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A record amount of plastic injection molding and extrusion equipment will be available on the market over the next three weeks during live webcast auctions conducted by Great American Group, LLC (OTCBB: GAMR), a leading provider of asset disposition, valuation and appraisal services, involving four plants formerly operated by Fortis Plastics, LLC.

Great American Group, working in conjunction with The Branford Group, has scheduled the first auction to begin at 9 a.m. (CST) Tuesday, Jan. 17 for the Fortis plant in Jackson, Tenn. Some of the items initially up for auction include 38 molders and plastic support equipment.

“There will be more than 600 lots offered up during our first auction,” said Roy Gamityan, a senior vice president and auctioneer with Great American Group. “In all, we’ll be selling assets from four separate plastic plants that will involve more than 130 injection-molding machines, 20 extrusion lines, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools, and several forklifts. It’s a large auction sale for this type of equipment and should be a good test to see how strong the market is within this industry sector.”

Subsequent live webcast auctions are planned for Fortis’ other plants located in Fort Smith, Ark. (9 a.m. CST Jan. 19), South Bend, Ind. (9 a.m. EST Jan. 31) and Poplar Bluff, Mo. (9 a.m. CST Feb. 2). Interested parties can inspect the items at each plant location the day prior to each auction.

The clamping force of the injection presses available range from 50 to 1,000 tons. Gamityan says the larger-tonnage machines are expected to attract special attention from buyers, since a recovery in the automotive sector has reduced the number of the larger, used injection molding equipment available on the market.

Equipment manufacturers include Cincinnati Milacron, Van Dorn Demag, Negri Bossi, Toshiba, Toyo, Battenfeld, JSW, and Sumitomo. Some of the newer injection presses include a 1,000-ton Cincinnati Milacron press from 2000, a 2006 Negri Bossi 700-ton press and a 2004 Milacron Maxima 725-ton press – along with several mid- to late-1990s Van Dorn and Cincinnati Milacron injection molding presses.

Available extruders include Cincinnati and Davis-Standard, and the auctions also include robots, auxiliary equipment and tool room equipment.

In consolidating its operations, Fortis Plastics has closed a total of nine plants since Monomoy Capital put the business together in 2008. In 2011, the company announced plans to close four plants along with its corporate headquarters in South Bend by the end of the year.

For more information, visit: www.greatamerican.com

Manufacturing Executive, the global community for manufacturing leadership, today announced that Dr. Ronald A. Heifetz, co-developer of the Adaptive Leadership concept, will provide a special keynote at the eighth annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit, taking place April 29-May 2, 2012, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL.

Dr. Heifetz, co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, developed the Adaptive Leadership idea with Marty Linsksy, a Harvard colleague. In his keynote on April 30, entitled "The Future of Leadership", Dr. Heifetz will discuss the concept of Adaptive Leadership, which provides critical skills and tools to enable leaders not only to respond but thrive in the face of changing global forces.

Earlier this month, the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a part of Manufacturing Executive, and Cambridge Leadership Associates announced a partnership to deliver a new leadership development program to Council Members. Called Leading Adaptive Change in Manufacturing, the program is the subject of an explanatory Webcast to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 11 am EST. Interested manufacturers can register for the Webcast by going to www.mlcouncil.com/adaptiveleadership.

Other keynote session topics and speakers confirmed for the 2012 Summit are:

* Ford's Global Manufacturing Transformation
John Fleming, Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Co.

* Smart Partnerships for Greater Competitiveness
Carlos Cardoso, CEO, Kennametal

* Ruling the Future by Learning From the Past
Steve St. Angelo, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing N.A. and Chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and Mississippi

* Ten Technology Trends That Will Change the World in 10 Years
Dave Evans, Chief Futurist, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group

* Back to Nature: The Next Step in Sustainable Manufacturing
Carol Williams, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing & Engineering Division, Dow Chemical

* Sparking a U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance (tentative title)
Mike Molnar, Chief Manufacturing Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Manufacturing Leadership Summit is an invitation-only event that enables senior manufacturing executives to network and share lessons learned. Through the event's 2012 theme, "The Future Manufacturer: Change the Rules, Rule the Future," the Summit will explore the ways manufacturing organizations must change to meet the demands of the future. These include leadership mandates for managing in an increasingly dynamic global market; the impact of greater collaboration on decision-making processes; new business models centered on work and production; build-to-demand supply chains; advanced workforce skills; and the megatrends of social media, mobility, and cloud computing.

One-on-one networking meetings, group discussions, and social activities such as the VIP Golf Tournament will provide ample opportunities for attendees to interact, all set against the backdrop of The Breakers' spectacular 140-acre beachfront property.

The Summit will culminate with the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership 100 Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, at which Manufacturing Enterprise Communications honors the top 100 groundbreaking companies in the industry. This year also marks the expansion of the ML100 program to include four new individual leadership achievement awards spanning entrepreneurship, next-generation leadership and culture, turnaround success, and industry advocacy.

Among the sponsors of the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership Summit are Apriso, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Intermec, IQMS, Kepware Technologies, Microsoft Dynamics, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Oracle, Plex Systems, Polycom, TBM Consulting Group, and Vistaar Technologies.

For more information, visit: www.mlsummit.com

Intergraph® has released its newest product, Intergraph CADWorx® DraftPro™, an intelligent AutoCAD®-based plant design package, and is offering it free to the plant design and engineering community. Built on the company’s CADWorx Plant Professional package, which offers full 3D intelligent plant design, live collaborative database links, automatic isometrics and on-the-fly collision checking, CADWorx DraftPro enables designers to quickly and efficiently create intelligent, specification-driven 2D plant and piping plans, sections and elevations, with full bill of materials capabilities.

CADWorx DraftPro shares the same piping specifications as CADWorx Plant Professional, providing access to more than 60,000 parametrically driven components delivered via hundreds of piping specifications, which are easily modifiable via an intuitive specification editor. Users of CADWorx DraftPro can easily upgrade to CADWorx Plant Professional by migrating or carrying over their existing piping specifications.

