clean rooms that house a total of 25 Injection Molding presses. These presses range in size from 20 Ton, .56 oz shot to 390 Ton, 37.5 oz shot. Twenty-four of the machines are Toshiba all-electric presses.

C&J has also opened a new and expanded QA Lab that is fully equipped to accommodate both new tooling and program development as well as on-going surveillance and monitoring of existing production.

Phase III of the building expansion will include the transfer of 17 presses from the General Molding Room to the soon-to-be-completed 12,000 sqft expansion. The new expansion will be a White Room that will house presses ranging in size from 55 Ton, 2 oz shot size to 720 Ton, 102 oz shot.

Phases IV and V of the building expansion and renovation will include converting the current contract manufacturing room into a White Assembly Room. The final phase of the project will include a Class VIII Medical Device Assembly Room. Updates on these additional phases of the project will be announced in the next 2-3 months.

C&J has positioned itself to rapidly handle any new plastic medical device or project. With the additional capability being brought online, C&J has increased its medical production capability by over 50 percent.

C&J Industries is a full-service pharmaceutical and medical contract manufacturing firm specializing in plastic product design and development, contract medical device assembly and medical injection molding components. In business for nearly 50 years, it is an industry leader in medical device manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.cjindustries.com

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    C&J now has three Class VIII clean rooms that house a total of 25 Injection Molding presses. These presses range in size from 20 Ton, .56 oz shot to 390 Ton, 37.5 oz shot.

Published in C&J Industries

FISHER/UNITECH, a Stratasys reseller and partner for over 15 years, is now offering the new Fortus 250mc Production 3D Printer from Stratasys. The Fortus 250mc is the company’s first cross-over system, combining the ease-of-use and affordability of a Dimension with the control of Insight Software. Insight Software drives the Fortus line of 3D Production Systems, and empowers users with added control of build speed, part accuracy and feature detail. Like all Stratasys systems, the Fortus 250mc utilizes the additive manufacturing technique and is based on the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process.

The Fortus 250mc addresses the needs of traditional 3D printer candidates, who want to move beyond prototyping into low volume production. The 250mc can be used to build functioning manufacturing tools like jigs and fixtures, to be used in the production process. Some users have found the FDM method to be a viable alternative to conventional metal-cutting manufacturing methods like milling, turning and boring. Additive manufacturing with a Fortus 250mc can be performed in-house, saving companies money on production, documentation, raw materials, and warehousing.

“We are excited to offer our customers an additive manufacturing solution for under $45,000, while still providing 3D printing and prototyping functionality with one system,” said Joe Rocca, Director of Rapid Technology at FISHER/UNITECH. “The Fortus 250mc is a perfect fit for large and small machine shops alike looking to implement additive technology to their processes.”

The Fortus 250mc has a 10x10x12 inch (254x254x305mm) build envelope and offers three build layer options; 0.007, 0.010 and 0.013 inches (0.178, 0.254 and 0.330mm.) To create parts, the machine uses ABSplus thermoplastic, which offers excellent mechanical properties, including impact strength, tensile strength, flexural strength, and bonding strength for tough, functional applications. ABSplus comes in ivory, white, blue, fluorescent yellow, black, red, nectarine, olive green and gray colors.

The Fortus 250mc uses Stratasys SR-30 soluble support material, which has a faster dissolve time than other soluble support materials.

The Fortus 250mc is supported by a 12-month warranty and is available now for shipment.

FISHER/UNITECH has two centrally-located Rapid Technology Centers in Troy, Michigan, and Schaumburg, Illinois. Each center is equipped with a Fortus 3D Production System with the ability to print parts using all available Stratasys plastics. FISHER/UNITECH has increased its commitment to Rapid Technology in 2011 with an expanded sales, service and support team that focuses solely on Stratasys solutions.

For more information, visit: www.funtech.com

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    The Fortus 250mc has a 10x10x12 inch (254x254x305mm) build envelope and offers three build layer options; 0.007, 0.010 and 0.013 inches (0.178, 0.254 and 0.330mm.)

Published in FISHER/UNITECH

On July 30 and 31, The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan will be the place to visit when Maker Faire Detroit returns to Henry Ford Museum for two days of unconventional imagination and stunning ingenuity.

More than 300 makers will bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to Maker Faire Detroit, offering everything from robots, flame shooters and animatronics to solar-powered mechanical sculptures and fashionable finds. And don't forget the wheelchair-powered cupcake.

This year, 80 percent of the makers are new to Maker Faire Detroit. First-time Michigan makers include Phillip McRoberts from Macomb and his Robbie the Robot, a roving 5-foot-tall webcam robot that streams video and audio; the Green Girl Scouts from Birmingham who turn trash into treasure like neckties into sunglasses, old magazines into gift bows and old belts into bracelets; Detroit artists Kristine Diven and Micho Detronik of District VII and their Mannequin Forest, an artificial forest of mannequins, circuitry and interaction; i3Detroit's John Sugg and his Atari 2600-turned-synthesizer keyboard; and Rick Erickson of Niles and his Michiana Shanty 2, a folding portable shelter for extreme cold conditions and more.

It wouldn't be Maker Faire without some Faire favorites: The LifeSize Mousetrap, the Coke and Mentos guys, the i3Detroit Hackerspace booth, Handmade Detroit, and the make-and-take Marshmallow Shooters. And don't forget about the food -- along with the selection from The Henry Ford's award-winning culinary team, ticketholders can visit the booths of Sweet Sass Foods from Livonia, Doodle's Sugarbush from Blanchard, Genesis Tea from Detroit, Naturally Nutty Foods from Traverse City, Treat Dreams from Ferndale and more.

Ticket prices at $28 for adults (13-61), $19 for youth (5-12), and $26 for seniors (62+) can be purchased now. Children 4 and under are free. Prices for a two-day pass are $48 for adults, $33 for youth, and $45 for seniors. Members of The Henry Ford receive free admission to Henry Ford Museum and can purchase Maker Faire tickets at a discounted price. For more information, please call 313-982-6001 or visit www.thehenryford.org/makerfaire

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    More than 300 makers will bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to Maker Faire Detroit.

Published in Maker Faire

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Pixlr, a popular free* online and social image creating, collecting, editing and sharing service. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Pixlr service was started in Sweden in August 2008 and provides accessible tools for non-professionals to create, edit, and share images online and socially via platforms like Facebook. The acquisition enhances Autodesk’s ability to provide image editing for its consumer products, such as the SketchBook product line. As a result of the acquisition, SketchBook Pro desktop users will gain the ability to read and write image file formats such as PXD and to easily exchange files while maintaining deep data such as layers. Current Pixlr users will immediately be able to add more freehand sketching to their projects through file compatibility with Autodesk SketchBook Pro desktop application.

“Lots of people–not just creative professionals—want to express themselves visually,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products at Autodesk. “Combining image editing capabilities with sketching capabilities provides new avenues for rich visual expression. We also intend to marry the Pixlr team’s web development experience with our expertise in mobile app development to help people everywhere be creative on the devices of their choice.”

Pixlr’s founders are now part of Autodesk.

For more information, visit: www.pixlr.com or www.autodesk.com

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  • Comments

    As a result of the acquisition, SketchBook Pro desktop users will gain the ability to read and write image file formats such as PXD and to easily exchange files while maintaining deep data such as layers.

Published in Autodesk

In the highly competitive field of producing optical products and molds for light-emitting diodes (LED), Taiwan’s Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd relies on GF AgieCharmilles’ award-winning Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM) system to achieve and maintain tool accuracy.

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Established 30 years ago as a mold company, Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd has factories in both Taiwan and China, with the Taiwan facility primarily producing die products for LED and precision opticals.

GF AgieCharmilles’ Milling and EDM technologies are important factors in the company’s success, said Ching Xu, Hong Yang Mold and Die Department Chief. He said GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM system helps make it possible for Hong Yang to live its vision of innovation and progress.

Hong Yang’s fleet of GF AgieCharmilles machines include a MIKRON HSM 400 LP Precision high-speed milling center which was especialy conceived for high precision applications. Additionally the machine is equipped with ITM which allows best possible machining repeatability.

“We chose GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM because it uses optics to measure, guaranteeing more accurate measurement,” Xu said. “In our process, we work about 16 hours per day and we are always using ITM to measure and check our cutting tools.”

Hong Yang is so satisified with ITM’s results that it’s the company’s only means of tool measurement.

“We do not measure our tools on a measuring machine before we put them in the tool changer. We measure out tools directly by ITM,” Xu said. “The operation guidance is helpful because we sometimes recheck settings data with the operation guidance.”

Exceeding expectations
Stanley Lee, Milling Application Engineer with Agie Charmilles Taiwan Ltd, said enabling its partners’ ability to meet and even exceed their customers’ expectations for precision was at the heart of ITM’s development.

“Our ITM system is unique worldwide and a true leap forward for tool measurement. Tool accuracy has always been extremely important to manufacturers of complex, intricate and highly precise parts, but to a large degree accuracy was limited to the accuracy of available measuring equipment,” Lee explained. “For example, traditional measuring technologies such as the laser are prone to pollution and this can lead to inaccurate measurement results. ITM guarantees accuracy by using optical tool measurement at full spindle speed.”

Available on GF AgieCharmilles’ range of high-speed milling machines, ITM does not just measure one single point; it optically inspects the whole tool contour. Afterward, the detection the effective contour is compared to the nominal outline by ITM. Based on that, the system is able to locate pollution (chips and drops of coolant) and to digitally clean the tool before the measurement is made. The MIKRON HSM 400 LP Precision equipped with ITM provides incomparably accurate measurement of the tool’s geometry and typically offers an absolute Z-reference and tool radius below range of +/- 1 micron in the process.

“Since its introduction, the smart machine module ITM has offered many of our customers new levels of precision,” said Lee, adding that ITM was the top winner at the Prodex innovation awards in 2010.

Measuring for excellence
For the 1,200 employees of Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd, excellence comes down to the tiniest details – and GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM system continues to meet their customers’ most challenging requests.

“In the production of dies for LED, poor measurement of the tool surface means the die cannot be used because it doesn’t fit,” said Xu. “We have found that dies produced with GF AgieCharmilles technology are of highest accuracy and quality.”

In an increasingly competitive market place, high accuracy and quality are not negotiable, he said.

“GF AgieCharmilles’ Swissness means, to us, high precesion and high quality. GF AgieCharmilles is always here for us with ongoing services and application support,” Xu said.

For more information, visit: www.gfac.com/gfac/products/standard-machining-centers/smart-machine/itm-intelligent-tool-measurement.html

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    ITM is used to achieve and maintain tool accuracy by measuring the tool for dirt, coolant or chips.

Published in GF AgieCharmilles

Computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) industry leader DP Technology, creator of ESPRIT®, will introduce ESPRIT 2012, the latest version of its innovative software, at EMO Hannover 2011, scheduled for Sept. 19-24 in Hannover, Germany.

Touted as the premier international metalworking-technology trade show and meeting place for manufacturers throughout the world, EMO is a biennial exhibition of CAM software, machine tools, manufacturing systems, precision tools, computer technology, industrial electronics and accessories, and more.

Visitors to EMO 2011 are encouraged to visit ESPRIT in Hall 25 at stand H19, where knowledgeable DP representatives will be available to discuss vital upgrades and perform demonstrations of how those upgrades can be put to work for you.

ESPRIT 2012 offers upgrades in all machining disciplines, with enhancements to turning, milling, mill-turn and wire EDM cycles.

For turning, the “park” cycle has been redesigned in ESPRIT 2012 to allow a machine tool’s head or turret to be parked. Increased versatility is achieved with the enhancement of allowing parking on each axis, which can be individually controlled using one of the four modes available — not parking the axis; moving the axis to home, as it would be set for a tool change; the tool moves to the input position in the operation coordinate system, or the axis moves to the input position in the machine-coordinate system.

For milling, ESPRIT 2012 offers an enhanced method of treating features used for contouring operations. Rather than allowing the tool to "roll" over the edge when at or near the starting depth, the feature edge can be extended to maintain the desired shape.

For wire EDM, new feature extension settings make it possible to extend the extremities of the feature so the wire path can start or end outside of the material when contouring or with EDM turning operations. This allows the wire path to be extended without actually modifying the feature. A new “dwell time” setting that inserts a dwell at the end of the rough cut to enlarge the exit point, ensuring that the wire for the skim cut can be re-threaded, has been added to all EDM contouring cycles.

For more information, visit: www.dptechnology.com or www.emo-hannover.de

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    ESPRIT 2012 will be introduced at EMO Hannover 2011, scheduled for Sept. 19-24 in Hannover, Germany.

Published in ESPRIT

As part of the “Innovations on Tour” series, Hasco paid a visit to cooperation partners Arburg on 14 July, presenting its range of services for standards and hot runner technology. Arburg demonstrated the advantages of electrically-driven injection moulding machines. The focus was on the topics of efficiency and innovation. Almost 50 participants from around the region took the opportunity to exchange experience in Lossburg.

In a number of exciting presentations, the Hasco speakers offered an overview of forward-looking hot runner technology, efficiency improvements in mould construction through the use of innovative standards, optimal machining and the benefits of DLC technology in which a diamond-like carbon coating is applied.

Rolf Reuschle, Hasco’s Director of Sales for South-West Germany, started the event by welcoming the participants. “Today we are going to tell you about a number of innovations and trends in mould construction. Arburg has kindly provided us with the perfect framework for our presentation.”

Eberhard Lutz, Arburg’s German Sales Manager, added: “Here in the Black Forest region, we can reach an unusually large number of innovative mould makers and plastics processors.” His presentation focused on the opportunities available for increased efficiency in injection moulding plants.

Secure future for electric drives
Based on a sample calculation for comparable hydraulic and electric machines, the amortisation period for an electric Allrounder from the new Edrive series was only around half a year. This results from the fact that electric drives significantly reduce cycle times during injection moulding and that greater precision and part quality reduce the number of rejects, cutting energy consumption by up to 50 percent, explained Eberhard Lutz: “The higher purchasing costs associated with an electric machine were thus quickly balanced out. Moreover, injection moulding companies can achieve considerable potential savings by further optimising their processes.”

Volker Wittmer from Hasco showed how electric servo motors can be used to drive not only injection moulding machines, but also the needle shut-offs of hot-runner nozzles. He explained that this forward-looking technology was now ready for series production and offered numerous advantages. He presented a nozzle for direct lateral injection in multi-cavity moulds as an innovation in hot runner technology that was particularly suited to the packaging sector. Among the benefits he mentioned were the facts that divided mould inserts were not required and that leakage could be avoided.

Increased efficiency in mould construction
In his presentation, Christoph Gerber from Hummel discussed hot runner control and the machine technology required for this. Frank Minninger, Hasco Technical Sales, explained how efficiency in mould construction could be increased through the innovative use of standards. He explained how moulds were being subjected to ever increasing demands. In view of the costs involved, production must be as efficient as possible. This was achieved through the application of standards during design that are conventionally covered by individual functions and tasks. This enables a lot to be achieved with little expenditure.

Alexander Ulman from Hasco used a number of practical examples to illustrate the benefits of DLC coatings in comparison with conventional corrosion protection. These primarily involved high wear resistance and hardness, resulting in longer service life – plus an associated increase in productivity. DLC coatings are particularly suitable for moving mould components, such as cores, slides and ejectors. The theoretical part of the event was rounded off by the presentation by Klaus Zimmermann from Hasco on the machining of Toolox33 and easy clamping methods.

The multifaceted programme was supplemented by practical discussions and a tour of the Arburg Customer Center with approximately 30 injection moulding machines, which are used to test customer moulds, for example.

For more information, visit: www.arburg.com

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    Arburg demonstrated the advantages of electrically-driven injection moulding machines with a focus on the topics of efficiency and innovation.

Published in Arburg

As American manufacturing continues to rebound from the Great Recession, new data suggests that suppliers of custom manufacturing should also see an increase in their businesses. In a recent Design-2-Part (D2P) survey, U.S. OEMs indicated by a margin of over two to one that they expect to have more outsourcing projects/purchases in the next year than they had in the past twelve months. In addition, they selected “quality” as their most import factor in measuring outsourcing partners.

The results revealed a significant 39% response of OEMs having more outsourcing projects in the coming year than the 17% who anticipated fewer projects. Continuing a positive trend, the 39% reply was an 8% increase from the previous poll. The responders also indicated a positive trend for their business in general as 51% said that business has grown over the last year compared to only 17% who said that business has shrunk.

The survey also asked the OEM engineers and buyers that outsource what was their company’s most important factor for measuring manufacturing outsourcing vendors. “Quality” was voted number one with 48%, followed by “product cost” with 37%, “delivery” with 11% and “technical support” at 4%.

Responders were asked questions about where geographically they outsource. First, they were asked, “Where do you currently outsource the majority of your projects?” The most popular answer at 48% was “local vendors-up to 100 miles,” followed by “regional vendors-up to 250 miles” and “national vendors” both at 18%, and “overseas/international vendors” at 17%. Those who answered “local vendors” were asked “what is the primary reason for using local vendors?” Over half at 54% answered “hands-on access/vendor visits.”  “Delivery time” was second at 24%, followed by “support local economy” at 14%, and “cost” at 8%. Responders who answered “overseas/international” where asked, “What is the biggest Supply Chain risk as viewed by your company?” Fifty-six percent answered “delivery time,” followed by “vendor stability” at 31%, “shipping costs” with 12%, and “natural disaster” at 2%.

At the end of the survey, the engineers and buyers were given the opportunity to answer an open-ended question. When asked, “What are the advantages for your company to outsource domestically,” there were four common themes: quality, communication, delivery time, and U.S. pride. Several OEMs also cited the capabilities of domestic suppliers to produce “smaller production runs” as an advantage.

An engineer from SAJE Technology in Hoffman Estates, IL seemed to sum up what many others felt when he said, “Being able to shake hands and be face-to-face with those responsible for the manufacturing of our products, plus direct supervision of production and quality. And, using ‘Made in the USA’ against our biggest competitors who manufacture overseas…and we still do it for less.”

The annual Design-2-Part survey was sent in June to over 10,000 manufacturing engineers and purchasing personnel who attended one of twelve D2P Shows that took place in a major manufacturing hub across the United States in the last year. The responders came from a fairly even cross section across all major manufacturing industries.

Design-2-Part Shows are America’s largest and longest running design and contract manufacturing tradeshows. The shows provide design engineers, manufacturing engineers, manufacturing managers, and purchasers their best opportunity of the year to meet local and national job shops and contract manufacturers for the purpose of sourcing custom parts, components, design, prototypes and assemblies. Job shops and contract manufacturing companies exhibit design-through-manufacturing services covering more than 300 product categories for the metals, plastics, rubber, and electronics industries.

For more information about the Design-2-Part Shows or to register for free show admission, visit: www.D2P.com

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    A survey for measuring outsourcing vendors revealed “Quality” was voted number one with 48%, followed by “product cost” with 37%, “delivery” with 11% and “technical support” at 4%.

Published in Design-2-Part

Counterfeiting is not just a problem limited to the supply chain. A design engineer who is not careful where he orders components for a new project can also create downstream production problems or spend unnecessary hours troubleshooting a perfectly good design.

The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA), a leading organization dedicated to supporting the expanding needs and interests of the authorized electronics supply chain, recently launched the non-profit website, www.ECIAauthorized.com in response to the growing problem of counterfeit parts. The new site is the fastest and most complete authorized electronics inventory search available. Mouser Electronics was a critical factor in the site’s creation and launch.

According to ECIA President, Robin B. Gray, Jr., “When the ECIA board of Directors voted to create a website dedicated to delivering the only industry-sponsored authorized inventory search; we needed an e-business expert to lead the effort. The Board unanimously selected Mouser CEO, Glenn Smith as project chairman.”        

The website ECIAauthorized.com project team included professionals from all of the industry’s top component distributors. The site provides only manufacturer authorized inventory and results are ranked based on search match and availability. Buyers and engineers can search using a full or partial manufacturer’s part number to find components in stock at ECIA authorized distributors, eliminating risks to new product designs, to customers, and to business reputations.

According to Glenn Smith, “We had a great team of ECIA members that produced ECIAauthorized.com. Everyone took great care to produce a site to meet the needs of the customer. It is the only inventory search site that shows the exact, in-stock result first. ECIA does not allow distributors to buy their way to the top of the search results. This means the customer always sees the results of an unbiased search.”

In a recent report from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the cost of counterfeit goods in the global supply chain is costing U.S. companies as much as $250 billion annually. The use of counterfeit parts causes everything from problematic designs, production shutdowns and product failure. The secure way to receive genuine parts is to purchase them directly through manufacturer authorized sources. Even if the design is flawless, a counterfeit component can cause the design to operate improperly, or may fail to meet quality, performance and safety standards.

The use of counterfeit parts often leads to costly delays, redesigns and ultimately costing customers a time-to-market advantage. Design problems can also occur when a component’s performance doesn’t match the current datasheet. This can be caused by a component that was not properly stored, properly handled or is from an obsolete production. Purchasing from manufacturer authorized sources prevents these problems from entering a product’s design cycle.

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    In a recent report from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the cost of counterfeit goods in the global supply chain is costing U.S. companies as much as $250 billion annually.

Published in ECIA

MSC INDUSTRIAL DIRECT CO., INC. (NYSE: MSM), "MSC", one of the premier distributors of Metalworking and Maintenance, Repair and Operations ("MRO") supplies to industrial customers throughout the United States, announced today that it has acquired American Tool Supply, Inc. ("ATS") and its affiliate, American Specialty Grinding Co., Inc. ("ASG").  The two companies together generate approximately $50 million in annual sales. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

David Sandler, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSC, stated, "We are very excited about acquiring American Tool Supply, Inc. and American Specialty Grinding Co., Inc. as yet another step in the execution of our long-term growth strategy.  We've always had a lot of respect for their principals, Ray Fontaine, Jay Bath, and Rich Duplessie, the outstanding Team they have built as well as the value added capabilities of both ATS and ASG.  Now, we bring together the best of both companies to add to our presence in the northeast region."

Rich Duplessie, Director of ATS, said, "This is a great opportunity for MSC, ATS and ASG, our associates, customers and our suppliers.  Together, we will bring a depth and breadth of metalworking expertise, services and solutions to our customers that are unmatched in the industry. We are very excited about the growth opportunity in front of us."

Headquartered in Chicopee, MA, American Tool Supply, Inc. was founded in 1983. With locations in MA, NH, CT, and NC, American Tool Supply Inc. provides customers with a full line of metalworking supplies and an experienced metalworking sales team. Also headquartered in Chicopee, MA, American Specialty Grinding Co., Inc. was founded in 1969 and specializes in custom made tools and re-sharpening services.

For more information, visit: www.mscdirect.com

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    The two companies together generate approximately $50 million in annual sales. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Published in MSC Industrial Direct

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) today announced that it has partnered with Atypon®, a worldwide leader in the digital content industry, for the development and implementation of AIAA’s new eLibrary website. The partnership will create an eLibrary that will offer users greatly improved access to all of AIAA’s publications and conference proceedings, significantly reducing the length of time necessary to conduct research.

The eLibrary will be designed to appeal to aerospace science and engineering authors, editors, librarians, researchers and students, as well as to members of the general public with an interest in aerospace research and science.

Mike Bragg, AIAA’s vice president of publications, stated: “AIAA is pleased to enter into this partnership with Atypon. The AIAA eLibrary will comprise our books, journals, standards and conference proceedings—past and present. This information should form an essential part of every aerospace engineer’s education, work and business. With Atypon as AIAA’s technology partner, the AIAA eLibrary will be a state-of-the-art technical resource for the student, engineer and business leader, delivering what they need when they need it.” Bragg continued: “The new platform guarantees that when the highest quality aerospace technical information is needed, it will always be right at the researcher’s fingertips, be it through their desktop, laptop or handheld.”

Besides archiving all of AIAA’s research assets under one roof, the updated eLibrary, which is expected to be available in the first half of 2012, will offer the ability to save and schedule searches, highlight journal articles, download citations; sign up for alerts on subjects of interest to their research and post links to their research articles on a variety of social networking websites. The website will also be able to suggest other articles that might be of interest to them, greatly enhancing the flow of information and ideas in the collaborative research process.

“Atypon Literatum™ will improve the accessibility of AIAA content,” said Audrey Melkin, Atypon’s director of business development. Melkin continued: “Using Literatum for Mobile™, AIAA subscribers will be able to access the full text of the latest research and professional information anytime, anywhere.”

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense.

For more information, visit: www.aiaa.org

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    The eLibrary will appeal to aerospace science and engineering authors, editors, librarians, researchers and students, with an interest in aerospace research and science.

Published in AIAA

At every level, Acero reveals itself to be at odds with the public’s general perceptions of American manufacturing. The company’s facility is well lit and virtually spotless, resembling a laboratory more than a shop floor. In April 2011, the company acquired ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certifications for continuous quality improvement. While attaining these distinctions proves an exceptional challenge for many, Acero already dedicated itself so fully to quality that the certification process required little effort compared to its existing operations. This dedication is apparent at all levels.

“Most people spend more waking hours in their workplace than they do in any other single location,” says Mr. Fitzgerald. “It should be a clean and welcoming place, not somewhere that has them counting down the minutes until they can leave.”

Within the span of a few months in early 2009, Acero Precision (Newtown Square, Pennsylvania) purchased nine Mazak INTEGREX and VARIAXIS machining centers. While a sizable investment for the company, many similar actions were taking place at shops across the country. Spurred by tax incentives, a substantial number of forward-looking manufacturers decided the time was ripe for upgrading technology. Acero’s case becomes more noteworthy when taking into account that the company was able to partially fund its investment by selling its older Mazak machines for approximately 40% of their original purchase price. The impressive degree to which the machines retained their value can be largely attributed to how Acero treats its equipment and the underlying philosophy that drives all of the company’s actions.

“We treat machines the way car lovers treat their cars,” says Michael Fitzgerald, president of Acero. “When we’re making a purchase, we have no problem paying for the options that we think improve not only the machine’s performance, but its appearance as well. For instance, we pay extra to have unpainted stainless steel used in the interior workspace. If a machine gets bumped and the paint chips, we’re out there touching it up as soon as we see it. Our dedication might strike some as unnecessary, but it fits with how we approach everything we do and it helps us get a much higher resale value when we’re ready to upgrade technology.”

Acero’s commitment goes well beyond appearances, though. The company believes success lies in becoming the path of least resistance for customers and prospects. Employees participate in the Acero Field Experience program to learn more about the end products that integrate the parts they manufacture. Here engineers work closely with customers throughout the entire design and development phases of projects. If a customer needs something, Acero finds a way to provide it. Serving the life sciences, medical, racing and general industrial segments, the company’s approach has been extremely successful. One of the most telling signs of the effectiveness of Acero’s approach is the fact that 25% of its sales are exports to Asia. The company claims much of its success comes from structuring its operations to exceed customer requirements.

“In general, there are two levels of quality when you’re making a product,” says Mr. Fitzgerald. “There’s matching the specs exactly or not. For Acero, the part always has to match the specs. Our biggest challenge is probably keeping our pricing competitive while meeting that high standard and going out of our way to accommodate customers’ needs.”

The 2009 machine investment has played a vital role in how Acero maintains that balance. Each of the Mazak machines was purchased with either an 80-tool or 160-tool magazine, which provides the company with the benefit of running a diverse array of work with minimal tooling setups.

Acero’s Mazak INTEGREX 200-IV Multi-Tasking machining centers also integrate an optional second spindle, allowing both the front and back of parts to be machined without operator intervention. Additionally, the INTEGREX milling spindle provides simultaneous 5-axis machining. This array of specifications enables Acero to achieve Done-in-One production, whereby highly complex parts are machined to completion in a single setup. This affords an incredible level of flexibility in the company’s operations.

Typically, Acero leaves multiple jobs set up on each machine. During the company’s day shift, the company concentrates on the challenging jobs that require the most time and labor, usually consisting of prototypes and unexpected orders requiring tight turnarounds. At the end of the shift, operators pull up production jobs that can run overnight with minimum operator intervention.

“A lot of people I’ve encountered only want to deal with work that has high margins,” says Mr. Fitzgerald. “We’re glad to have lower margin, long-term work that we can reliably run without consuming a lot of labor. Even with less profit, those jobs go a long way towards meeting our overhead and allowing us to remain competitive on the more challenging work that we do during our day shifts.”

This approach, coupled with the comprehensive abilities of the Mazak Multi-Tasking machines, allows Acero to tackle work that would otherwise be too costly and time consuming. For instance, the company recently took on a job producing a long, thin bone plate for a medical customer. Machined from 316 stainless steel, the component required milling, drilling, surfacing, turning, threading and cutting off. The customer only needed 10 pieces, a lot size that would be impossible to produce in a cost efficient manner in many manufacturing environments.

“If you’re doing a small lot of a prototype part and you have to run it across multiple machines, your costs are going to go through the roof,” says Dave Watson, operations manager at Acero. “With the INTEGREX machines, we can utilize the Multi-Tasking capabilities and the ability to pass the part between two spindles to machine all of the necessary features in a single set-up. It’s still costly to do such small lots of highly complicated components, but we’re able to bring it down to the point where it’s feasible.”

Acero also produces small lots of difficult, complex parts for the motorsports industry. Recently, the company received an order for a prototype of a complex shock absorber component for a high performance racecar. The customer wanted just six pieces, and the tin-coated titanium part required turning, milling, surfacing, undercutting, grooving and boring operations, with some tolerances as tight as 0.0004”. It proved to be another instance where the Mazak INTEGREX’s ability to produce the component in a single set-up allowed Acero to manufacture the job at a cost acceptable to the customer.

Managing the wide variety of jobs coming through its facility proves a constant challenge for Acero. To eliminate this obstacle, the company has invested heavily in developing its own proprietary production management software system, Sponge. Every workstation is connected to the system, with programmers and operators entering data at every significant point of production. The end result is complete transparency of process performance, machine utilization, operator effectiveness and a host of other metrics.

The Sponge system also serves to maximize quality control. In the event that one or more parts are found to not fully comply with the printed specifications, the software automatically generates information that is forwarded on to the necessary parties. This makes it easy to identify when and why a problem occurred and the system manages scheduling of training sessions to ensure that the relevant employees are trained or retrained on information that will help them to avoid the issue in the future. Under constant development and refinement for the past two decades, Sponge tracks every aspect of Acero’s operations and provides a wealth of data that provides immense value both to the company and its customers.

From extensive process management software to routinely investing in new technology to maintaining a spotless work environment, every action Acero takes is designed to minimize costs, maximize efficiency and strengthen internal and external relationships. The approach has paid off tremendously, with an average revenue growth rate of 11.5% over the past five years. In 2009, a year that many manufacturers consider the worst of their lifetime, Acero only suffered a 4% decrease in sales. For 2011, the company is already on track for 17% growth and is looking at purchasing a new facility by year’s end. By focusing on detail and striving for constant improvement, the company expects no end to its potential for success.

For more information, visit: www.mazakusa.com or www.aceroprecision.com

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    Within the span of a few months in early 2009, Acero Precision (Newtown Square, Pennsylvania) purchased nine Mazak INTEGREX and VARIAXIS machining centers.

Published in Mazak

Infotech Enterprises GmbH, with more than 1,500 customers in Europe one of the leading providers of visualization solutions for CAD, announced today the release of the new version of the CAD viewer from Kubotek: Kubotek KeyView V10.1.0. This is another step in the rapid development of the CAD Viewer: KeyView V10.1.0 already is the sixth release of Kubotek KeyView this year.

New in Kubotek KeyView V10.1.0
"We are in close contact with our customers and prospects from different industries“, Jochen Layer, Sales Director Products at Infotech Enterprises explained. “Being development partner of the software producer Kubotek, we are always open for any improvement suggestions and wishes and directly incorporate them into the development process. The latest version also includes numerous new features that have been requested by customers and prospects, such as import of 2D CAD files, quick print function and various analyzing possibilities for tool and mould making.”

2D CAD Importers
The latest version of Kubotek KeyView supports the import of different 2D CAD file formats. Now, KeyView users can access 2D files of the file formats CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Pro/Engineer (Creo) and Unigraphics/NX.

SAT Export
The new SAT export function is ideal for the data exchange with systems that are based on the 3D ACIS Modeler from Spatial Corporation. With the optional SAT export in KeyView, you can export solids, surfaces and wireframes. You can choose if you want to export the complete model or only parts of it. Besides, you have the possibility to either create files in binary format (.sab) or ASCII format (.sat). Kubotek KeyView supports the current ACIS SAT version R21 back to the historic version 1.5.