Figures shared by Autodesk®, the developers of AutoCAD, state that between 500,000 and 1 million seats of AutoCAD are currently used in the plant creation space. A recent Intergraph survey of plant design users indicated that, apart from P&IDs, 91 percent of them use AutoCAD as their main 2D plant design platform. Also, only 27 percent of respondents used any intelligent tools to deliver their 2D deliverables.

“For 2D plant users the choice has typically been between unintelligent 2D design and intelligent 3D modeling,” said Rick Allen, senior vice president, Intergraph CADWorx & Analysis Solutions. “The release of CADWorx DraftPro lets us empower 2D AutoCAD users, projects and work groups, with technology that we have had for a while, but was always tied to our 3D offering. By releasing this capability, at no charge, we introduce users to the power of intelligent plant design and provide them with a natural upgrade path to 3D when they are ready.”

Gerhard Sallinger, Intergraph Process Power & Marine president, said, “Since the acquisition of the CADWorx product line by Intergraph in 2010, sales of CADWorx have risen to record numbers, proving its value in the market place. CADWorx is an effective AutoCAD-based plant design solution completing billions of dollars of successful projects. The release of CADWorx DraftPro reinforces our commitment to all levels of the plant creation, operations and maintenance sectors of the industries that Intergraph serves.”

The Intergraph CADWorx Plant Design Suite for process plant design offers intelligent drawing-to-database connectivity, advanced levels of design automation and easy-to-use design tools. Because of these distinct advantages, EPC firms and owner operators in the process, power, water treatment, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and semiconductor industries have rapidly adopted the plant design solution.

For more information, visit: www.cadworxdraftpro.com

Bodymetrics, a pioneer in 3D body-mapping, announces a new era of personalized retail and in-home commerce experiences.  In retail Bodymetrics technology digitally maps a person's body allowing them to find perfect fitting clothes before they try them on.  In the near future Smart TVs will have the capability to body-map customers and order perfect-fitting clothing in their own homes, thereby reducing returns and beginning the end of the era of the online sizing chart.

Utilizing PrimeSense 3D sensor solutions, Bodymetrics carefully calculates and maps every contour and curve of the body. Once a Bodymetrics account is created, users can virtually try on garments from partner retailers to determine whether a garment fits and flatters their body.

Until very recently, body-mapping required expensive body-scanners. With the advent of the 3D sensors by PrimeSense, this technology can be installed at any clothing store, big or small, and is also inexpensive enough to be integrated into future Smart TVs.

Jonathan Hull, Vice President Emerging Experiences at Razorfish, says, "What consumers want are incredible digital experiences that are connected across channels. We are very excited to work with Bodymetrics  to help pioneer this new era of retail and personalized TV commerce. It doesn't get more personal than having your body scanned in-store or ordering clothing from your TV, knowing that it will fit perfectly."

Hull adds, "More than 90 percent of customers still shop at stores for clothing. Now they can get scanned in-store, share their looks with friends on Facebook, and continue to shop at home through their TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile devices."

Bodymetrics' pioneering solution, designed to body-map a customer's exact body-size and shape to the exact dimensions of a garment, has a successful seven-year track record in retail at Selfridges in London, voted as the world's best department store.

Bodymetrics makes buying clothes quicker, easier and more fun, both in-store and online. For most people, buying good fitting clothing is a trial-and-error, time-consuming process. Human bodies are different in a million ways, but when clothing companies produce garments they make them to fit an average person. In the real world, however, there is no such thing as an average body.

"When you walk into a clothing retailer or browse an online fashion site, they have no idea of your body size, shape or style," says Suran Goonatilake, CEO of Bodymetrics. "Bodymetrics body-maps you within a few seconds and gets hundreds of accurate measurements and analytics of your shape. Then, we match this data to the exact dimensions of a garment and allow you to  virtually try it on your own body to see whether it is too tight, too loose or just perfect."

Although the online clothing market is the largest e-commerce category, worth $30B in the US, it is still a small part of the total US clothing market of $370B. This contrasts with nearly half of computers  sold online and the virtual disappearance of physical travel agents that sell airline tickets. The key reasons are that customers lack confidence in buying clothes online, and there is too much hassle associated with returning garments back to the retailer if they do not fit. Depending on the type of garment, up to 50 percent of garments sold online are returned -- an enormous financial cost to the  retailer and a process that takes a huge environmental toll due to shuffling of garments back and forth to warehouses.

"With body-mapping, sizing charts and hand-measuring yourself will also become history," says Lainey Sheridan-Young, head of fashion at Bodymetrics. "Because there are no standards in fashion sizing, your size can vary dramatically from brand-to-brand and from country-to-country. Add vanity sizing, where brands give smaller size numbers to garments to boost customer self-esteem, and you have complete confusion. What we need is a simple way to map clothing sizes from one brand to another, from one country to another, based on your body. Bodymetrics will do this," adds Sheridan-Young.

Bodymetrics will preview its 3D body-mapping technology at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, January 10 – 13. Visit Bodymetrics at PrimeSense's New Living Room  Experience at Booth #30242, South Hall 3, Upper Level.

Bodymetrics makes buying clothes in-store or online quicker and more fun. The company develops 3D scanners that carefully calculate your size and shape, and allow you to virtually try-on garments on your body to determine whether they fit and flatter you. Once you have created your Bodymetrics account, you can then shop at partner retailers with the confidence that garments you choose will fit and suit your body-shape. The company's 3D-mapping technology builds upon technology developed by PrimeSense, a leader in 3D sensing. Bodymetrics is a London-based, privately-held company that has raised $7m in funding, primarily from its strategic partner, TAL Group (www.talgroup.com), one of the world's largest and most advanced clothing manufacturing groups. Bodymetrics' partner retailers include the London based  department store Selfridges, voted as the 'world's best department store', and New Look, a global clothing retailer. For more information, please visit www.bodymetrics.com.  