Advanced Markup Functionality
The latest version 10.1.0 creates markups on user level. For each user, KeyView automatically creates a separate layer to save markups such as measures, notes etc. These layers can easily be switched on and off.

Quick Print Function
The quick print function allows users to easily print what is displayed in the graphic window on the screen.

Tool Making Plug-in
For everyone in tool, die and mould making, Kubotek KeyView now has an optional tool making plug-in. This plug-in provides numerous powerful tools to carry out precise analyses and get measures of parts without having access to a CAD system. The package includes draft angle analysis, wall thickness analysis, minimum distance, shrinkage factor, deviation analyses and more.

At least two more releases are planned for 2011. Being development partner of the software producer Kubotek, Infotech will continue to actively influence the development and pay special attention to the realization of customer demands.

For more information, visit: www.infotechsw.de/en/visualisierung/produkte-im-detail/keyview

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    Kubotek KeyView enables you to visualize and analyze CAD models without a CAD license.

Published in Infotech

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced the winner of the Autodesk Design Award in Ferrari’s international student design competition, the Ferrari World Design Contest. Students Kim Cheong Ju, Ahn Dre and Lee Sahngseok from Hongik University received the Autodesk Design Award for their innovative use of design software. Ferrari and Autodesk also recognized the overall winning teams for their visionary designs of the Ferrari of the future including: Hongik University (Republic of Korea) – first place, IED (Italy) – second place, London Royal College of Arts (United Kingdom) – third place. A special award for Innovation and Technology was also presented to Jiangnan University (China). The awards were presented at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy. Autodesk is Ferrari’s design technology partner and proud supporter of the prestigious competition.

Following the awards ceremony, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo commented, “Nurturing the creativity of young people is a fundamental strategy in every walk of life. The Ferrari World Design Contest represents a window that we want to keep open on the world and the creative energy of the next generation. I saw at first hand the many genuinely innovative ideas that these talented youngsters sent us and could feel the enormous passion and commitment that had gone into them. I am certain that some of these suggestions will come to light in the Ferraris of the future.”

“It is gratifying to see future engineers from around the world embracing technology and challenging the limits of design with such inspirational and imaginative ideas,” said Brenda Discher, vice president of industry marketing at Autodesk. “On behalf of Autodesk, I congratulate the team from Hongik University for their creative work and innovative hypercar design. I look forward to watching the winners, and all of the students involved, enter the workforce and bring their considerable talents to bear through designing and creating a better world.”

The Ferrari World Design Contest challenged students from 50 prestigious international design schools to create the Ferrari of the future, called a hypercar, using the latest generation technologies and materials while preserving the legendary performance and elegance associated with the iconic Ferrari brand. Seven finalist teams were selected, each creating a virtual 3D model of their proposed hypercar using Autodesk Alias software as well as a 1:4 scale physical model. Submissions for the Autodesk Design Award were judged on several aspects, including the use of software to facilitate team collaboration, the use of design software and its advanced capabilities, and for the best quality and visual appeal of the finished hypercar design.

In winning the Autodesk Design Award, the students receive a commemorative trophy and all-expenses-paid passes for three team members to attend Autodesk University 2011, Autodesk’s global customer conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Overall winners of the design contest receive an internship with Ferrari in Maranello, Italy and cash prizes.

For more information about the Ferrari World Design Contest and each of the finalist teams, visit: www.worlddesigncontest.ferrari.com

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    The Ferrari World Design Contest challenged students from 50 prestigious international design schools to create the Ferrari of the future.

Published in Autodesk

EOS, the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, in collaboration with EADS Innovation Works (IW), has started work on a study to understand the potential of the Direct Metal Laser-sintering (DMLS) process to generate savings in the use of energy and raw materials. This will help to develop a new range of manufacturing technologies that will integrate sustainability relevant aspects into products and product manufacturing.

By capitalizing on the benefits the DMLS process offers, including the net-shape technology benefits to generate weight-reduced structures, along with the low use of raw materials, DMLS technology has a huge potential to contribute to sustainable development in manufacturing.

A previous study conducted by EADS IW showed that although the use of energy during the manufacturing phase could not compare with conventional manufacturing processes, energy consumption during the use-phase of aircraft components dropped significantly. Indeed the DMLS technology unlocks structural optimization, leading to weight reduction of the components, and thus fuel and CO2 emissions reduction.

In parallel, EOS carried out a Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) calculation of one kilogram of sintered material.  The findings supported EADS IW’s research, as they showed that the greatest impact on reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption was to be found during the use-phase of laser-sintered components. It further identified the most important drivers of energy consumption along the B2B value chain; particularly around the supply of raw materials and the use of cooling systems.  It was while comparing data that EADS IW and EOS agreed to carry out a collaborative environmental study.

Technologies applied to aerospace normally have to go through a nine steps process called TRL (Technology Readiness Level) before a technology goes through qualification. For each TRL review, the evolution in maturity of a technology is measured in terms of performance, engineering, manufacturing and operational readiness as well as value and risk and sustainability/environment. The latter is a new criterion linked to EADS Group’s eco-efficiency vision and a joint study focusing on this criterion made perfect sense.

Following on from the original study, EADS IW and EOS  will now complete a full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) – covering energy consumption, material use, CO2 emissions and use of hazardous material – benchmarking an optimized design for use with EOS’ next generation platform EOSINT M 280 metal system. Results should show improvements on the sustainable performances not only on the component, but also on its manufacturing.

Adrian Keppler, Manager Strategy and Business Development at EOS stresses: “There is a consensus within society that companies have to address and to meet their responsibility for our environment and our natural resources. As such, sustainability is one of the pillars of the EOS strategy. Our technology can help to improve environmental performance at clients such as EADS IW through freedom of new designs and innovation, reduced energy and CO2 emissions. At the same time, DMLS enables lightweight design as well as a reduced material consumption and transportation emissions due to production on demand.”

Cyrille Peignot, Sustainability Engineer at EADS IW, adds: “We shape the future of aerospace as a company. But in order to meet our responsibilities we have to tackle the current challenges such as access and availability of resources, as well as aircraft emissions. EOS is one of our suppliers in the Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) arena and their technology allows us to identify internal saving potentials. Indeed when combined with topology optimization, ALM can deliver weight reduction and, consequently, reduced fuel consumption, but more importantly economise on use of raw materials, frequently a significant cost to manufacturers.  So far we have been able to redesign a part during the case study process that meets our objectives: the use of fewer resources during manufacturing while producing almost no waste, as well as a significant decrease of the energy bill. All these are key factors to improve sustainability on an aircraft’s performance and its manufacturing.”

The joint case study of EOS with EADS IW will be carried on throughout the rest of the year and further more detailed results will be made available towards the end of 2011.

Photos: Cyrille Peignot, Sustainability Engineer, EADS IW. and Adrian Keppler, Manager Strategy and Business Development, EOS.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.eads.com

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    The collaboration will study the potential of the Direct Metal Laser-sintering (DMLS) process to generate savings in the use of energy and raw materials.

Published in EOS

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD) announced today that it acquired Alibre, Inc., a leading provider of affordable 3D design productivity solutions. Alibre delivers a powerful suite of full parametric CAD solutions that are easy to own and simple to use for makers and designers alike. Based in Richardson, Texas, USA, Alibre serves tens of thousands of businesses and individuals in over 50 countries.

“We are very proud and excited to join 3D Systems, a global leader with like-minded strategic direction,” said J. Paul Grayson, CEO of Alibre. “The power of 3D Systems technology, resources and global reach combined with our sustainable and scalable business model and affordable design productivity solutions is certain to make better design happen.”

“With Alibre in our portfolio we are personalizing and integrating design and manufacturing productivity,” said Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems. “The combined affordability and user friendliness of our expanded 3D content-to-print solutions offer a clear and compelling choice for engineers, designers and makers to create and make instantly, at work and home.”

3D Systems plans to expand the breadth and reach of the Alibre design productivity tools and to leverage its combined global channels to deliver complete 3D design-to-manufacturing products, tools and services. The Company expects this acquisition to be immediately accretive to its net income and contribute favorably to its long-term target-operating model.

For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com or www.alibre.com

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    Alibre is a provider of 3D design and full parametric CAD solutions. The company is based in Richardson, Texas.

Published in 3D Systems

Celeritive Technologies, a developer of innovative competitive manufacturing solutions through high-speed machining technologies, announces the release of VoluMill™ v4.0. The latest version of the ultra high-performance toolpath engine includes the Active Chip Thickness Control (ACTC™) interface, which makes it easy to achieve even greater reductions in rough milling cycle time, and the new Non-Concentric Milling technology, designed to reduce tool load and improve chip clearance.

“Radial chip thinning has been a common topic of discussion over the past decade or so,” states Glenn Coleman, chief product officer of Celeritive. “It is a real phenomenon, easily defined and illustrated, but one whose benefits have proven elusive. ACTC now makes those benefits attainable by moving beyond the concept of chip thinning and giving our customers direct control over the actual chip thickness throughout their rough milling programs. This active management of chip thickness is producing reductions in cycle time up to 35% over current VoluMill toolpaths – which were already up to 5X faster than typical toolpaths.”

“We have reengineered VoluMill 4.0 from the ground-up to improve machining dynamics during arc moves,” says Dr. Evan Sherbrooke, chief technology officer of Celeritive. “Toolpaths have always contained arc moves that share the same center point and entry angle as arc moves on previous passes. Unfortunately, when the tool enters these arc moves, the tool load increases quite suddenly. Our new Non-Concentric Milling technology locates arcs at different center points, so that each successive pass begins its arc move sooner than on the previous pass. As a result, the tool load changes more gradually, and the chips evacuate more easily.”

VoluMill has proven itself time and time again as the fastest way to increase the competitiveness of machining operations. CEOs and CFOs see increases in profitability and greater return on capital assets. Sales people have found they can be much more competitive with bids. Operations Managers enjoy increased shop throughput and scheduling flexibility, plus reductions in cutting tool costs and inventory. NC Programmers benefit from the quick learning curve and ease of use. And machine operators just plain love how it sounds when cutting.

VoluMill runs as an integrated solution inside many industry-leading CAM systems. The standalone VoluMill Universal™ product, designed to work with any CAD/CAM system, is also available.

About Celeritive Technologies: Celeritive Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced technologies that enable maximum productivity from any machining hardware, is the creator of VoluMill, the patent-pending toolpath engine that integrates with the industry’s leading CAM systems. Located in Cave Creek, Arizona, Celeritive Technologies was founded by leaders in the manufacturing industry, including machinists, developers, and executives.

For more information, visit: www.volumill.com

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    The toolpath engine includes the Active Chip Thickness Control (ACTC™) interface and the new Non-Concentric Milling technology, designed to reduce tool load and improve chip clearance.

Published in VoluMill

The DMU 60 eVo is the newest model in DMG’s successful eVo Series – having already sold more than 3,000 units throughout the world. In recent years, there has been growing demand for manufacturing complex workpieces, particularly in the aircraft and medical equipment industries.  Mori Seiki and DMG, the world’s largest manufacturers of 5-Axis machines, have launched the DMU 60 eVo in order to meet this demand.

The distinctive features of the DMU 60 eVo include a revolutionary gantry design for highest rigidity and precision, improved swivel rotary table, space saving design and optional linear motor drive.

The DMU 60 eVo has a gantry construction in which the X and Y axes are placed in the upper part of the machine. This construction enables the machine to minimize spindle overhang and increase stability and rigidity, thereby maintaining high precision. Additionally, the optimally positioned Y-axis saddle and the rounded design for the front of the machine provide efficient setups and outstanding accessibility to the working area from two sides.

The eVo Series’ proven swivel rotary table has been further strengthened. The 600 x 500 mm swivel rotary table (corner: f630 mm) maintains the successful design concept, while doubling the loading capacity to 400 kg. With a swivel range from -5°to +110°, the machine is capable of handling a wide range of machining. Turning specifications with a C-axis rotational speed of 1,000 min-1 (FD specifications) are also available as an option.

A standard DMU 60 eVo uses a ball screw drive for the X and Y axes (rapid traverse rate: 50 m/min). The optional linear motor drive (rapid traverse rate: 80 m/min) is ideal for customers who need even greater efficiency. The linear motor drive offers high speed and high acceleration feed, and achieves superb positioning accuracy, with a positioning error only one-tenth of that of the ball screw drive. Additionally, the machine uses fewer consumable parts, which requires less maintenance.

With a footprint of 6.1 m2, the DMU 60 eVo is the most compact machine in its class.  And, due to the machine's unique construction, the footprint stays almost the same, regardless of the size of the tool magazine.

For more information, visit: www.dmg.com/en,milling,dmu-60-evo-linear

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    Features of the DMU 60 eVo include a revolutionary gantry design for highest rigidity and precision, improved swivel rotary table, space saving design and optional linear motor drive.

Published in DMG Mori Seiki

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), the Product Development Company®, today announced the availability of CreoTM Elements/DirectTM 18.0 - the latest release of its market leading direct modeling solution and a member of the Creo family of design software.

Creo Elements/Direct is a complete design environment that offers the world's #1 direct 3D CAD modeler, along with 2D CAD, CAE and integrated product data management (PDM). Creo Elements/Direct provides speed, flexibility, and responsiveness-to-change for customers facing short design cycles, one-off product designs, or companies demanding a lightweight design process.

What's New in Creo Elements/Direct 18.0:

* More Intuitive Design Experience - improves ease of use and reduces the learning curve for those new to direct modeling through the new ribbon-based UI that is consistent across the Creo product family of applications.

* Optimized Design Workflows - improves the way designers work through new context-sensitive command controls in drafting and extended 3D modification commands in modeling.

* More Productive Design Data Management - broadens the reach of product data management and PLM support by enabling improved access and data sharing with a new Web Client and Web Services in Model Manager, and deeper process integration with Windchill.

* More Powerful Design Solution - broadens the designer's reach through interoperability with Creo 1.0. Engineers can take their Creo Elements/Direct designs and analyze and share them with Creo Simulation and Creo View MCAD, respectively.

Creo Elements/Direct 18.0 additionally enables users to take advantage of new Creo 1.0 applications for extended design needs such as simulation and visualization. This is part of PTC's strategy to give engineers and designers the greatest flexibility in choosing product design tools that fit their role in the product development process. Existing Creo Elements/Direct customers will continue to yield benefits to their business through updated and improved capabilities in Creo Elements/Direct 18.0.

Supporting Quotes:

"STIWA Holding GmbH uses Creo Elements/Direct because it gives us the flexibility to rapidly accommodate changes that happen late in the design cycle," said Thomas Mayer, responsible for mechanical CAD at STIWA Holding GmbH.  "The new user interface in Creo Elements/Direct 18.0, improvements to key features in direct modeling, and the interoperability with the Creo apps will help drive productivity across our design team resulting in shorter design cycles and faster time to market."

"Creo Elements/Direct 18.0 demonstrates PTC's commitment to support our customers' freedom to choose the design approach that best fits their needs," said Justin Teague, DVP & General Manager, Design and Visualization Products Business Unit, PTC. "It delivers productivity enhancements that specifically address the needs of direct modeling users - lightweight, flexible, fast and connected through interoperability with the new Creo apps.  Ultimately, Creo Elements/Direct enables customers to achieve competitive advantage by optimizing their design cycles and bringing innovative products to market quickly."

For more information, visit: www.ptc.com

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    Creo Elements/Direct is a complete design environment that offers a direct 3D CAD modeler, along with 2D CAD, CAE and integrated product data management (PDM).

Published in PTC

Communicate, comment and control – the new version 2.0 of the server solution PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D provides even more comprehensive functions for utilizing and making engineering data available on the basis of PDF within the borders of a single company and in collaborative scenarios involving external partners. Thanks to the even deeper integration of the PLM connectors, it is now much easier to read out BOMs, other PDM information and related documents automatically and incorporate them in 3D PDF documents. With the new version, PROSTEP AG now also offers its customers the optional modules PDF Generator 3D Reader Extensions and PDF Generator 3D Rights Management, which can be used during generation of the 3D PDFs to define exactly what the recipient may and may not do with the documents.

Five months have passed since PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D was successfully launched onto the market, and it has been extremely well received by customers. In the meantime, the company, which is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, and specializes in business management services and engineering solutions, has been working hard on the further development of the server solution. In addition to even deeper integration of PLM connectors, PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D also offers more CAD translators that allow native data from the CAD systems NX 7.5, Solid Edge ST3, SolidWorks2010 and 2011 as well as Inventor 2011 and 2012 to be converted and published in the 3D PDF format at the push of a button. One key advantage of the format is that the 3D PDF documents can be visualized with the normal Adobe Reader.

Integration of the PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D Reader Extensions Module in the solution also offers the option of activating a large number of additional functions for using the generated 3D PDF documents in Adobe Reader. The recipient can then, for example, add comments or fill in certain fields on a form. “These additional functions make PDF Generator 3D a powerful tool for all business processes where 3D data not only needs to be visualized but where information also needs to be added such as in the case of requests for quotations“, explained Peter Pfalzgraf, head of the product center for the 3D PDF portfolio at PROSTEP AG.

With the help of the PDF Generator 3D Rights Management Module, the information contained in the 3D PDF documents can also be effectively protected against access by unauthorized persons. The recipient must identify himself or herself at a special server in order to be able to open and read the 3D PDF documents. The special charm of the solution is that access rights can be restricted to a specific period of time and if necessary can be revoked when, for example, a document is no longer valid.

PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D Version 2.0 and the additional modules are available immediately. PROSTEP believes that the new version will allow an even greater level of systematic use of the 3D PDF technology for making 3D data available to other departments and in cross-enterprise collaboration scenarios.

For more information, visit: www.prostep.com

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    CAD systems NX 7.5, Solid Edge ST3, SolidWorks2010 and 2011 as well as Inventor 2011 and 2012 can be converted and published in the 3D PDF format at the push of a button.

Published in PROSTEP AG

An outstanding example of close co-operation between science and business: the Laser Welding Division of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG (LPKF) celebrates its 10th anniversary in July. In 2001, LPKF and former staff of the Bavarian laser centre established LaserQuipment AG, which subsequently merged in 2005 with LPKF to form a separate business division.

LPKF Laser Welding develops and markets systems for the through-transmission laser welding of plastics. In addition to production and development activities, LPKF operates a special Application Center for laser plastic welding at its Erlangen facility. Laser plastic welding is able to substitute conventional methods, in particular for complex joining tasks.

In 2009, in the middle of the financial crisis, the unit achieved a record turnover of Euro 5.3 million, only to beat this record again by a huge mar-gin of 55 percent during financial year 2010, achieving  sales of Euro 8.2 million. Reaching the Euro 10 million mark is a strong possibility in 2011.

LPKF Laser & Electronics AG manufactures machines and laser systems used in electronics fabrication, medical technology, the automotive sector, and the production of solar cells. Around 20 percent of the workforce is engaged in research and development.

For more information, visit: www.lpkf.com

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    LPKF Laser Welding develops and markets systems for the through-transmission laser welding of plastics.

Published in LPKF

Cimatron Limited (NASDAQ and TASE: CIMT) announced today that it has released CimatronE 10 after several months of highly successful beta testing.

“While using the new version of CimatronE, I’ve felt performance enhancements in all areas,” said beta tester Jim Dent, a designer at LS Mold, Inc. “I’ve benefited from new functionality that allows us to work faster, increasing productivity and shortening our overall delivery time.”

CimatronE 10 surpasses all previous versions, offering significantly faster mold design, die design and manufacturing capabilities, while increasing quality. Upgrading will impact overall delivery time, especially for full solution customers, and compress mold and die design, NC programming and machining times.

CAD enhancements provide stronger, more powerful capabilities, including a new built-in motion simulator, which specializes in tooling and provides an advanced analysis of kinematics. Die makers will enjoy an easier, more intuitive strip design process and greater automation for tool design. Mold designers will find new and unparalleled analysis capabilities for the parting line as well as shutoff and runoff surfaces, eliminating design flaws at a very early stage. There are also new applicative tools for lifter and insert creation.

CAM enhancements dramatically increase programming productivity, with background calculations and enhanced multi-core processing. Machining times are reduced, with significant upgrades to rough strategies, and there’s a new helical finishing strategy.

Beta tester Gary R. Zech, from D & F Mold, LLC., commented: “Background calculations are amazing! I don’t have to stop work and wait for a toolpath calculation while I’m in the middle of a job; I just keep working.”

The release of CimatronE 10 also introduces a new product, the patent pending CimatronE SuperBox. The SuperBox is a toolpath off-loading and processing acceleration device that dramatically shortens NC programming; it is reported to have saved users 85% off programming time.

“This is the most successful beta CimatronE has ever held, with testers requesting their entire shop be upgraded to the new version months before it was even certified for official release,” said Danny Haran, Cimatron’s CEO. “We are very happy that our entire customer base can now enjoy the benefits that our beta testers have experienced over the past months.”

For more information, visit: www.cimatron.com

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    CimatronE 10 offers significantly faster mold design, die design and manufacturing capabilities, while compressing mold and die design, NC programming and machining times.

Published in Cimatron

Tissue engineering pursues the aim of replacing natural tissue after injuries and illnesses with implants which enable the body to regenerate itself with the patient’s own cells. So that tissue can be produced to replicate the body’s natural tissue, knowledge of the interaction between cells in a three-dimensional framework and the growth conditions for complete regeneration is essential. Using a special laser technique, research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and other Fraunhofer Institutes have succeeded in producing hybrid biomimetic matrices. These serve as a basis for scaffold and implant structures on which the cells can grow effectively.

If tissue has been badly damaged by disease or due to an accident or if parts of the tissue have been completely removed, the body is often unable to regenerate this tissue itself. What’s more, in many cases no endogenous material is available for transplants. As a result, demand in the medical field is increasing for implants which enable complete regeneration to take place. But the current artificially produced implants are often not adequately adapted to the environment in the patient’s body and are therefore of limited use as a tissue replacement. The main reason for this lack is the missing knowledge on how cells react to a threedimensional environment. Scientists at Fraunhofer ILT in cooperation with other Fraunhofer Institutes, however, have developed a process for producing biomimetic scaffolds which closely emulates the endogenous tissue. This process allows the fabrication of specialized model systems for the study of three dimensional cell growth, for the future generation of optimal conditions for the cells to colonize and grow. For this purpose the Aachen-based research scientists have transferred the rapid prototyping technique to endogenous materials. They combine organic substances with polymers and produce three-dimensional structures which are suitable for building artificial tissue.

Laser light converts liquid into 3-D solids As the basis the research scientists use dissolved proteins and polymers which are irradiated with laser light and crosslinked by photolytic processes. For this they deploy specially developed laser systems which by means of ultra-short laser pulses trigger multiphoton processes that lead to polymerization in the volume. In contrast to conventional processes, innovative and low-cost microchip lasers with pulse durations in the picosecond range are used at Fraunhofer ILT which render the technique affordable for any laboratory. The key factors in the process are the extremely short pulse durations and the high laser-beam intensities. The short pulse duration leads to almost no damage by heat to the material. Ultra-fast pulses in the megawatt range drive a massive amount of protons into the laser focus in an extremely short time, triggering a non-linear effect. The molecules in the liquid absorb several photons simultaneously, causing free radicals to form which trigger a chemical reaction between the surrounding molecules. As a result of this process of multiphoton polymerization, solids form from the liquid. On the basis of CAD data the system controls the position of the laser beam through a microscope with a precision of a few hundred nanometers in such a way that micrometer-fine, stable volume elements of crosslinked material gradually form.

"This enables us to produce scaffolds for cell scaffolds with a resolution of approximately one micrometer directly from dissolved proteins and polymers to exactly match our construction plan," explains Sascha Engelhardt, project manager at the ILT. "These biomimetic scaffolds will enable us to answer many aspects of threedimensional cell growth." For this purpose the team of research scientists uses various endogenous proteins, such as albumin, collagen and fibronectin. As pure protein structures are not very shape-stable, however, the Aachen-based researchers combine them with biocompatible polymers. These polymers are used to generate a scaffold which in a subsequent step provides a framework for the protein structures that have been produced. This new process makes it possible to create structures offering much greater stability. The scaffold can be seeded with the patient’s own cells in a medical laboratory. The colonized scaffolds can then be expected to produce good implant growth in the patient’s body. The long-term aim is to use the process to produce not only individual cell colonies but also complete artificial tailor-made organs. That would represent a huge medical advance!

The Fraunhofer ILT research scientists are currently engaged in work to optimize the process. For example, they want to greatly increase the production speed by combining the fabrication process with other rapid prototyping methods, in order to reduce the time and cost involved in producing tailor-made supporting structures for synthetic tissue.

For more information, visit: www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

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    Fraunhofer ILT scientists are combining rapid prototyping methods, in order to reduce the time and cost involved in producing tailor-made supporting structures for synthetic tissue.

Published in Fraunhofer

An innovative summer internship program will give 42 U.S. middle and high school teachers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with NASA's latest aerospace engineering technologies while working closely with agency technical mentors.

From July 18-29, those selected for the Simulation-Based Aerospace Engineering Teacher Professional Development program will learn about virtual technology so they can get their students excited about real-world science, technology, engineering and mathematics applications. NASA's Office of Education and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate sponsor the program.

Simulation-based aerospace engineering relies on computer models and simulations of aerospace structures, materials, atmospheric flight conditions and system operations to design improvements for the next generation of flight vehicles and systems.

"The greatest engineering accomplishments today are made possible because of modeling and simulation," said Behzad Raiszadeh, technical manager for the modeling and simulation initiative at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. "These highly qualified educators will see first hand how simulation is used to solve some of the most challenging NASA problems using the basic math and physics principles they teach in school."

Four NASA centers are participating in the program this year. Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and Langley are hosting workshops. Johnson Space Center in Houston is supporting a workshop for the Hispanic community in Kingsville, Texas. The centers employ extensive modeling and simulation tools in their research and technology development work.

During the program, teachers will work alongside NASA mentors in various agency laboratories and have the opportunity to tour NASA facilities. They also will participate in NASA's Digital Learning Network, learn about other agency educational resources, hear speakers, and develop lesson plans incorporating modeling and simulation concepts.

Participating teachers are from nine states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas. Half of the teachers represent schools with a minority population exceeding 50 percent. After their internships, the teachers will implement the new lesson plans and share them with other teachers in their school districts. The ultimate goal of the program is to get students interested in aerospace engineering and computer simulation early in their education.

The teachers were required to obtain sponsorships from industry and academia. Forty sponsors have committed post-workshop support to the teachers, including mentoring, classroom site visits, field trips, equipment loans, forums for future workshops and speakers, and financial donations.

To learn more about this program, visit:

https://simaero.rti.org

To learn more about NASA's education programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/education

For more information about the agency's aeronautics research, visit:

http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov

Additional Info

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    During the program, teachers will work alongside NASA mentors, learn about other agency educational resources, hear speakers, and develop lesson plans incorporating modeling and simulation concepts.

Published in NASA

ESI Group pioneer and world-leading solution provider in virtual prototyping, announces the release of VA One 2010.5. VA One is a complete solution for simulating noise and vibration across the full frequency range and seamlessly combines Finite Elements, Boundary Elements, and Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) in a single model. This new release includes functionality for modeling BSR (Buzz, Squeak and Rattle) and Aero-Vibro-Acoustics.

Buzz, Squeak and Rattle (BSR)

BSR is an acoustically perceived quality attribute that consistently ranks as one of the top “things gone wrong” for many new products. The VA One 2010.5 release includes unique functionality for efficiently predicting the loudness of BSR events that occur when a product is exposed to low frequency random noise and vibration. The new functionality is available to all existing VA One users and can be used to improve product quality and reduce the risk of warranty costs associated with product recalls.

Aero-Vibro-Acoustics

Accurate characterization of interior noise due to exterior flow over a structure can be a challenging task. The VA One 2010.5 release simplifies this task with the introduction of new functionality for modeling complex fluctuating surface pressure loads using data from CFD calculations or wind tunnel/flight tests. This new functionality is ideally suited for characterizing complex sources at low, mid and high frequencies. The VA One 2010.5 release also includes Aero-Acoustics functionality for modeling the radiation and scattering of exterior flow noise using Boundary Elements and Fast Multipole Boundary Elements.

Productivity enhancements

The VA One 2010.5 release contains around 70 additional performance and productivity enhancements across all modules.

"At Western Digital we are committed to designing quiet products for the management of digital information,” said Zakir Quabili, Principal Engineer at Western Digital. “VA One is an important tool in our noise and vibration design process.”

“We are pleased to announce the release of VA One 2010.5,” said Dr. Phil Shorter, Director of Vibro-Acoustic Product Operations at ESI Group. “The new methods for modeling BSR and Aero-Vibro-Acoustics in VA One 2010.5 are the result of a long term research program and ensure that our users have access to state of the art methods for vibro-acoustic analysis and design.”

For moore information, visit: www.esi-group.com

Additional Info

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    VA One is used for simulating noise and vibration across the full frequency range and seamlessly combines Finite Elements, Boundary Elements, and Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) in a single model.

Published in ESI

imX 2011 will feature the latest in the line of powerful Mastercam machining software. Stop by booth # 1914 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, September 12-14, for a look at Mastercam X5, the latest release, which delivers dramatic time-saving cutting techniques. Mastercam X5 includes new dynamic milling techniques, new OptiRough toolpath, multiaxis machining, and much more.

Smart Hybrid Finishing
Hybrid finishing intelligently blends two efficient cutting techniques in a single toolpath. This new toolpath evaluates the model shape and smoothly switches between Constant Z cutting and Constant Scallop machining. The result is a dramatically finer finish with less work.

Fast, Aggressive, Intelligent Roughing
Mastercam's new 3D surface high speed OptiRough toolpath supports cutters capable of machining very large depths of cut. OptiRough is a new technique designed to remove large amounts of material quickly using its successful dynamic milling motion. Large, aggressive cuts are followed by fast, smaller up-cuts, safely delivering a fully roughed part faster than ever.

A single OptiRough toolpath can cut material in two directions: on step-downs (-Z) and step-ups (+Z). This highly efficient, bi-directional cutting strategy removes the maximum amount of material with the minimum of step-downs, significantly reducing cycle times. Below is a graph comparing Traditional Machining vs. OptiRough:

New Dynamic Milling Techniques
Dynamic milling constantly adjusts the toolpath to ensure the most efficient cut possible and allows use of the entire tool flute length, often eliminating the need for multiple depth cuts. New dynamic milling techniques include Dynamic Rest Mill and Dynamic Contour. Dynamic Rest Mill helps ensure maximum tool efficiency during cleanup routines. Dynamic Contour uses an intelligent, efficient high speed contouring strategy to remove material along walls. It supports multi-passes and can optionally include finishing passes. Below is a graph comparing Traditional Machining vs. Dynamic Mill:

For more information, visit: www.mastercam.com or www.imxevent.com

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    imX 2011 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, September 12-14, 2011.

Published in Mastercam

Solidscape®, Inc., the leading manufacturer of high-precision 3D printers and materials for lost wax casting and mold making, is announcing today, the launch of plusCAST™, a model material providing higher durability and greater flexibility. These enhancements will allow manufacturers to produce lighter-weight pieces with thinner walls, with the benefit of reducing the cost of precious metals.

“The market demands production of finished goods using less precious materials” remarked Fabio Esposito, VP Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Solidscape, Inc. “We continue to listen to our customers and the ability to print at 5000 dpi resolution, combined with a higher performing material allows manufacturers to be even more profitable.”

plusCAST’s superior casting properties remain the same as prior Solidscape materials, but the ability to produce intricate designs with the same accuracy is now even greater. Manufacturers and custom designers will be able to produce models that are easier to work with, while retaining the superior surface finish and casting characteristics, for which Solidscape has been known for over the years.

plusCAST will be available for shipment starting on August 1, 2011.

Solidscape®, Inc. is the leader in high-precision 3D printing systems for lost wax investment casting and mold making applications. Over the years, Solidscape has set the bar for the highest standards in surface finish, accuracy and material castability. Solidscape printers are marketed though a global network of distribution partners, and are used for casting fine jewelry, dental restorations, turbine blades, medical, orthopedics, consumer goods, electronics and many other high-preciison products.

For more information, visit: www.solid-scape.com

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    plusCAST will allow manufacturers to produce lighter-weight pieces with thinner walls, with the benefit of reducing the cost of precious metals.

Published in Solidscape

Stratasys Inc., maker of 3D printers for prototyping and producing plastic parts, introduced a static dissipative ABS material for items sensitive to electrostatic charge.