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 10:17

CCE Rings in the New Year with EnSuite 2012

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CCE, a leading engineering software and services provider announces the release of EnSuite 2012 with support for latest versions of NX, SolidWorks and Parasolid files.

The new release enhances the Viewers and Translators in EnSuite to support NX8, SolidWorks 2012 and Parasolid 24 version files without requiring a license of the respective CAD systems. With CATIA V5 R21 support added in the previous release, EnSuite meets all major translation requirements of the industry.

The viewers have also been enhanced to Show/Hide components in assembly files, an option has been added to select or define a default standard view orientation that is more suitable for the user & the usability of Draft and Undercut analysis features has been simplified.

EnSuite provides quick access to critical engineering information residing in CAD data, no matter which CAD system was used to author it. It’s extremely user-friendly interface is designed for users who may not be trained in using CAD systems, but need to access CAD data for their day-to-day work. EnSuite supports all major 3D CAD formats including CATIA V4, CATIA V5, NX, Creo, SolidWorks, Parasolid, JT, CGR, STL, Solid Edge, 3D PDF, IGES and STEP.

For more information, visit: www.cadcam-e.com/products/ensuite2

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has purchased an Arcam A2 electron beam melting (EBM) machine. MTI is the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing, and this acquisition enhances their arsenal of product offerings by making the EBM technology available to their customers in aerospace, medical, and other industries.

The Arcam A2 builds functional metal parts layer by layer using metal powder.  The powder is melted by a powerful electron beam to the exact geometry dictated by a 3D CAD model. Parts are built in vacuum at elevated temperatures resulting in stress-relieved parts with material properties better than cast and comparable to wrought material.

The acquisition of the EBM additive manufacturing machine will offer advantages to MTI's customers. "The Arcam A2 is a complementary technology to our existing DMLS additive manufacturing machines and will allow us to offer additional capabilities and solutions for our customers," says Greg Morris, CEO of Morris Technologies.  "Coupled with our extensive, world-class machining and finishing technologies, we believe that we can offer cost and time savings for a number of customer geometries and projects."

The Arcam machine will be installed at MTI's facility and ready for manufacturing in January 2012.  Initially, Morris Technologies will be focusing on building geometries from titanium (Ti 64). They plan ongoing testing of other alloy powders and will introduce other options as appropriate.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies since 1994.   MTI's heavy investment in research and development has enabled them to evolve into the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing processes and advance technologies by offering new materials and developing new hardware.  MTI also specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.morristech.com

Advantage Business Media has acquired Vicon Publishing, Inc. of Amherst, New Hampshire effective January 1, 2012. Going forward Vicon Publishing will be renamed Vicon Business Media, Inc. and operate as a subsidiary of Advantage Business Media, LLC.

“This acquisition expands Advantage Business Media’s reach in Laboratory and Forensics Sciences where our current portfolio includes R&D Magazine, Laboratory Equipment, Laboratory Design, Bioscience Technology, Chromatography Techniques, and Scientific Computing,” said Richard Reiff, CEO of Advantage Business Media.

The new subsidiary, Vicon Business Media, consists of six brands in three distinct niche markets: Controlled Environments Magazine®, covering all aspects of cleanroom manufacturing, ALN® Magazine and ALN World™, known worldwide as the authoritative voice in laboratory animal facility magazines, and Forensic Magazine®, covering a wide spectrum of forensic disciplines including related technologies, industry trends, and solutions. Rounding out the Vicon offerings is the weekly publication, DFI News Digital Forensic Investigator®, which covers incident response and analysis; digital evidence and the law; forensic analysis for mobile devices; and event reconstruction and case studies. In addition, Vicon hosts the annual TurnKey Conference, which focuses on Laboratory Animal Facility sectors and Laboratory Animal Medicine.

“We are excited to bring the history and strength of Vicon’s brands into our portfolio,” Reiff said. “Their knowledge and experience will enhance our expertise in the Science arena.”

Reiff also noted that the Vicon business will continue to operate in New Hampshire.

Vicon is the second acquisition Advantage Business Media has completed in the past few months. In May, the company acquired Continuity Insights, a magazine and trade show business focusing on continuity risk management planning.

Advantage Business Media is an integrated business media company with a diversified portfolio of highly focused print publications, e-newsletters, specialized directories, vertical search databases, conferences, ancillary media vehicles, and associated web-based services. Founded in 2006 with the acquisition of Reed New Business Publications and building upon a 45-year combined legacy of influential Cahners, Chilton, and Gordon Publishing titles, today Advantage Business Media serves more than 1.3 million industry professionals in the science, engineering/design, electronics, and communications markets.

Advantage Business Media properties include Bioscience Technology, CED, Chem.Info, Chromatography Techniques, Continuity Insights, Drug Discovery & Development, ECN, Food Manufacturing, Industrial Distribution, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations, Laboratory Design, Laboratory Equipment, Manufacturing Business Technology, Manufacturing.net, Medical Design Technology, Pharmaceutical Processing, Product Design & Development, R&D Magazine, Scientific Computing, Surgical Products, Wireless Design & Development, and Wireless Week. Advantage Business Media is headquartered in Rockaway, NJ.

For more information, visit: www.advantagebusinessmedia.com

The University of Dayton will be part of a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop ways to educate engineers to contribute to the entrepreneurial cultures of their companies.

"We all know the term 'entrepreneur,' but we want to develop 'intra-preneurs' as well," University of Dayton Innovation Center Director Ken Bloemer said. "While entrepreneurs create their own companies, an intra-preneur works within the framework of an existing company as a change agent driving business growth."

Dayton will team with lead-partner Baylor University, University of Detroit Mercy and Villanova University, and their industry partners, to build a curriculum that will help students better understand intrapreneurship and provide hands-on opportunities to put the practice in place. Possible courses include an in-depth study of intra-preneurship, innovation in a corporate context, a seminar series, an intra-preneurship-focused opportunity evaluation and a venture-planning course and workshop.