ABS-ESD7 is a new material for use by Fortus additive manufacturing systems. The material has static dissipative properties for applications where a static charge can damage products, impair performance or cause an explosion.

Unlike most thermoplastics, ABS-ESD7 prevents a buildup of static electricity, so it can’t produce a static shock.

Besides eliminating static shock, the ESD material eliminates another common static electricity problem: the attraction and buildup of particulate, such as dust or powders, which can degrade product performance.

ABS-ESD7 is also beneficial when designing products that avoid attracting atomized liquid, such as medicine inhalers, which must deliver the entire drug dose to the patient and not leave mist clinging to inhaler’s internal surfaces.

The material will be most useful for manufacturers that wish to create assembly aids that hold, handle, or carry their electronics safely.

Primary applications include:

* Carriers and organizers for electrical components
* Fixtures for electronic component assembly
* Production line and conveyor parts

Other applications include:

* Product design and validation for:
* Electronic product enclosures
* Electronics packaging material
* Powder or mist conveying or dispensing

“ABS-ESD7 was engineered in response to a strong demand from our additive manufacturing system owners,” says Stratasys Business Development Director Fred Fischer. “In a survey, over 50 percent of owners expressed a need for ESD materials for creating assembly aids, prototypes, or production parts.”

ABS-ESD7 will run on Fortus 400mc and Fortus 900mc FDM systems. It is comparable in operation to its non-ESD counterpart, ABS-M30, from Stratasys. All mechanical properties of ABS-ESD7 are within five percent of the ratings for ABS-M30. Orders are being taken now for ABS-ESD7, and material canisters will begin shipping in September.

ABS-ESD7 is available immediately for contract manufacturing jobs through Stratasys’ RedEye On Demand digital manufacturing service. The service can offer either a single prototype or production runs of up to 1000 parts or more. Small jobs can be shipped in 1 to 5 days.

For more information, visit: www.fortus.com/stratasys.aspx?id=8622

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    ABS-ESD7 is a new material for use by Fortus systems with dissipative properties for applications where a static charge can damage products, impair performance or cause an explosion.

Published in Stratasys

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software announced that the company will offer tailored programs and host special events for students and teachers during SIGGRAPH 2011, which occurs August 7, 2011 to August 11, 2011 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. At these events attendees will be able to access the latest information about Autodesk’s products and programs, gain fresh insights from industry experts, and network with like-minded students, professionals and industry leaders. During SIGGRAPH, selected presentations and interviews will be streamed live from the Autodesk booth (#429), together with free Autodesk Master Classes available through the AREA community.

Autodesk Student Experience

On Sunday, August 7, 2011 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, Autodesk will host an exclusive event for students from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, with the support of Dell and NVIDIA, with a reception to follow. The Autodesk Student Experience is a series of targeted workshops and presentations designed to improve student skill sets through use of Autodesk 3D animation tools, including Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Softimage software. Students can benefit from a day of classes and one-on-one feedback sessions with Autodesk technology experts while engaging in presentations and seminars led by industry experts, including Duncan Brinsmead, principal scientist at Autodesk, and Carlos Baena of Animation Mentor. Autodesk software will also be running on Dell Precision workstations, equipped with the latest NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics.

Get a complete schedule of the day’s events and registration information.

Autodesk Education Summit

Autodesk’s annual SIGGRAPH Education Summit, supported by HP and AMD, will take place on Monday, August 8, 2011 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., PST, followed by a cocktail reception. Education professionals will have the opportunity to network with one another, connect with Autodesk executives, discuss industry trends and best practices, and learn more about Autodesk tools and programming. Register.

Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshops for Secondary Education

On Monday, August 8, 2011 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel from 11:00 am to 12:30 p.m. Autodesk will be hosting an information session about the new Digital STEAM Workshop, offering teachers the opportunity to experience a project-based learning program. Designed for high-school students, the program explores the study of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, through real-time 3D games and easy-to-follow videos guided by industry professionals. Get more information or register.

Professional Education Opportunities at SIGGRAPH

In addition to programs for students and educators, Autodesk will run several programs for professionals throughout the week of SIGGRAPH 2011. During show hours, Autodesk and AMD will be offering training sessions on Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Softimage software in the AMD booth (#631). In addition to on-site training, the following free Autodesk MasterClasses will be available online beginning August 9, 2011:

* Using 3ds Max in the Realm of Visual Effects, by Joe Gunn
* Rigging and Animation Workflows Using HumanIK and Face Robot, by Jean-Marc Belloncik
* Next-gen 3D Head Creation Techniques, by Laurent M. Abecassis
* Live Animation Binding, by Mark Jackson

These master classes will be exclusively available on AREA. For more information, visit: http://area.autodesk.com/masterclasses

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    SIGGRAPH 2011 will be held August 7, 2011 to August 11, 2011 in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Published in Autodesk

Stratasys today introduced the Fortus 250mc(TM) Production 3D Printer - a rapid prototyping and production machine designed to give users the convenience of a Dimension 3D Printer with the flexibility of a Fortus Production 3D Printer.

Fortus 250mc, the company's first cross-over system, combines the ease-of-use and affordability of Stratasys' industry-leading Dimension 3D Printers with the control of Insight Software, used to drive the Fortus line of production 3D printers. With Insight, users will have added control of build speed, part accuracy, and feature detail. Like all Stratasys additive manufacturing systems, the Fortus 250mc is based on the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM(R)) process.

"The engineers interested in this new product will likely be traditional 3D printer candidates, but who want more sophisticated build-parameter control," says product manager Mary Stanley. "Users are moving beyond prototyping into production with their additive manufacturing machines. The most common manufacturing application is to build functioning manufacturing tools, like jigs and fixtures to be used in the production process."

The Fortus 250mc has a 10 x 10 x 12 in. (254 x 254 x 305 mm) build envelope and offers three build layer options: 0.007, 0.010 and 0.013 in. (0.178, 0.254 and 0.330 mm). To create parts, the machine uses ABSplusthermoplastic, which offers excellent mechanical proprieties, including impact strength, tensile strength, flexural strength, and bonding strength for tough, functional applications. ABSplus comes in ivory, white, blue, fluorescent yellow, black, red, nectarine, olive green and gray colors.

The Fortus 250mc uses Stratasys SR-30 soluble support material, which has a faster dissolve time than other soluble support materials.

The Fortus 250mc is supported by a 12-month warranty and is now available for shipment.

Stratasys, Inc., Minneapolis, is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus Production 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts. According to Wohlers Report 2011, Stratasys had a 41 percent market share in 2010, and has been the unit market leader for the ninth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM(R)) process. The process creates functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from any 3D CAD program, using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. The company holds more than 285 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, business & industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries.

For more information, visit: www.fortus.com/product.aspx?id=3100

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    The Fortus 250mc combines the ease-of-use and affordability of Stratasys' Dimension 3D Printers with the control of Insight Software, used to drive the Fortus line of production 3D printers.

Published in Stratasys

3Shape, a global technology leader in 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software solutions, announces the launch of its latest ConvinceTM 2011 3D Scanning and Quality Control system - a comprehensive solution for 3D digitization and quality control of small, detail-rich objects.

3Shape has immensely improved and expanded its already popular ConvinceTM system to cover a much wider range of applications and market needs. The 2011 version presents 3 new scanners offering different performance levels, along with 2 software package choices - ConvinceTM Standard and ConvinceTM Premium. Additionally, 3Shape has optimized the core ConvinceTM user-workflows, empowering them with even more automation and greatly enhancing user-friendliness.

"In today's competitive climate, more and more companies are seeking technologies that are easy to integrate, easy to operate, and significantly speed up the production workflow," says Birk Plönnigs, Sales & Product Manager, 3Shape 3D Scanning & QC Systems. "They come from all types of industries so we made ConvinceTM 2011 a modular system that is easy to tailor to specific application needs."

ConvinceTM Standard for 3D digitization and basic QC
ConvinceTM Standard software provides generic 3D scanning and creation of digital models for use in digitization or production processes. Scanning output can be used with other market-specific software, such as Jewelry design tools. ConvinceTM Standard additionally supports basic Quality Control and measurement. It is a perfect investment for performing basic QC in applications involving digitization, reverse engineering, and control of 3D manufacturing processes such as with dental restorations or hearing aid shells.

ConvinceTM Premium for advanced quality control
ConvinceTM Premium is full-featured Quality Control software. Building on the proven success of previous ConvinceTM versions, 3Shape has now further developed its array of advanced features for professional measurement and QC. New ConvinceTM 2011 features include full support for measuring without a reference model using self-defined virtual geometries, and the ability to define multiple coordinate systems.

New interface for scan sequence creation
Both ConvinceTM Standard and ConvinceTM Premium versions support 3Shape's highly acclaimed automatic measurement and scan sequence features that empower users with both streamlined workflows and consistent results.

"Automation and user-friendliness remain the core strengths of ConvinceTM," says Birk Plönnigs. "In ConvinceTM 2011, we made the process of creating sequences even easier for users. Once the scan and measurement sequences are established, advanced scanning, measuring and quality control for any part can be performed automatically with a few clicks and repeated in the exact same way every time."

Other new software features in ConvinceTM 2011 include traceability of scanner accuracy by which the user can gauge the Convince system's own generated results, extended point filtering, and a German language software version.

A scanner for every need
ConvinceTM 2011 offers 3 scanner models. The D500 1.3 MP scanner is for entry level users or general 3D applications such as jewelry and art. The Q700 1.3 MP mid-market level scanner is designed with an optimal balance between accuracy and speed. The Q800 is a high resolution scanner with 5.0 MP cameras and is the ideal tool for applications that demand high performance and accuracy, including professional quality control.

The new ConvinceTM 2011 Standard and Premium software plus D500, Q700 and Q800 scanners are now available from 3Shape dealers throughout the world.

For more information, visit: www.3shape.com

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    The 2011 version presents 3 new scanners offering different performance levels, along with 2 software package choices - Convince Standard and Convince Premium.

Published in 3Shape

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that Quickparts® is now offering the Accura® PEAK™ stereolithography material for rapid prototyping.    

Accura® PEAK™ SLA™ material is an advanced stereolithography resin designed for optimal performance, accuracy and stability during prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures and humidity. It produces rigid and stable parts that can withstand adverse environments. It is an ideal choice for parts requiring high thermal and moisture resistance, and provides outstanding stiffness for demanding applications.

"Accura® PEAK™ resin is an excellent option for our customers looking for a rigid, high-temp material to use for rapid prototyping," said Patrick Hunter, Vice President and General Manager for Quickparts. "Adding a high-temp choice like Accura® PEAK™ resin allows us to continue to offer the product development community the latest materials available."

Accura® PEAK™ SLA™ resin is available immediately for online, instant quoting at: www.quickparts.com

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    Accura® PEAK™ SLA™ material is an advanced stereolithography resin designed for optimal performance, accuracy and stability during prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures and humidity.

Published in Quickparts

The DATRON M8 PlasticMill is a high-speed CNC machining center designed specifically for plastic machining applications that produce debris such as large and small chips or dust that must be extracted and collected. The M8 PlasticMill features a chip extractor surrounding the spindle that is plumbed to the exterior of the machine with conductive and grounded hosing that eliminates static. Powered by an industrial Ruwac vacuum system rated for continuous duty, the chip extractor removes slugs as they are milled free from the workpiece. This helps to protect the surface finish and quality of the machined part and minimizes post-machining clean up. With a 24 volt relay for ON/OFF, the vacuum system can be controlled within the program or at the machine control. The M8 PlasticMill also has two integrated static-eliminating deionizers mounted on the sides of the spindle housing for management of plastic dust. By eliminating static, the dust can be evacuated through the chip extractor and collected outside of the machine – further reducing cleanup operations after machining. Positioned for the milling of engineered plastics, plastic sheet material and molded plastic parts, the M8 PlasticMill can be configured with integrated automation such as workholding and automatic doors and built-in safety sensors.

The M8 PlasticMill features a steel bridge reinforced with polymer concrete for superior stability and a 2kW, water-chilled 60,000 RPM spindle for feed rates up to 20 meters per minute. A vibration-dampening, polymer-concrete machining table provides 40” x 30” work area while the over-all machine footprint is only 69” x 55”. Automatic tool change options include up to 30-tool "station-style" rack with tool- length sensor.

A stabilized gantry, integrated pneumatically covered tool magazine, LCD flat-panel display, polycarbonate side windows and a removable chip cart on wheels are just a few extra features that distinguish the M8 PlasticMill. The Microsoft® Windows®-based controller works with virtually any CAD/CAM software and offers Ethernet networking capability, as well as remote monitoring and control, allowing the machine to seamlessly integrate into any manufacturing environment.

Other available options include a Z-Correction Probe that measures surface irregularities and compensates for them dynamically, a 3D Probe Extension that enables Z-Correction Probe to function in 3D (X, Y & Z), a Renishaw TP20 Probe for complex part measurement, Vacumate and Quick-Pallets workholding for quick setup and a Digital I/O that provides 16 inputs and 16 outputs from the CNC control.

For more information, visit: www.datrondynamics.com

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    The M8 PlasticMill features a chip extractor surrounding the spindle that is plumbed to the exterior of the machine with conductive and grounded hosing that eliminates static.

Published in DATRON

What if, instead of waiting days or weeks for a cast to be produced and prosthetic dental implants, false teeth and replacement crowns to be made, your dentist could quickly scan your jaw and "print" your new teeth using a rapid prototyping machine known as a 3D printer?

Researchers in Iran explain how medical imaging coupled with computer-aided design could be used to create a perfect-fit blueprint for prosthetic dentistry, whether to replace diseased or broken teeth and jaw bone. The blueprint can then be fed into a so-called 3D printer to build up an exact replica using a biocompatible composite material. Such technology has been used in medical prosthetics before, but this is an early step into prosthetic dentistry using rapid prototyping.

Writing in the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, mechanical engineer Hossein Kheirollahi of the Imam Hossein University and colleague Farid Abbaszadeh of the Islamic Azad University, in Tehran, Iran, explain how current technology used to convert an MRI or CT scan into a prosthetic component requires milling technology. This carves out the appropriate solid shape from a block of polymer but has several disadvantages, uppermost being that it is very difficult to carve out a complex shape, such as a tooth. By contrast, rapid prototyping uses a 3D image held in a computer to control a laser that then "cures" powdered or liquid polymer. Almost any solid, porous, or complicated shape can be produced by this 3D-printing technology.

The Iranian team has now demonstrated how rapid prototyping can be used to fabricate dental objects such as implants and crowns quickly and easily even where features such as overhangs, sharp corners and undercuts are required. The team points out that the most appropriate medical imaging technology, CBCT (cone-beam computed tomography), which is lower cost and exposes the patient to a lower dose of ionizing radiation is best suited to the generation of the computer design for creating such dental objects ready for printing.

For more information, visit: www.inderscience.com

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    Researchers in Iran explain how medical imaging coupled with computer-aided design could be used to create a perfect-fit blueprint for prosthetic dentistry.

Alcoa Foundation today announced that in just two months Alcoa (NYSE: AA) employees contributed more than 25,000 hours of their time, the equivalent of three years, to volunteer in communities around the world. Community service projects took place during the Foundation’s Green Works initiative created to support environmental projects and celebrate eco-holidays like Earth Day, World Environment Day and Arbor Day.

Through more than 135 events across 20 countries, more than 35.6 million community members benefited from Alcoa employees sharing their time, talents and energy to help protect the Earth.

Highlights include:

* More than 12,000 trees planted to support Alcoa’s Ten Million Trees campaign
* 115 rivers, parks and recreation areas rehabilitated to improve the environment
* More than 35,500 pounds of electronics recycled preventing toxic materials from entering landfills
* 1,060 recycling bins distributed to encourage recycling aluminum cans
* 60 environmental workshops on climate change, water conservation, recycling and other environmental issues

”Imagine Your World” Art Contest

In addition to community service events, Green Works also included the “Imagine Your World” art contest for children of Alcoa employees. Children created original artwork depicting their vision of tomorrow’s natural environment. Eight young winners will each receive a US$5,000 Alcoa Foundation grant for their school or a school in an underserved area in their community. Winners, ranging from 4- to 16-years-old, hail from Australia, Canada, Europe, South America, Russia and the U.S. Presentations will be made during the school year. The winning art was selected by a panel of judges, including Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and CEO, and Alcoa Foundation nonprofit partners. The winning art and artists can be viewed here.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Alcoa,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Green Works helped strengthen our commitment to our environment, and got our employees and their families involved in greening their communities.”