The end goal is to form a Helping Hands Dense Network, which will change the culture in the way engineers are educated and create practicing engineering graduates who are technically competent, and innovative and business savvy.

"The Kern Family Foundation is eager to support this joint initiative of four prestigious universities that desire to work together to change engineering education for the benefit of their engineering students," said Dr. Timothy J. Kriewall, program director for the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) "Their graduates will be effective team players who will be entrepreneurially minded and who will be able to deploy technology to benefit people around the world."

This is the second boost for entrepreneurial education and engineering for the School of Engineering in the last year. Almost exactly a year ago, University of Dayton graduates O. Jack Anderson and his wife, Opal, gave more than $600,000 to create a new faculty position to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit among engineering students and faculty. The new fellow will lead the growing partnership between the School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration to prepare students to better design products for society. The position also will work to provide additional entrepreneurial and product design learning experiences university-wide.

University of Dayton School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said it's important for the University to produce engineers who embrace entrepreneurship and interact effectively with business professionals in order to develop innovations that can succeed in the marketplace.

"It's important we produce job creators rather than job seekers," Saliba said.

The Kern Family Foundation has said the University of Dayton is "best-in-class in project-based learning in engineering innovation education."

Since 1996, University of Dayton engineering students have worked on more than 600 projects for 120 clients. Seven teams of engineering students have finished in the top five of the School of Business Administration's Business Plan Competition in the four-year history of the competition. One team has taken home the top prize.

For more information, visit: www.udayton.edu

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 08:50

3Shape Releases CAMbridge™ 2011

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3Shape A/S, a user-acclaimed worldwide leader in 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software solutions, announces the launch of CAMbridge™ 2011, an innovative solution that automates the manufacturing of CAD designs. With this latest CAMbridge™ 2011 release, 3Shape is providing dental labs and manufacturing services with new levels of productivity through innovative features for efficient milling and 3D printing of even complex dental restorations. 3Shape CAMbridge™ is also being successfully applied in an important variety of other industries, including Orthodontics, Hearing Instruments, and the production of industrial parts.

New and improved milling path engine
CAMbridge™ has been updated in its automatic generation of sprues (connector pins) to support production of 3Shape's latest dental design indications such as Removable Partials and Lab Models. Additionally, new milling features include support for multiple milling directions with both adding and editing of milling directions. 3Shape has improved the milling path for finishing surfaces and added a dedicated hole-making milling path based on spirals.

Objet Geometries Ltd, a leading provider of manufacturing solutions for the Dental industry, integrates 3Shape's CAMbridge™ in their systems.

"We have found the new CAMbridge™ software to be a perfect integration for both DentalSystem™ software, and our 3D printing systems," Says Avi Cohen, Head of Medical Solutions at Objet. "The new CAMbridge™ delivers unique capabilities, such as built-in support for handling Quality Control in dental lab production environments, a range of options for creating ID-tags, and grouping of items and advanced placement with a unique setting for Objet dental users. It is for this reason that we highly recommend CAMbridge™ to our large dental users' install base."
"The new CAMbridge™ is not only a powerful and efficient tool - but in our vision it is a must for all advanced dental lab owners," concluded Avi Cohen.

Extensive Tool Manager
3Shape has introduced a new tool manager that allows users to maintain total control over tools and tool siblings during milling. The system alerts users regarding tool-usage, the need for tool replacement, and where tools should be inserted.

Enhanced functionality for supports
CAMbridge™ 2011 contains an impressive range of new Supports options and improvements. Not only has the system's Supports generator been enriched with more speed, but users will benefit from many user-friendly options, such as Supports along ridges and minimum extent of foundations (Braces).

Built for efficient processing
Besides the wide array of new features, the CAMbridge™ 2011 release provides a boosted platform  for more efficient processing and added power for handling the large amount of data involved in CAD/CAM manufacturing processes. CAMbridge™ supports multiple large files and parallel processing of up to 10 items using the CAMbridge Assistant™.

"Our new CAMbridge™ 2011 CAM software solution integrates smoothly with DentalSystem™ 2012," explains David Fischer, CAMbridge Group Manager. "CAMbridge 2011 has been enhanced with many special features for Dental manufacturing, such as flexible methods for hollowing and creating wall thickness for dental and orthodontic models."

The new CAMbridge™ 2011 release is now available today. Users who wish to benefit from this opportunity should contact their local 3Shape CAMbridge distributor.

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

The inaugural Manufacturing EXPO, Putting a Face on Manufacturing, is prepared to change the way manufacturers, design engineers and purchasing agents view production and product selection. On February 14-15, 2012, more than 3,000 industry-related professionals from Canada and the United States are expected to gather at The Galleria in Downtown Cleveland to gain insights and build important relationships the old-fashioned way: through in-person contact.

More than 175 exhibitors will be showing off their know-how at The Manufacturing EXPO, and some of the most established names in manufacturing will be sharing valuable information with attendees. At the same time, this is designed to be an intimate, easily accessible event, one in which manufacturers, design engineers and others experts in the industry can realize first-hand how impressive and vital manufacturing continues to be in North America.

"The Manufacturing EXPO will harken back to the days of the International Expositions," says Mary Kaye Denning, president and founder of The Manufacturing Mart. "Attendees will be able to stroll the aisles and meet with the faces behind some of the world's most impressive products. Likewise, exhibitors will have the opportunity to see up-close what others in the industry are doing. This is a chance for everyone in the manufacturing arena to realize how proud they should be of what they are producing for North America and the world."

Among the exhibitors already signed on for The Manufacturing EXPO is Beverage Machine & Fabricators, a provider of custom metal-working services for the medical, food processing, construction, heavy machinery, steel, energy, military defense and waste disposal industries. Beverage Machine & Fabricators has a 100-year history and is a fourth-generation family business in Cleveland. The company boasts a 35,000-square-foot workshop, a 25-ton lifting capacity and highly skilled craftsmen.

Another exhibitor at The Manufacturing EXPO is Atlantic Tool & Die. This global manufacturer of precision metal stampings, welding and value-added assemblies has facilities in Alabama, Ohio and Texas, as well as in China, Costa Rica and Mexico. Atlantic Tool & Die's international presence illustrates the breadth of manufacturing opportunities available to manufacturers with the know-how to exceed expectations.

In addition to a growing list of exhibitors, The Manufacturing EXPO will lend a voice to industry experts who understand current trends and ongoing challenges in the marketplace:

Mr. Roger Kilmer, Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the National Institute of Standards & Technology

Ms. Birgit Matthiesen, Special Advisor to the President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Mr. Grady Cope, Chairman, National Tooling and Machining Association

Mr. John Kastelic, President, Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association; VP/Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Eaton Corp.

The Manufacturing EXPO is being sponsored by Penton Media, along with the City of Cleveland, StudioTh!nk and The Galleria at Erieview.

For more information, visit: www.mfgtradeshow.com

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA) invites manufacturing executives to join its new Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members working together to drive the transition toward environmentally friendly manufacturing.

“The mission of the Green Manufacturer Network is to be the principal resource to advance sustainable manufacturing,” said Edward Youdell, president and CEO of the FMA. “By joining this network, executives throughout the entire supply chain can learn practical strategies and affordable measures to run sustainable operations, as well as discover new business opportunities in the green marketplace.”

Members of the group receive discounts on conferences, workshops, and webinars; helpful event announcements and topical discussions; as well as access to sustainability resources.

“In a recent FMA member survey, 51% of respondents indicated their company has a committed sustainability program with dedicated staff and performance metrics,” said Jim Warren, FMA membership and education director. “An additional 38% of respondents indicated their company was moving toward full commitment to sustainable practices. They’ve recognized that being green directly impacts the bottom line in a positive way. Further, good environmental stewardship sends a powerful message to current and potential customers of one’s dedication to sustainability in their communities.”

Members will be able to share knowledge on sustainable manufacturing and promote awareness that going green can increase profitability while forming valuable contacts with other green leaders through volunteer and educational opportunities.

Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with nearly 2,300 members working together to improve the metal fabricating and forming industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has two technology affiliates, the Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating; and Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members dedicated to working toward environmentally-friendly manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.greenmanufacturer.net

The editors of IndustryWeek have selected 10 honorees for the 2011 class of the IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame. IndustryWeek is the premiere publication serving executive and operations leaders in the manufacturing industry. IndustryWeek has a long history of acknowledging the leaders of manufacturing operations through distinguishing programs such as the IW 50, IW 500 and IW Best Plants.

Through the IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IndustryWeek now is extending recognition to individual leaders in the manufacturing community whose vision, leadership, and legacy not only provided value to their individual organizations but also beneficially impacted the larger business community and our society. IndustryWeek is pleased to highlight their accomplishments to our audience of manufacturing leaders.


The IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame is presented by Swagelok.

John Brown – As president and CEO of Stryker Corp. from 1977 to 2003 and as CEO from 2003 to 2004, Brown transformed a small Kalamazoo, Mich.-based manufacturer of hospital beds and cast cutters into one of the world's largest medical-device makers, with a portfolio of more than 55,000 products. During Brown's 27 years at the helm, Stryker achieved average annual earnings growth of 22%. Since January 2010, Brown has served as chairman emeritus of Stryker, which reported revenue of $7.3 billion for 2010—its 31st consecutive year of revenue growth.

Daniel DiMicco – As chairman and CEO of Nucor Corp., DiMicco not only is the leader of the nation's largest steelmaker but also has become a leading voice of the American steel industry and American manufacturing. DiMicco was named president and CEO of Charlotte-based Nucor in 2000, shepherding the company through a period of unprecedented growth as well as the harrowing recession of the late 2000s (during which Nucor hewed to its no-layoff philosophy). An outspoken critic of China's alleged steel dumping and currency manipulation, DiMicco has helped keep fair trade on the forefront of the public-policy agenda.

Armand Feigenbaum – Feigenbaum's work and ideas helped lay the foundation for the concept of total quality control. When the American Society for Quality (ASQ) named Feigenbaum an honorary board member in 1986, the society acknowledged him for a career in which "the precepts of total quality control were carefully laid out and tirelessly promulgated in the United States and around the world." The author of "Total Quality Control," Feigenbaum also is a pioneer in quality cost management, and the ASQ notes that his book "was the first text to characterize quality costs as the costs of prevention, appraisal, and internal and external failure."

Raymond Floyd – During his 42-year career as an executive and operations manager at ExxonMobil, General Motors and Suncor Energy, Floyd has helped some of the world's largest industrial sites and global multi-plant operations achieve best-in-class performance. His impressive resume includes two IndustryWeek Best Plants awards; a Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing; and a Shingo Research and Professional Publications Award for his book "Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries."

Jay Forrester – Forrester is an award-winning inventor, author and professor whose research at MIT in the late 1950s led to the modern notion of supply chain management. He is one of the inventors of the digital control of machine tools, receiving a patent for the numerical-control servo-system in 1962. A pioneer in early digital-computer development, Forrester, 93, is a professor emeritus of management at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Alan (A.G.) Lafley – Lafley served as president and CEO of Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2009, capping a three-decade career with the company. At a time when P&G's results had been slipping, Lafley in the 2000s focused the company on core businesses and brands; faster-growing and higher-margin beauty, grooming and health care businesses; and winning in developing markets. When Lafley retired in 2010, P&G had more than doubled its sales since the beginning of the decade; the company's portfolio of billion-dollar brands had grown from 10 to 22; and P&G's market capitalization had more than doubled. His successor, Bob McDonald, called Lafley "one of the greatest CEOs, if not the greatest CEO, in the history of P&G."