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$436 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$530 million since 1952. In 2010, Alcoa Foundation contributed nearly US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, focusing on promoting environmental stewardship, enabling economic and social sustainability, and preparing tomorrow’s leaders through education and learning. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers, who in 2010 gave more than 720,000 service hours. Through the company’s signature Month of Service (October) program, Alcoa employees share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in our communities. In 2010, a record 49 percent of Alcoans took part in nearly 1,000 Month of Service events across 24 countries, reaching 59,000 children, serving 17,000 meals, planting 16,000 trees and supporting 3,000 nonprofit organizations.

For more information, visit: www.alcoa.com/foundation

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    In 2010, Alcoa Foundation contributed nearly US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world.

Published in Alcoa

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation's latest edition of its Microcontroller Solutions TechZone Magazine is now available online on Digi-Key's website.

The human interface themed issue features articles regarding Ethernet throughput on NXP ARM Microcontrollers, developing the next generation of human interfaces, and standardizing healthcare device connectivity. Contributors to this edition include representatives from Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Atmel, Silicon Laboratories Inc., and more.

To view the latest issues of TechZone Magazine, visit www.digikey.com/magazine. To gain access to the latest innovations in lighting, microcontroller, power, sensor, and wireless technologies visit Digi-Key's TechZone technology zones on Digi-Key's website.

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    The issue features articles regarding Ethernet throughput on NXP ARM Microcontrollers, developing the next generation of human interfaces, and standardizing healthcare device connectivity.

Published in Digi-Key

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software and Bayer Technology Services GmbH, have signed a new enterprise agreement for the global use of Autodesk software. Using Autodesk software, Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials, will be able to implement a more streamlined process for the design, construction and operation of manufacturing plants worldwide.

“Competing in a global marketplace requires us to respond to customer demand as quickly as possible, and opening new or adapting existing manufacturing sites is essential to that,” said Juergen S. Kussi, head of Plant Layout & Piping of Bayer Technology Services. “Through this agreement, we will increase our use of Autodesk software across many projects, making it easier to more efficiently use information across projects and more rapidly react to changing market conditions.”

Bayer architects, engineers, designers, drafters and project managers now have greater access to a broad range of Autodesk solutions for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Digital Prototyping, including the Autodesk Design Suite, Autodesk Building Design Suite, Autodesk Plant Design Suite and Autodesk Factory Design Suite.

“We are pleased that Bayer has selected Autodesk software to play a critical role in the design, construction and operation of the next generation of chemical and pharmaceutical plants,” said Mark Paraskeva, vice president, Autodesk Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Autodesk is continuing to work closely with global organizations like Bayer to optimize our customers’ investments in 3D design technology and help them achieve competitive advantage.”

BIM is an intelligent model–based process that provides insight for creating and managing building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically, and with less environmental impact. Digital Prototyping is a revolutionary approach to product development that enables more rapid and cost-effective design, visualization, and simulation.

Bayer Technology Services offers fully-integrated solutions along the life cycle of chemical/pharmaceutical plants – from development through engineering and construction to process optimization for existing plants. The subsidiary of Bayer AG employs 2,700 experts worldwide at its headquarters in Leverkusen and other German sites, as well as in regional offices in Belgium, Brazil, India, Mexico, PR China, Russia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. In 2010, the company achieved sales of approximately EUR 420 million.

For more information, visit: www.bayertechnology.com or www.autodesk.com

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    Bayer architects, engineers, designers, drafters and project managers will use the broad range of Autodesk solutions for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Digital Prototyping.

Published in Autodesk

Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSYS), announced today that it will release financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 and hold a conference call with investors on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. The Company plans to hold the conference call to discuss its second quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

The investor conference call will be available via live webcast on the Stratasys Web site at http://www.stratasys.com under the "Investors" tab; or directly at the following web address: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=61402&eventID=4139319

To participate by telephone, the domestic dial-in number is 800-659-1966 and the international dial-in is 617-614-2711. The access code is 57483739. Investors are advised to dial into the call at least ten minutes prior to the call to register.

The webcast will be available for 90 days on the "Investors" page of the Stratasys Web site or by accessing the provided web address.

Stratasys, Inc., Minneapolis, is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus Production 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts. In 2011 Stratasys acquired 3D printer maker, Solidscape, Inc. According to Wohlers Report 2011, Stratasys had a 41 percent market share in 2010, and has been the unit market leader for the ninth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM(R)) process. The process creates functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from any 3D CAD program, using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. The company holds more than 285 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, business & industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries.

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    Stratasys, Inc. will release financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 and hold a conference call with investors on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

Published in Stratasys

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a $730 million conditional loan commitment to Severstal Dearborn, LLC.  The funding will support the modernization of existing facilities in Dearborn, Michigan, in addition to the design, manufacture, and construction of new facilities to produce the next generation of automotive advanced high strength steel (AHSS).  The Severstal project has the potential to significantly increase the supply of AHSS in North America as demand continues to grow for fuel-efficient vehicles. An increased supply for this breakthrough technology steel will help U.S. automotive manufacturers meet the pending and future design, weight, and safety requirements of advanced technology vehicles.  Severstal estimates the project will generate over 2,500 construction jobs and over 260 permanent manufacturing jobs.

"The Severstal project will help make American automakers more competitive as demand for lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles increases," said Secretary Steven Chu.  "By manufacturing more advanced high strength steel here at home, we rely less on imports and create thousands of new jobs that get people back to work."

"Today's announcement is great news for the company and its workers, for Michigan and for the nation," said Senator Carl Levin. "To compete today and in the future and create jobs, our manufacturers must develop breakthrough technologies in a range of areas, and this loan announcement is an important step toward developing and marketing such technologies."

"In Michigan we certainly welcome this announcement that will put so many people back to work," said Senator Debbie Stabenow, author of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing initiative. "This is exactly how this initiative is supposed to work.  An old factory is being transformed to produce advanced technology products that will make our cars safer and more fuel-efficient, and employ thousands of Michigan residents in the process.  I am very thankful to Secretary Chu and his staff for selecting Michigan for this investment."

"I am extremely pleased that the Department of Energy has decided to grant Severstal an Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan," said Representative John Dingell.  "The $730 million Severstal will receive will support the company's production of lightweight, high strength steel, which will improve automobile fuel efficiency without compromising safety.  More importantly, this loan will support 260 new jobs at Severstal's Michigan locations. Secretary Chu has my heartfelt thanks for his wise decision to support the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow in my district.  This loan will help Severstal and Southeast Michigan advance the President's goal of out-innovating and out-building the rest of the world."

The facilities will produce a wide range of advanced high strength steels, which will enable manufacturers to reduce the weight of steel components used in vehicles, creating a 10 percent reduction in total vehicle weight while meeting increasingly stringent safety regulations. Severstal's AHSS project has the potential to reduce petroleum-based fuels consumption by nearly 30 million gallons annually, and thus avoid over 260,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office administers three separate programs:  the Title XVII Section 1703 and Section 1705 loan guarantee programs, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.   The loan guarantee programs support the deployment of commercial technologies along with innovative technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, while ATVM supports the development of advanced vehicle technologies.  Including all three programs, DOE has issued loans, loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling over $40 billion to support 42 clean energy projects across the U.S.  Including Severstal, the Department has provided over $9 billion in loans to advanced technology vehicle manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company, Fisker Automotive, Nissan North America, Tesla Motors, and Vehicle Production Group.

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    The funding will support the design, manufacture, and construction of new facilities to produce the next generation of automotive advanced high strength steel (AHSS).

Published in Department of Energy

From sports to ice cream to the beach, the staples of summer form the basis of treasured memories. But it's one of summer's most important inventions that comes to mind when the temperatures soar, making even the most oppressive summer -- cool. It is hard to imagine life without it.

This year marks the 109th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning by Dr. Willis H. Carrier, inventor and founder of Carrier Corp., the world's leader in high technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions and a unit of United Technologies (UTX). On July 17, 1902 in the midst of a steamy summer, Carrier developed and later patented the first modern system to provide man-made control over temperature, humidity, ventilation and indoor air. From there, his innovation created an industry dedicated to making the world a cooler place to live, work and play. In celebration of this historic anniversary, here a few facts about Willis Carrier, inventor and entrepreneur:

* Even though it's a people-pleaser, Carrier's original invention was designed for paper -- not comfort. A Brooklyn, N.Y. printing plant challenged Carrier to stabilize the temperature and moisture in the air so the dimensions of the paper would remain constant and the different color inks would line up correctly. This innovation gave birth to the air conditioning industry.

* "Industrial conditioning" was the primary focus of Carrier's early work, helping many manufacturers out of sticky situations, including chewing gum factories. If the air was too warm and moist, the gum was too sticky to cut; if the air was too cool and dry the gum sheets were brittle and shattered.

* Carrier first applied air conditioning to a residence in 1914, and later introduced the Carrier Room Weathermaker in 1932. However consumers were slow to embrace the idea. In fact, Fortune magazine recently reprinted an article from its archives with the headline, "Air conditioning remains a prime public disappointment of the 1930s." What a difference a few decades has made.  Today air conditioning is found in more than 85 percent of U.S. homes.

* Willis Carrier is referred to as the Father of Cool, and with good reason. Over his career, he had a number of industry "firsts," including applying modern air conditioning to department stores (J.L. Hudson's, Detroit), movie theaters (Rivoli Theater, New York City), office buildings (T.W. Patterson Building, Fresno, Calif.), ships (S.S. Victoria), railroad cars (Martha Washington dining car), the chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and even the bus from Bagdad to Damascus just to name a few.

* Though a genius, Carrier struggled with math as a child -- particularly fractions. To help him grasp the concept, his mother had him cut apples into halves, quarters and eighths and then add and subtract the parts. He later went on to develop the "Rationale Psychrometric Formulae" that calculates dew point control. This formula still forms the basis for modern air conditioning.

"Willis Carrier solidified his place in history by meeting the challenges of indoor air control. He started an industry and fostered the success of many other industries with his pioneering innovation. His unrelenting passion for solving problems continues to inspire our employees today as we focus on building on a strong legacy of sustainability and innovation," said Geraud Darnis, president, Carrier Corp. "Willis wouldn't have it any other way."

For more information on Willis Carrier, the history of modern air conditioning and Carrier Corp.'s work in the industry today, visit: www.carrier.com

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    This year marks the 109th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning by Dr. Willis H. Carrier, inventor and founder of Carrier Corp.

Published in Carrier Corp

Laser micromachining company, Potomac Photonics, will present a webinar in the highly popular MEMS Industry Group [MIG] Education series. Scheduled for Thursday August 25 at 11:30 a.m. EDT, the interactive presentation, “New Prototyping Technologies Reduce Time to Market”, will explain how new prototyping technologies can assist in commercialization of miniaturized products for a large number of high technology market segments.

Potomac Co-founder, Sarah Boisvert, will highlight two new technologies and reveal how they are being applied to prototyping. The first case study will outline the operation of SensiDock™, based upon National Science Foundation-funded R&D at Potomac. This Small Business Innovative Research project combines laser micromachining and other microfabrication techniques to quickly create packaging platforms for MEMS, sensors, microelectronics, and other miniaturized devices.

The second case study will discuss work done in the Texas MicroFactory at the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas/Arlington. The Texas MicroFactory was recently featured on CNBC for its innovation in micro-manufacturing. Two additional case studies will discuss the role of simulation in accelerating time to market.

To register for this free webinar, visit: www3.gotomeeting.com/register/266994310

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    The interactive presentation, “New Prototyping Technologies Reduce Time to Market”, will explain how new prototyping technologies can assist in commercialization of miniaturized products.

Published in Potomac Photonics

With U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse providing a video address on manufacturing’s key role in boosting the American economy, the 2011 International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA®) in Warwick, R.I., quickly established that early product design strategies are the new business model for competitive companies.

Alcoa, Boeing, Microsoft, UTC Power, Westinghouse Electric and Whirlpool were among the companies reporting reductions in product cycle times, total costs and better integration of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma goals through a renewed focus on “upfront engineering.”

“The trend in product design is that upfront engineering, or early analysis, is evolving into a business model,” said John Gilligan, president of Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. “DFMA can start with rudimentary product shapes, cost them out, point to improvements and create efficiencies that carry into the whole manufacturing organization.”

Examples of significant, even radical product savings with DFMA were abundant at the 2011 Forum. ITT Aerospace Controls reported 76-percent cost avoidance for a butterfly valve redesign, including a three-fold increase in factory throughput as a result of design improvement. International Game Technology (IGT), a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of casino gaming machines and systems products, realized a significant cost saving for a new product and a ten-fold improvement in disassembly times for service operations and system upgrades. A Fortune 100 company cited benefits of 75 million dollars on a next-generation consumer product.

In addition:

* Devenish Group aided a leading instrumentation company in the redesign of their specialized radio products, achieving 2.8 million dollars in savings on one unit.

* David Vranson of ITT Aerospace Controls was nominated DFMA Supporter of the Year in recognition of his engineering achievements and role educating the design community about DFMA.

* Chris Tsai of Boothroyd Dewhurst presented highlights from a medical device manufacturer’s “Design-To-Cost” project that saved more than $10M and included deployment of Obeya rooms, Value Engineering, DFMA, advanced manufacturing engineers and a re-engineering of their product development process.

* Industry experts Harry Moser of the Reshoring Initiative and Dave Meeker of Neoteric Consulting each discussed the hidden costs of offshoring, with Moser offering companies a free Total Cost of Ownership analysis tool and Meeker providing DFMA redesign case study examples for equaling or beating foreign-based product costs.

* Boeing and Motorola have institutionalized DFMA as an enterprise-level tool alongside PLM and Lean approaches.

DFMA software guides engineers to assess the structural efficiency of their products and then reduce the assembly cost by consolidating individual parts into elegant, multifunctional designs. Product development teams can examine competing materials and processes and quantitatively judge the cost trade-offs of producing new designs or improving existing products.

For more information, visit: www.dfma.com/forum

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    The 2011 International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly established that early product design strategies are the new business model for competitive companies.

Published in DFMA

PlasticsToday.com, a UBM Canon leading brand, has announced its first ever virtual conference for the plastics industry: Continuous Improvement in Injection Molding. This online event will have specific content covering the path of continuous improvement for injection molders and plastics processing professionals. The event will provide industry insights on several topics that are relevant to molders every day, including energy efficiency, tooling technology, and controlled environment molding.

The virtual event will take place on September 8, 2011, from 10am-4pm EDT.

"We are excited to announce the first PlasticsToday virtual event as part of the PlasticsToday.com digital product portfolio," said Jason Brown, PlasticsToday Business Leader and Vice President of Digital Media for UBM Canon Publishing. "Plastics professionals worldwide will have the ability to gain insight into industry trends and best practices through this innovative online event."

Attendees at the event can interact directly with industry experts and peers, download valuable information, and view presentations directly from their desktop. Attendees will benefit from a variety of engaging presentations, panel discussions, and chat sessions.  

"By utilizing the virtual event platform, we are able to provide our audience with a way to easily gain injection molding technology insights, and gather information and resources they can use in their daily jobs," said Editorial Director Matt Defosse. "We have created a content-driven conference and exhibit hall that allows attendees to interact directly with speakers and suppliers and get answers to their most pertinent questions, all from the comfort of their home or office."

Conference session topics include a keynote address by a leading industry expert who will offer clear-cut cost/benefit analysis to help a molder decide which steps would carry the biggest payback for his operation. The keynote will be followed by speaking sessions and panels that include discussions around: Energy Efficiency, Building Better Molds, and Cleanroom Injection Molding. Live Q&A will follow each session.

The virtual Sponsor Spaces will be staffed by suppliers, consultants, and others able to offer energy-saving equipment and services to the injection molding industry. These spaces will be equipped with white papers, videos, brochures, among other resources, and live-chat capabilities for conversations between attendees and suppliers.

Signature Sponsors for the virtual event include: ENGEL, Milacron LLC, and TMC of America, Inc, and Wittmann Worldwide.

The Continuous Improvement in Injection Molding virtual event has several tiered sponsorship opportunities available that include speaking and exhibiting opportunities. Event sponsors benefit from interacting with a targeted, interested audience, high-quality lead generation, and audience-engagement data. Sponsor branding will be included in all attendee promotions that will run across PlasticsToday online and e-newsletter branded products as well as on any promotions to UBM Canon's master data file of over 90,000 plastics professionals worldwide. Contact Sales Director John Guadagno at 203.601.3741 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for sponsor information.

To register for the free event, visit: https://presentations.inxpo.com/Shows/UBM/UBMCanon/PlasticsToday/Microsite/registration.htm

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    The event will provide industry insights on several topics that are relevant to molders every day, including energy efficiency, tooling technology, and controlled environment molding.

Published in Plastics Today

May U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $388.27 million according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association and AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 2.6% from April but up 121.3% when compared with the total of $175.46 million reported for May 2010. With a year-to-date total of $1,984.87 million, 2011 is up 108.0% compared with 2010.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program.

"The May order numbers confirm our members’ reports of continued strong project levels by manufacturing companies to improve productivity in their factories," said Peter Borden, AMTDA President. "The 2,000 unit-per-month level signifies a very healthy demand still in place as we head toward the close of the second quarter."

The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.

U.S. manufacturing technology orders are also reported on a regional basis for five geographic breakdowns of the United States.

Northeast Region

At $64.30 million, May manufacturing technology orders in the Northeast Region were up 8.4% when compared with the $59.33 million total for April and up 88.4% when compared with May a year ago. The year-to-date total of $305.87 million is 92.4% more than the comparable figure for 2010.

Southern Region

May manufacturing technology orders in the Southern Region totaled $54.15 million, 5.1% more than April’s $51.52 million and 86.4% more than the May 2010 total. With a year-to-date total of $239.30 million, 2011 is up 56.9% when compared with 2010 at the same time.

Midwest Region

Midwest Region manufacturing technology orders in May stood at $137.62 million, 10.9% more than the April total of $124.14 million and up 232.6% when compared with last May. At $691.81 million, the 2011 year-to-date total is 168.5% more than the comparable figure for 2010.

Central Region

Manufacturing technology orders in the Central Region in May totaled $95.18 million, down 21.6% from April’s $121.36 million but up 83.8% when compared with the May 2010 figure. The $551.71 million year-to-date total is 106.6% higher than the total for the same period in 2010.

Western Region

Western Region manufacturing technology orders totaled $37.02 million in May, 12.1% less than the $42.11 million total for April but 93.9% higher than the tally for May 2010. At $196.18 million, 2011 year-to-date is up 66.3% when compared with last year at the same time.


For more information, visit: www.amtonline.org

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    This total was down 2.6% from April but up 121.3% when compared with the total of $175.46 million reported for May 2010.

Published in AMT

Join us for this must-see webinar!
Wednesday, July 27th
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

SpaceClaim provides CAE analysts the easiest and fastest tools possible to get geometry ready for simulation. By putting simulation users in control of geometry, CAE can drive product development by optimizing models before CAD and validating results post-CAD. SpaceClaim removes the geometry bottleneck, thus freeing analysts to focus on the physics. LiveLink™ for SpaceClaim, provided by COMSOL, brings you the fusion of direct modeling with multiphysics simulation in a tightly integrated environment, enabling optimal designs and collaboration across CAD and CAE teams.

LiveLink™ for SpaceClaim will allow you to:

-Easily de-feature imported CAD geometry
-Simply create new concepts from scratch using our straighforward and intuitive user interface
-Optimize existing models before CAD & validate results post-CAD

Watch this webinar to learn how SpaceClaim’s seamless integration with COMSOL makes it the best choice for your modeling and simulation needs.

To register, visit: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/406326098

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    LiveLink™ allows you to easily de-feature imported CAD geometry, simply create new concepts from scratch and optimize existing models before CAD & validate results post-CAD.

Published in SpaceClaim

Seco has released the MDT 2MM for grooving, parting and profiling of small and micro parts. An extension of the successful MDT family of tools, the MDT 2MM offers a cutting edge width of just 2 mm (0.078”).

The MDT 2MM is available in two sizes of inserts and toolholders. Designed primarily for Swiss machining applications, MDT19 inserts feature a compactsize and are shaped to provide insert indexing accessibility even when space is restricted. With a longer reach, larger toolholders and broader product range, the MDT28 size offers solutions for general machining applications. MDT28 allows parting off of bars up to 2” in diameter. Both sizes of inserts feature a much thinner width than the 3 mm and 4 mm tools in the MDT family, resulting in tremendous costs savings on materials when parting.

To maximize stability and accuracy, the MDT 2MM incorporates the unique Secoloc insert clamping system. A combination of V-top clamping and serrated contact surfaces between the insert and toolholder ensures the highest possible process security.

MDT 2MM inserts are available in multiple geometries. The FT- geometry provides strong performance for grooving and parting off. FTR6 and FTL6 geometries were designed to reduce burring and center pip when parting off in more demanding applications. For profiling, the round MP- geometry is optimal.

To maximize applicability of MDT 2MM, inserts are available in CP500 and CP600 grades. CP500 offers high-speed capability andapplies to general grades with high wear resistance, while CP600 provides additional toughness for more difficult applications, such as interrupted cuts.

For more information, visit: www.secotools.com/en-US/Global/Products/Turning/MDT/MDT-2-mm

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    The MDT 2MM offers a cutting edge width of just 2 mm (0.078”) for grooving, parting and profiling of small and micro parts.

Published in Seco Tools

Over the past decades, structural adhesives have evolved into effective and dependable alternatives to conventional joining techniques such as bolting, riveting and welding. They can be used to bond almost all materials commonly employed in industrial manufacturing. One essential aspect is selecting the right bonding solution for each particular construction. But which adhesive solutions are available and which factors must be considered in order to get the best results?

Structural adhesives are used to join a variety of similar and dissimilar materials effectively while achieving an optimal distribution of mechanical loads, stresses and vibrations. The range of applications stretches from bonding of single-use medical articles through to the assembly of heavy equipment. In order to ensure the structural strength of the bondlines, the structural design of the materials to be joined and the choice of adhesive technology must be very carefully evaluated. Different constructions will pose different structural bonding demands.

Structural design considerations
The strength and long-term durability of a structural adhesive bond depend especially on the adhesive used, the materials involved, and the loading to which the construction will be exposed. The loads, in other words the external forces acting on a construction, can be classified according to five types of stresses: tensile, compressive, shear, peel and cleavage forces. For each type of loading, there is an adhesive technology which optimizes the ability to withstand the forces acting on the component in question.

Tensile force is the force acting on a bondline when the component is pulled or stretched in a direction perpendicular to the bondline and the substrates it joins. With a pure tensile load, the stress distribution within the bondline is relatively uniform. The same load acts on each part of the bond area. This is also true of compressive loads. A compressive force is an external force acting on a joint when the bonded materials are subjected to pressure. In practice, pure tensile or compressive loads are generally rare and usually also involve a degree of peel loading.

In industrial constructions, the most common loads are shear, peel and cleavage forces. A shear force is the force acting on a bondline when the two joined parts are pulled in parallel and opposite directions. Peel and cleavage forces are very similar and are the least desirable forces acting on a structural bondline. These two forces occur when a load is applied to the end of a bondline, being of a peel nature when at least one of the parts can be easily deformed.

Although shear loads are by far more desirable than peel or cleavage loads, in all these three types of loading, the resulting stresses are distributed unevenly across the bondline. Adhesive bonds subjected to shear loading exhibit stress peaks at both ends of the bondline, while the stresses in the middle region are less intense. This load mode is probably the most frequent, especially in overlapped joints, which are the most common adhesively joined configurations. However, peel loads result in high stress concentration at just one end of the joint. If the adhesive starts to come away from the substrate at the edge of the bondline, small cracks will then propagate throughout the entire joint. An effective adhesive bond is therefore characterized by uniform stress distribution, which is achieved by selecting the adhesive that will deliver the best performance for that particular construction.

Adhesive technologies – An overview
In industrial manufacturing, adhesives are playing an increasingly important role in the production of many different kinds of products. They offer a number of advantages that conventional joining techniques cannot match. Compared with traditional assembly methods, adhesive bonds are superior in the presence of dynamic stress, thanks above all to their flexible nature. Rivets or bolts can only transmit forces over a very localized area (point loads), whereas in an adhesive bond, the stress distribution or force transmission is spread over the entire area of the bond. In addition, the parts to be bonded are not weakened by the drilling of holes.

The low heat build-up is another key criterion when joining parts that already have their final surface finish, for example chrome-plated steel. As non-conducting materials, cured adhesives also have an insulating effect, thus preventing contact corrosion.

The substrates involved and the demands made on the final construction are deciding factors when selecting the adhesive to be used. Depending on the field of application, various adhesive technologies with specific product properties are available for structural bonding.

Epoxies
The most widespread class of adhesives used for structural bonding are the epoxies. They are found in automotive and aircraft manufacturing as well as in the building and construction industry. Their big advantage is that they can bond both metals and plastics. Moreover, they are extremely durable, show a low tendency to creep, and only minimal shrinkage on curing. Depending on the type, they can withstand continuous exposure to temperatures ranging up to 100 – 200 degrees Celsius. A further advantage is their very good chemical resistance, although they are generally rigid. Epoxy adhesives offer a broad potlife range of five minutes up to two hours. A long potlife can be an advantage when the parts to be joined require some time to maneuver or when they have to be repositioned after they have been assembled.

Epoxies are available as one-part or two-part systems. In one-part systems, the resin and hardener components are already mixed in the correct ratio during production and only begin to react with each other when exposed to heat. Two-part systems consist of separate resin and hardener components which are only mixed directly before application. When using two-part systems, it should be remembered that the chemical curing reaction begins immediately after mixing.

Polyurethanes
Polyurethane adhesives are also available as one-part or two-part systems. They come in a large variety of viscosities, with a broad range of cure times and different specifications regarding chemical resistance. The degree of crosslinking and hence the final bond strength is determined by the combination of raw materials contained in each of these adhesive systems. Therefore, perhaps their most relevant feature is their capability to match virtually any mechanical requirement, ranging from very rigid grades to extremely flexible adhesives. In addition, they show good resistance to many kinds of solvents. With this performance profile, polyurethanes are therefore widely used for bonding tasks in industries with applications as diverse as bonding windshields to car bodies or assembling rotor blade shells for wind energy plants.

Acrylics
Acrylic adhesives offer a broad adhesion capability. They are able to bond a wide range of varied substrates, including most thermoplastics, and exhibit a good balance between high strength and some flexibility, which makes them one of the most frequent choices when dynamic loads are involved. Another interesting feature of this chemical family is their fast cure speed, which brings additional cost-saving opportunities in the manufacturing process. However, they usually smell and, therefore, when a large adhesive amount is involved it is recommended to apply it in well ventilated areas.

Acrylic adhesives can be either a one-part adhesive with an activator or a two-part adhesive system. The one-component adhesives do not require any mixing. The adhesive is applied to one substrate, the activator to the other, and the curing process only starts when the two surfaces are brought together. In two-part systems, the activator and the adhesive are mixed together using a mixing nozzle and then applied to one surface.

Silicones
In contrast to the adhesive systems described above, all of which are based on organic chemistries, silicone adhesives have an inorganic backbone. Unlike their organic counterparts, silicones remain highly elastic even at temperatures as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius. They are also able to withstand continuous service temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius and are exceptionally resistant to UV radiation. Applications where they can be employed as adhesives are in areas where there is a need for high flexibility and high-temperature performance capability. In addition, they show good resistance to aggressive chemical substances and excellent resistance to moisture and weathering.

Silicone adhesives are available as one-part or two-part systems. The range of applications served by one-part silicones stretches from assembly of clothes irons to vehicle manufacturing, and electrical engineering to special tasks in the aerospace industry. Two-part silicones are used in the electrical industry, household appliance manufacturing, and in the vehicle industry. They are particularly useful where atmospheric moisture levels are too low to permit completion of the curing process of one-part silicones or where an acceleration of the production process is desired.

Silane modified polymers
Silane modified polymer adhesives, often referred to as MS polymers, show very good adhesion to many different substrates. The bonds have a continuous thermal resistance of approximately 80 to 100 degrees Celsius, high elasticity (resulting in good resistance to deformation even at low temperatures), and are highly resistant to UV radiation and weathering. Adhesives based on MS polymers are used to bond parts in rail, car and container construction, in equipment and apparatus assembly, metal and sheet metal processing, solar engineering, façade and window installation, air conditioning and ventilation systems, cleanroom equipment, and in a series of building and construction applications. The advantage of this adhesive category is that it is free of silicone oils and therefore presents no incompatibilities during downstream painting of bonded parts.

For more information, visit: www.360bonding.com

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    Overview of structural adhesives to join a variety of similar and dissimilar materials effectively while achieving an optimal distribution of mechanical loads, stresses and vibrations.

Published in Henkel

Advanced Laser Materials Introduces New High Performance Black Nylon 11 Materials


PA 850 Black produces parts with a true black surface finish, offering excellent fine detail resolution for thin walled parts and text. The material is process friendly and fast, requiring only single scanning algorithms. It offers exceptional impact resistance and produces parts comparable to injection molded polypropylene and ABS.

Typical applications:

-Snap fit designs requiring living hinges.
-Electrical connectors and enclosures.
-Automotive parts, inlet manifolds and ducting.
-Aircraft forced air cooling ducts.


PA 840-GSL Black is a lightweight composite material with a density of 0.86 - the parts will literally float on water. This material has superior strength-to-weight properties that surpass any commercially available nylon 11 filled materials. PA 840-GSL is ideal for lightweight applications requiring a combination of strength and aesthetics.

Typical applications:

Prosthetic body parts.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Aircraft forced air cooling ducts.


PA 802/803-CF emulates the mechanical properties of carbon fiber. Benefits include good dimensional stability, high tensile modulus, and a high heat deflection temperature. The parts are jet black, very stiff and offer excellent strength-to-weight characteristics.

Typical applications:

Formula One, on car brake ducts and air inlet ducts.
Wind tunnel models.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


For more information, visit: www.alm-llc.com

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    Advanced Laser Materials (ALM) is a provider of high performance sintering materials for prototyping and manufacturing processes.

Dassault Systèmes and the CAD/CAM Lab of Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research will hold an informative, half day seminar featuring PLM for Composites for the Aerospace Industry at the National Center for Aviation Training on Wednesday, July 20.

The seminar will explore how organizations can benefit from a complete set of process-oriented solutions to design, simulate and manufacture composite structures on a single virtual platform.

The featured session will be presented by Rich Murrish, Associate Technical Fellow, the Boeing Company, and will review how the CATIA STEP process for composites provides a neutral format for FAA certification.

Space is limited, so reserve your seat for this event today!

Register now by contacting Glenda Campbell at (316) 978-3283

The event flyer is available on the NIAR website.

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    The seminar will explore how organizations can benefit from a complete set of process-oriented solutions to design, simulate and manufacture composite structures.

Published in Dassault Systèmes

From upgrading facilities to buying technology, industrial companies are confidently investing in their businesses to build upon a period of sustained growth, according to the results of ThomasNet's newest Industry Market Barometer™ (IMB).

Nearly half (45 percent) of the companies responding report growth over the last six months of 2010, and 88 percent of those are confident in their future expansion. The survey reveals a set of specific strategies that fueled this growth, from customer retention efforts to movement into new markets and product development. Bolstered by the results of these strategies, respondents are investing more in their companies and recruiting talent in anticipation of increased customer demand.

Nearly 3,400 professionals participated in the latest IMB, a survey of buyers and sellers of industrial products and services, most of whom represent small and midsize businesses. The research looks at their performance, outlook, and strategies for success. Respondents include business owners and managers, sales and marketing executives, engineers, and purchasing agents from manufacturers, distributors and service companies in North America.

"Industrial buyers and sellers are busy collaborating in a way that is feeding and sustaining the sector's growth, which bodes well for the overall economy," said Eileen Markowitz, President, Thomas Industrial Network. "Successful companies are executing strategies that cultivate existing customer relationships and develop new business opportunities. Our data also shows that they're relying heavily on the Internet to improve the effectiveness of these strategies."

Core Strategies Drive Growth and Confidence

Despite the healthy growth being reported, survey respondents acknowledge the hurdles ahead of them. Interestingly, their initiatives and investments speak directly to their obstacles.  Their top challenge (cited by 68 percent) is customers cutting back or going out of business, and they are addressing it by focusing on customer retention and service. Domestic competition is another challenge which respondents are tackling by competing more aggressively in core markets, and pursuing business in new industries and US geographies.