Gordon Moore – Moore co-founded Intel Corp. in 1968, along with fellow Fairchild Semiconductor alum Robert Noyce. Moore served as CEO of Intel from 1975 until 1987, and was named chairman emeritus in 1997. Moore is widely known for coming up with "Moore's Law" in 1965, in which he predicted that computing power would double every year (he later updated it to two years). Moore's Law, according to Intel, "has become the guiding principle for the semiconductor industry to deliver ever-more-powerful chips while decreasing the cost of electronics."

Richard Morely – Morley is best known as the father of the programmable logic controller. An engineer, author, inventor and consultant, Morley holds more than 20 U.S. and foreign patents, including patents for magnetic thin film, the hand-held terminal and the floppy disk. A member of the Automation Hall of Fame (a group that includes W. Edwards Deming), Morley has been a pioneer in the fields of computer design, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics/motors and technology trend forecasting.

Alan Mulally – Since taking over as president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. in September 2006, Mulally has led the automaker from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability, respectability and stability. However, he might always be best known for the fact that Ford said "no" to government bailout funds, thanks to the actions he took to finance a corporate restructuring two years prior to the recession. A former Boeing executive, Mulally has become the face of the auto industry's renaissance, and recently unveiled a bold strategy to increase Ford's global sales from 5.3 million vehicles in 2010 to 8 million by mid-decade.

John Shook – As an author, keynote speaker, former Toyota employee, and current chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, Shook has enthusiastically spread the principles of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing to operations throughout the world. Shook learned about lean management during his decade-long career with Toyota in Japan and the United States, and became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. As co-author of the Shingo Prize-winning book "Learning to See," Shook helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. The Lean Enterprise Institute describes Shook as "a true sensei."


A feature story in our December 2011 issue will highlight these achievements to the more than 120,000 subscribers of IndustryWeek and also will appear on the IndustryWeek Web site at: www.industryweek.com/articles/in_a_class_by_themselves_26170.aspx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 12:01

SolidCAM Announces Release of InventorCAM 2012

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SolidCAM announces the release of InventorCAM 2012, the latest version of its powerful CAM system, seamlessly integrated and with full associativity to Autodesk Inventor. InventorCAM 2012 launches the new revolutionary iMachining module, that reduces cycle times by up to 70% and increases tool life dramatically.

Autodesk Inventor users will be able to achieve dramatic increases in productivity for their CNC machining with InventorCAM 2012 due to its single-window integration in Inventor. InventorCAM  provides the same look and feel in CAM as in CAD, greatly reducing the learning curve, enabling engineers to quickly generate efficient and safe toolpaths directly from the CAM toolbar, inside Autodesk Inventor.

The revolutionary iMachining technology in InventorCAM 2012 uses morphing spiral cuts and controlled step-over algorithms to enable tools to cut at their full depth, without suffering from shock loading or rubbing. Cutting at full depth helps to spread the load over the length of the tool, instead of the bottom few millimeters while, precise control of chip thickness, keeps cutting loads steady, enabling far greater metal removal rates to be achieved, even in hard materials.

Applications which require the use of small diameter tools benefit particularly from iMachining. Optimized feeds and speeds are automatically generated by the software’s technology wizard, taking into account  the properties of the machine, tool, material, geometry and the user’s selected aggressiveness level for cutting. iRest and iFinish technologies are an integral part of this process, cutting the rest material with smaller and smaller cutters so that the final finish path can be cut at full depth and chatter free.

InventorCAM 2012 is powerful for its ability to drive multi-spindle and multi-turret mill-turn centers. InventorCAM 2012 takes advantage of iMachining for these applications to overcome the problems associated with low rigidity and over long tooling setups. By lowering the aggressiveness of cutting and utilizing the constant tool loading produced by iMachining, programmers can compensate for less than perfect cutting conditions, enabling the machine tool to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity in a collision free environment.

Simultaneous 5-axis milling, multi-sided indexing, high speed surface machining and 3D high speed surface machining in InventorCAM 2012 give engineers the ability to cut the most complex parts designed in Autodesk Inventor, while turning, mill-turn and wire EDM modules extend the software to program all the machines in the workshop.

Learning the software is easy - with an intuitive Autodesk Inventor like interface, experienced designers will quickly become proficient in InventorCAM 2012. Online tutorials provide 24/7 self-teach opportunities to make it easy to optimize CNC programming and machining productivity and are supplemented by the worldwide InventorCAM support network.  InventorCAM 2012 helps companies designing in Autodesk Inventor, to rapidly generate fast and highly productive machining operations, resulting in reduced costs, shortened delivery times and higher quality and profitability.

For more information, visit: www.inventorcam.com



While most of the work at Realize Inc. involves precision reproduction of engineered 3D models, the rapid prototyping company has expanded its services to include custom artistic projects where aesthetics are paramount.

"We're always excited when someone approaches us with a more free-form idea," said Todd Reese, President of Realize Inc. "It's a break from the norm, and gives us a chance to cut loose and let the imagination run."

Based near Indianapolis, Ind., Realize Inc. creates custom rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries, including aerospace, biomedical and electronics. However, clients sometimes request a project that involves more of a creative flair. Reese says that demand for artistic projects at Realize is increasing and that they are now well positioned to take on more of this type of work.

Adam Poots, a creative director, designer and web developer who is creating a role-playing game/board game system, recently selected Realize to fabricate two ornately inscribed miniature books stacked on top of each other.

"It takes a very special combination of love and mastery in order to achieve what Realize Inc. has," Poots said. "The company is a powerhouse of titan class individuals who know how to push their technology to the very edge of its capability."

Realize Finishing Technician Charlie Guernsey has vast experience with artistic oriented projects.

"Ever since I was old enough to hold a paint brush, I have been drawn to all things creative," Guernsey said. "Having the opportunity to help Realize expand into this arena will be very rewarding. I can't wait to showcase my abilities to complement our other services."

Founded in 1999, Realize has grown into one of the largest rapid prototyping companies in the Midwest. Customers use Realize to test product designs before undergoing the cost of full production. Services include Stereolithography, RTV molding and Cast Urethane Models, Industrial Design, Computer Aided Design and Custom Finishing and Painting.