One example of a company that has used these strategies to succeed is Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp., a custom manufacturer of springs and wire forms, which recently received several project orders from the innovative automaker, Tesla. This win, in Perfection's core automotive marketplace, comes as the company works to rebuild after the recession, when it experienced many customer losses. Perfection Spring has placed increased emphasis on customer service and bringing in new clients, leading to steady month-on-month growth.  

Confidence Leads to Further Investment

Respondents' priority initiatives through June 2011 demonstrate an expectation of increased demand. Two subsets of respondents emerge in this fourth IMB. The first are "Outperformers," defined as those companies that not only grew in the last half of 2010 but also expect further growth by June 2011. A second group, "Optimists," also expect growth by June 2011, despite business staying the same or declining in the last half of 2010. Companies from both segments are setting priorities and making investments – positioning themselves for more growth ahead.

Their top priorities include increasing production capacity, adding new lines of products and services, upgrading facilities, and managing their costs. Their investments map to these strategies. For example, most are spending on technology, such as software, for areas such as cost management. To ratchet up production capacity or develop more products/services, they are investing in capital equipment.

The companies surveyed are also hiring in anticipation of growth; 37 percent of respondents plan to hire through the first half of 2011. The most common job openings align with their priorities and include skilled trade workers (43 percent), line workers (36 percent), and engineering professionals (35 percent), in addition to customer service and sales/marketing staff.

"With our company's double-digit growth continuing, we're investing in new capital equipment and facilities, and hiring for positions across the enterprise, from engineers to warehouse personnel. We're also adding 45,000 square feet to our facility, more than doubling the size of our 35,000-square-foot building," said Brandon Plock, Sourcing Team Leader, Field Fastener, a global distributor of fasteners.  

Internet Fuels the Fire

Industrial businesses are recognizing that investing in a more strategic use of the Internet, in particular, their websites, is enabling their strategies to succeed. This is especially evident among the "Outperformers." Nine out of 10 say their Web strategies have been important to their expansion, delivering increased revenue, new sources of business, an ability to compete more aggressively, and improved service.

"Our new Internet strategy has enabled us to better compete in our core markets while building a pipeline of new prospects," said Joshua Kahn, Executive Vice President, Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp. The custom manufacturer is bringing in the highest-quality leads it's ever had, even when the organization had 18 sales agencies around the country.

Looking Ahead

"We're excited to see continued growth and investments in the industrial sector," said Ms. Markowitz. "The information we've gathered from thousands of businesses demonstrates that their strategies are paying off. These companies provide affirmation of a winning formula for industry's future success."

To view and download the full results of the latest IMB, visit: www.thomasnet.com/pressroom/Industry_Market_Barometer0711.html

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    Nearly half (45 percent) of the companies responding report growth over the last six months of 2010, and 88 percent of those are confident in their future expansion.

Paperless Parts provider of the fastest, most affordable multicolor 3D printers and only handheld, self-positioning 3D scanners, announced three new promotions to make 3D printing and scanning more accessible to everyone:

“These promotions are a great way to show our past customers as well as prospective customers that we really appreciate their business” said James Jacobs, President of Paperless Parts. “Offering this sort of promotion gives people the ability to get involved in the 3D printing and 3D Scanning process and to see new benefits and applications of rapid prototyping.”


Summary of Promotions

• Save $10,000 with Trade-in - Why settle for outdated rapid prototyping technology when you can trade up to the fastest and most affordable color 3D printer available?
• Save $10,000 – ZPrinter 650
• Save $5,000 – ZPrinter 450
• Save 10% When You Purchase Two Products
• Purchase a ZPrinter together with a ZScanner and save 10 percent on both products


Paperless Parts is New England’s only authorized commercial Z-Corp reseller. A New England Z Corp reseller since 2001, Paperless Parts has printers and scanners installed at a variety of aerospace, consumer product, footwear and other manufacturers throughout the region.

Paperless Parts helps leverage 3D CAD data across the product development process. 3D CAD data is unambiguous and communicates not only dimensional requirements but also design intent. The unique tools and prototype services offered are selected to maximize the impact on the design process. They help design products faster, at a lesser cost with higher quality.

For more information, visit: www.paperlessparts.com

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    A New England Z Corp reseller since 2001, Paperless Parts is New England’s only authorized commercial Z-Corp reseller.

Published in Paperless Parts

MassDevelopment has provided a $1,445,000 loan from the Emerging Technology Fund to Burlington’s ConforMIS, Inc., a privately held medical device company that is pioneering new types of implants used in orthopedics. ConforMIS uses computed tomography scans and proprietary computer aided design technology to create customized knee implant solutions for each patient. This customized approach also allows for a highly efficient just-in-time delivery model that takes full advantage of manufacturing innovations such as 3D printing.

ConforMIS will use loan proceeds to purchase multiple pieces of fabrication equipment and instruments used in its Massachusetts-based manufacturing operations.

At the end of 2010, the company moved to a larger facility to accommodate its aggressive growth and manufacturing expansion. With the recent 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the iTotal® CR, the only patient-specific total knee implant cleared for sale in the US, the company expects to accelerate its rapid growth.

“With this new technology, ConforMIS will be able to provide knee replacements to those who are underserved by current designs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “The Emerging Technology Fund helps companies that are starting or expanding manufacturing in Massachusetts, and this project is a triple play: boosting production, creating jobs, and serving the health needs of the Commonwealth.”

“The loan from MassDevelopment will further support the expansion of our supply chain and manufacturing presence, which is critical to our competitiveness within the orthopedics industry,” said Dr. Philipp Lang, MD, CEO of ConforMIS. “Ultimately, the loan will help ConforMIS push the orthopedics industry toward a more efficient and more personalized approach to osteoarthritis treatment, and ultimately to enhance patients’ quality of life."

For more information, visit: www.conformis.com or www.massdevelopment.com

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    With the recent 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA for the iTotal® CR, the only patient-specific total knee implant cleared for sale in the US, the company expects to accelerate its rapid growth.

Published in MassDevelopment

Perceptron, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRCP), a global leader in non-contact measurement and inspection solutions, today announced that the Company’s Industrial Business Unit (IBU) has named nine additional value-added resellers in North America for its ScanWorks® xyz 3D laser scanning retrofit solution.

“ScanWorks® xyz presents a unique value-proposition to the market because it allows the end-user to expand their existing equipment capability at a fraction of the cost of a new system or alternative scanning solution,” commented Mark Hoefing, Perceptron Senior Vice President. “Leveraging our value-added resellers’ knowledge, experience, and existing customer relationships is the key to successful product deployments. All of the selected resellers have established customer bases in different geographical regions and industries and will allow Perceptron to gain a competitive advantage in the 3D laser scanning retrofit market.”

ScanWorks® xyz delivers all of the components required to add non-contact laser scanning capability to manual 1-, 2- or 3-axis coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), computer numerical controls machines (CNCs) and layout machines.  While an operator sweeps a non-contact laser sensor over the part and captures a precision digital representation at a rate of 23,000 points a second, ScanWorks® xyz software tightly synchronizes the position of the machine and sensor. The end result is a highly accurate cloud of points that can be used for reverse engineering, virtual assembly, engineering analysis, feature and surface inspection or rapid prototyping.

The following companies are new value-added resellers for Perceptron’s ScanWorks® xyz:

Bobier Metrology Solutions, Flint, MI - www.bobiermetrologysolutions.com
Canadian Measurement Metrology, Mississauga, Ont. - www.cmmxyz.com
CMM Specialty Services, Cleveland, OH - www.cmmspecialty.com
Exact Metrology, Cincinnati, OH - www.exactmetrology.com
HS&S Inc., Santa Clara, CA – www.hsands.com
John Blakely Company, Huntley, IL – www.cmmrepairme.com
Measurement Solutions Group, South Glastonbury, CT - www.MeasurementSolutionsGroup.com
MF Inspec, Greenville, SC – www.mfinspec.com
Rapid Scanning Solutions, Seal Beach, CA - www.rapidscanning.com


About Perceptron®
Perceptron develops, produces, and sells non-contact measurement and inspection solutions for industrial and commercial applications.  The products from the Company’s Industrial Business Unit (IBU) provide solutions for manufacturing process control as well as sensor and software technologies for non-contact measurement and inspection applications.  Automotive and manufacturing companies throughout the world rely on Perceptron’s metrology solutions to help them manage their complex manufacturing processes to improve quality, shorten product launch times and reduce overall manufacturing costs. IBU also offers Value Added Services such as training and customer support services. Perceptron’s Commercial Products Business Unit (CBU) develops and manufactures a variety of handheld visual inspection devices and add-on accessories for professional tradesmen that are sold to and marketed through strategic partners.  Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, Perceptron has approximately 230 employees worldwide, with operations in the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, China and India.

For more information, visit: www.perceptron.com

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    ScanWorks® xyz delivers all of the components required to add non-contact laser scanning capability to manual  (CMMs), computer numerical controls machines (CNCs) and layout machines.

Published in Perceptron

ZWSOFT, a leading supplier of 2D and 3D CAD/CAM solutions to the AEC and MCAD industries, today announced the release of ZWCAD 2011.6.30. This update provides engineers with a cost-effective CAD solution for the entire workflow, enhances stability, provides new functions, and adds to the API (application programming interface).

“ZWSOFT is aware that the needs of our customers go far beyond the software package,” said Joh Li, CTO of ZWSOFT. “In this release, we concentrated on enhancing the performance of the software, based on the feedback we received from users on their requirements.”

New in ZWCAD 2011.6.30

ZWCAD 2011.6.30 is an update for ZWCAD 2011 that offers the following enhancements:

* Improved file compare -- now compares changes to block entities, block attributes, font styles, and dimension attributes.
* New SelectionPreview system variable – controls the preview display when selecting entities.
* Improved snap -- significantly improves the accuracy and efficiency of snap operations, especially when working with large drawings.
* Greater stability – provides editing and viewing operations that now work more smoothly.
* Optimized APIs – makes it easier for users to write more powerful applications with LISP, VBA, and ZRX, and to migrate their old ARX applications to ZWCAD in less time.

Interested users are invited to download the latest release of ZWCAD 2011.6.30 from www.zwsoft.com

All who use ZWCAD are encouraged to submit their designs before September 15 to be eligible for a chance to win a US$500 gift card. Learn more about the drawing contest and the entry rules at: www.zwsoft.com/en/designcontest2011

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    The ZWCAD 2011.6.30 update enhances stability, provides new functions, and adds to the API (application programming interface).

Published in ZWCAD

Tork Trux (Tork), a skateboard component company, is using Autodesk Product Design Suite from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), to successfully advance its mission of “revolution through skateboard evolution.”

Based in Charlotte, N.C., Tork used Autodesk Product Design Suite virtual design software to realize the company’s vision of a super-light skateboard truck that is easy to securely fasten to the board, without the need for multiple tools.

Tork has developed ACT (Advanced Capturing Technology), a superior type of skateboard “truck” — the metal axle component that attaches the wheels to the board — that integrates a built-in wrench shape into the baseplate portion of the truck design. Equally as important is the use of a flange nut that keeps the nut in the wrench-shaped area, allowing skateboarders to attach the trucks to the board without having to use their fingers at all.

“Skateboarders used to have to juggle a skateboard, a truck, a screw and a nut while using two separate tools to attach the trucks,” said Dustin Clark, president of Tork. “Our built-in wrench shape greatly simplifies skateboard assembly, ensuring that the nuts stay in place and don’t come loose while skating.”


Design Suite Brings Product from Concept to Market

The name Tork Trux is a play on the concept of torque, the turning force provided by a wrench. Tork Trux was entirely designed using Autodesk Inventor software. Using the built-in finite element analysis (FEA) tools within Inventor helped Tork develop the truck to be sufficiently strong enough to withstand the stresses of riding, while eliminating unnecessary material and making the truck as lightweight as possible. The company also used Inventor software to create a short animation video of assembly instructions.

Autodesk Alias software enabled Tork to make design variations to the truck, such as varying truck widths for different sizes of skateboards. The company was also able to explore and visualize different color combinations using Autodesk Showcase software to create vivid and realistic 3D renderings of its skateboards. Tork Trux even used Autodesk SketchBook Designer to design the company logo.

“Digital Prototyping helps transform a great idea into a great product, in less time and with less cost. That’s what Tork has done,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “With the Autodesk Product Design Suite, any manufacturer can innovate smarter and faster.”

For additional information, visit www.torktrux.com or www.autodesk.com

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    FEA tools within Inventor helped Tork develop the truck to be strong enough to withstand the stresses of riding, while eliminating unnecessary material and making the truck as lightweight as possible.

Published in Autodesk

The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) has scheduled its second annual Marketing and Sales Conference, August 24-25, 2011, in Chicago, IL.  The event features educational sessions delivered by top-notch speakers, offering tried and true examples for reaching new customers, maintaining current customers and establishing strong company brands.

Keynote speaker Tom Snyder, Business Performance Partners, will give a presentation titled, “The Promised Land or The Donner Pass: The Customer Needs You to Lead.”  Research has shown that it is a superb time for the salesperson willing to lead by providing insight to his/her customers.  Snyder will discuss the tactics, techniques and excitement that this research reveals.

The program also features two concurrent educational tracks for management and sales-level executives.  Topics include creating loyal customer relationships, innovative marketing techniques and mechanisms, marketing and social media, supercharging a business for growth, high-performance selling, recalibrating the revenue engine and sales management.

Registration fees are $425 for PMA members and $525 for nonmembers.  Visit www.pma.org/marketingandsales for complete conference details and to register online.  Contact Allison Grealis at 216-901-8800 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes.  Its nearly 1,000 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.  PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM tradeshows, and MetalForming magazine.

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    The second annual Marketing and Sales Conference will be held on August 24-25, 2011, in Chicago, IL.

The Beck Group, one of the top-rated design-build firms in the United States, has begun using Z Corporation technology to create physical architectural models that captivate viewers, promote projects, and dramatically communicate details of a design.

Beck is a national firm headquartered in Dallas. Its ZPrinted building models compound the value of the virtual building models that Beck architects create on a daily basis, usually in Autodesk Revit software. “When we’re modeling in virtual space we can simply hit print at any time and create precise 3D physical models for pursuing new projects, explaining designs to clients, or helping clients sell their projects to tenants,” said Rob Meyers, director of media services.

Beck’s ZPrinter® 350 3D printer produces physical models from computer-aided architectural designs much as document printers print business letters from word-processing files. Z Corporation’s 3D printers are the industry’s fastest and most affordable. Its 3D color printers are the only ones with multicolor printing capability.

Beck’s visualization group, Beck Blue Media, uses ZPrinting in a wide range of client projects, for example:

* Detailing construction site challenges for Duke University, which helped Beck win the job to design and build Duke's new Multipurpose Field House.  Besides using physical 3D models for design, Beck also used a model as part of the field mockup to describe the shape and color of the custom roof fin.

* Helping pastors of religious groups compare and contrast worship center designs.  Church leaders compare ZPrinted models of similar scale and explore the relationship between newly proposed designs and churches Beck has already designed and built.

* Creating detailed 3D models (maquettes) to support the "Lily of Hope" Easter Seals program benefiting individuals and families living with disabilities. The process involved adapting the Easter Seals’ 2D lily logo into a 3D sculpture exhibit that will be on display throughout the Dallas - Fort Worth metro area. The program calls for having community members decorate the 4¼- by 6-foot fiberglass sculptures of Easter Seal's trademark lily.

* Helping numerous stakeholders grasp the details of an exciting, soon-to-be-unveiled 100-acre multifamily retail and commercial development. A 30-square-foot ZPrint will be the centerpiece of a multimedia showroom for the project. As the design is refined and as participating merchants sign contracts, the modular model will be updated accordingly.

ZPrinted models often supplement the dazzling animations Beck Blue Media creates. “As beautiful and detailed as our animations are, there’s something about the sensory experience of touching and holding a model that captivates a client, engages them, and drives a deeper understanding,” Meyers explained.

“A physical model really opens communication channels with clients. They go on to make more relevant comments about things they comprehend more fully. Although it sounds abstract, the difference between something tangible and intangible is very concrete.”

For more information: www.beckgroup.com or www.zcorp.com

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    “In virtual space we can simply hit print at any time and create precise 3D physical models for pursuing new projects, explaining designs to clients, or helping clients sell their projects to tenants”

Published in Z Corporation
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