For more information, visit: www.realizeinc.com

Friday, 23 December 2011 09:55

Inventionland Special Premieres on HISTORY®

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Ever wonder where all those fantastic, odd and oddly useful consumer gadgets come from? Browsing the aisles of Target, K-Mart, Walmart and other major retailers, one marvels at the scope of imagination when it comes to products for the home, office, workshop and garage. For inventors and those who have big ideas of their own, home shopping shows and big-box stores are playgrounds of potential.

Now comes "Inventionland," a new reality-based TV special scheduled to debut on HISTORY on Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Shot on location, the Pittsburgh-based Inventionland is the headquarters for Davison Design & Development, founded by George Davison, the show's star.

"Inventionland" delves into the sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes exhilarating real-life drama of the high-risk world of inventing. The show follows three inventors as their respective inventions take shape. From the thrill of coming up with a big idea to the challenges involved in turning it into a functioning prototype and then into a money-making proposition or a trip back to the drawing board, it all begins and ends at Inventionland, America's largest invention factory.

* Stuck holding onto the umbrella during a breezy day at the beach while watching his young daughters have fun in the ocean without him, inventor Milton Branch envisions a beach cooler that firmly anchors an umbrella even on the windiest days. Find out if the project flies.

* Kurt Whiteside and 5,000 of his car mechanic customers around the country anxiously await the next generation of the Hover Creeper. But first this miracle of physics must pass the muster of NASCAR mechanic "Big A," who ultimately says, "Every fat guy should have one of these." Then Inventionland designers face a last-minute, nail-biting prototyping problem that requires Mr. D.'s expertise as an important celebration looms.

* Taking a cue from the original boom boxes of the 1980s, twenty-year-old Jason Ramsey has the idea for a new surround-sound, six-speaker wearable belt that will enable him to share music the old-fashioned way with his skateboarding friends at the park. There's only one problem, and it's a doozy.

Intertwined with these compelling invention stories are those of Inventionland's own creative captain, "Mr. D."—the one and only George Davison—and an eccentric cast of designers and builders. Jason Rogge configures each design team, balancing personalities and talent for what an invention needs; he's also the master deadline enforcer. Jarrod Campbell, the lone wolf known for his quick temper, never hesitates to speak his mind. The quintessential super-geek Clay Carlino is nonetheless a snob at heart. Lucky Schwartz, ever the skeptic, plays devil's advocate at every turn. Outdoorsman Curtis Wierman is part Grizzly Adams and part Turtle from Entourage. Tensions may flare, creative minds do clash and emotions run high, but in the end, the cast of characters' idiosyncrasies work in their favor, and the new inventions come to life.

George Davison says from Inventionland, "Whether we invent new products to ward off outside competition, or to fix a pressing problem, or to bring pleasure into new realms, there is a ravenous appetite among consumers for the new and innovative. And we do it all at Inventionland."

"Inventionland" is produced for HISTORY by JWM Productions. The producer is Jonathan Wyche. Patrice Shannon is the editor and the online editor is Brian Newell.

For more information, visit: www.inventionland.com

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and UBM Electronics’ Design News have launched the Digi-Key Continuing Education Center.

The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a free virtual training service created exclusively for electronic, design and test engineers. The program, designed by Design News, provides courses that allow engineers to increase their knowledge and network with peers and thought leaders.

"Digi-Key has actively sought business partnerships that allow us to provide product and complementary educational information to our customers," said Tony Harris, Digi-Key’s CMO. "The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a great asset to engineers who desire to increase their knowledge base. With increasing demands on engineers to create and produce quality technology, it is even more important for them to be able to access continuing education resources. We take pride in offering the most in-stock product available for immediate shipment as well as the resources and information necessary to make the engineer’s job easier."

The first course series - Microcontrollers, Basics - begins January 16, 2012 and will be presented by lecturer, Jon Titus, contributing technical editor for Design News, and Alexander Wolfe, Content Director for Design News.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Digi-Key to bring this education to design engineers," said Alexander Wolfe. "I am overseeing the development and the courses to ensure that we are providing our audience with top-notch content. This education allows engineers to increase their engineering knowledge and stay current with key trends."

Future series include Microcontrollers, Advanced; Sensors; and Basic Industrial Control Processing.

For a complete list of courses and to register, visit: www.designnews.com/lecture-calendar.asp

ABB’s design concept for a small parts assembly robot, nicknamed FRIDA (Flexible Robot Industrial Dual Arm), has won the prestigious red dot "best of the best" product design award within the workplace category at this year's awards ceremony in Singapore.

The annual red dot award is a competition for design concepts and prototypes held annually in Singapore. The award is an internationally renowned seal of quality, judged by design industry heavyweights. The prestigious red dot "best of the best" award is presented to only the most outstanding design concepts.

This year, 3,536 projects from 54 countries were presented to the jury. After due deliberation, 252 concepts were awarded the red dot – 43 were honoured with the “red dot: best of the best” for outstanding design quality.

"Winning a red dot award is tremendously prestigious for us and we are honoured to receive this recognition of our work,” says Per-Vegard Nerseth, manager of ABB’s Robotics business unit. “ABB prides itself on developing leading edge and disruptive technologies. Our vision was to design a safe high-tech robot with innovative design features that allows it to work closely with humans. This global recognition of the ABB team's achievements fully endorses this approach and we will continue to work on developing this concept.”

For more information, visit: www.abb.com/technology

InnovMetric Software Inc. announced that the latest intermediate release of the PolyWorks universal 3D metrology platform - V12.0.3 - can display on Apple mobile devices in real time laser-scanned points being captured, thanks to the new PolyWorks/Talisman app.  Equipped with PolyWorks/Talisman and an Apple mobile device, laser scanning operators can get immediate visual and audio feedback right where they are, instead of having to go back to their computer, placing PolyWorks in the palm of your hand.

"PolyWorks/Talisman is a time-saving application for 3D metrology data capture.  Some customers have already reported that it contributes to lowering the cost of measuring parts by more than 50%.  Live laser scanning display is just one of many major productivity enhancement tools that we will introduce in the coming months," said Marc Soucy, president of InnovMetric Software.

PolyWorks/Talisman is free and available from the Apple App Store. For more information, visit: www.innovmetric.com

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and Aspen Labs, creator of EEWeb, have produced the industry's first online schematic drawing tool, Scheme-it.

"Digi-Key is excited to launch Scheme-it, the industry's only fully-online schematic tool," said Tony Harris, chief marketing officer, Digi-Key Corporation. "With Scheme-it, engineers are able to easily create the blueprint for any design while gaining access to Digi-Key's expansive product listing in one online experience."

"Scheme-it is a new design tool that allows engineers, students, and enthusiasts to quickly create and share electronic schematics from directly within their web browser," said Joe Wolin, Aspen Labs.

Scheme-it allows users to:

* Design electronics schematics and technical diagrams.
* Utilize an integrated electronic symbol library and the Digi-Key component catalog.
* Keep track of parts used in each design with Digi-Key's Bill of Materials (BOM) Manager.
* Share drawings with other engineers via email and/or web link.
* Export drawings to an image for personal use.

Scheme-it runs natively in all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome, and does not require the use of browser plugins. Users must be registered to save designs on Scheme-it.

For more information, visit: www.digikey.com/schemeit

Z Corporation today announced it will sponsor "Reality Redesigned," a student-focused design competition and online reality show that will spawn daring new mountain bike designs created by inventive riders.

The show bills itself as "the ultimate design contest ... what happens when the biggest names in North American manufacturing, design and engineering throw open the doors and allow both mountain bikers and designers alike to have at it." In addition to entertainment, the episodes will serve as solid curriculum material for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers across North America.

The contest will spotlight the design process from drawing board to finished product. Z Corporation Technical Support Specialist and expert mountain bike rider Dave Mee will "ZPrint" prototypes of three finalists in three categories, in preparation for a showdown at the RAPID 2012 Conference May 22-25, 2012. The winner will be announced live at the Z Corporation booth. The winning design will then be manufactured and tested by a pro rider.

"Reality Redesigned" is produced by host and Executive Producer Jeremy Bout and others involved in "The Edge Factor Show," who are joining forces with Pinkbike, one of the top mountain bike sites in the world. Here's how it works:

Submissions (mid-December through Feb. 24, 2012). After registering for Pinkbike (free), contestants will place their submission into one of three categories.

1. Mountain-bike suspension
2. Mountain-bike component
3. Mountain-bike frame

Screening (ongoing). Submissions will be scored by Bout and qualified experts from the mountain-bike industry. A real-time leaderboard will track the top 15 designs in each category.

The Gauntlet (April/May 2012). Experts determine how designs will stand up to a real-life scenario, then grade each based on research, material pricing and specific criteria:

1. 3D Modeling -- Fit, form and function.

2. Rapid Prototyping -- (usefulness, rideability) -- Judges: Mee and professional rider Mike Montgomery. Mee will "ZPrint" the entries of three finalists in each category. 3D printing converts three-dimensional computer-aided design data into physical prototypes.

3. Engineering/Business plan

4. Manufacturability

Finals (May 22-25, 2012). At the RAPID 2012 Conference, three final designs will be displayed and judged, in three episodes shot with a live audience in the Z Corporation booth. The judging will include stringent and rigorous testing using finite element analysis (FEA) software and ZPrinted prototypes. The winner will be announced in the Z Corporation booth.

Epilogue: The winning design will be manufactured and tested by a pro rider.

"ZPrinting is a center-stage component of the show, inspiring innovation and bringing contestants' designs to reality," said Bout. "With physical models, judges and industry manufacturers can more deeply understand a design, and what it will be able to do on the trail. ZPrints will also expose students to technology they will use in their engineering careers."

"Reality Redesigned" is just one example of Z Corporation's ongoing commitment to education in addition to its EngineeringZONE™ program, sponsorships and education discounts.

To enter the contest: www.edgefactor.com/?i=12747&mid=1000&id=373053

Friday, 16 December 2011 12:59

Asiga Launches World’s First 3D Pico Printer

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Asiga announced the release of the world’s first low-cost high-resolution 3D printer. The printer, named the Pico, is tiny, having a 22cm footprint and weighing only 10kg. However, under the hood is a novel print engine based on Asiga’s proprietary “sliding separation” technology. The system has two build modes: 37.5 microns and 50 microns XY resolution; and the Z layer thickness is user selectable between 1 micron and 200 microns in 1 micron increments. The Pico is targeted at high-resolution digital manufacturing applications including the fabrication of dental models, crown and bridge casting patterns, jewelry, and hearing-aid shells.

Priced at US$6990, the Pico meets or exceeds the resolution of larger systems having ten-times the price.

The Pico is the first 3D printer to incorporate an ultraviolet 385nm LED light source with up to 50,000 hours life time. The ultraviolet light source allows the Pico to print in pure white and water-clear materials. As the light source never needs replacing, it offers consistent performance from print to print and reduces the cost of ownership, as the only consumables are the fabrication materials.

Asiga’s CTO Dr Ray Ericsson says the Pico is going to revolutionize many industries, particularly small businesses doing bespoke manufacturing. “There are many industries, including dental, hearing and jewelry, where the CAD design software is mature. The missing link that has prevented small businesses from fully engaging with these productivity enhancing tools is the high cost of tooling-grade resolution 3D printers.  The Pico makes tooling-grade digital manufacturing affordable for everyone. This will result in significant productivity gains in may industries.”

For more information, visit: www.asiga.com

Towson University’s College of Fine Arts and Communication, in partnership with the Department of Art + Design, Art History and Art Education, has established an on-campus Object Lab. The project received integral funding support from Marcia Welsh, interim president of Towson University.

Located in the Center for the Arts and managed by Associate Professor Jan Baum, the Object Lab is home to three-dimensional scanning and printing, laser cutting and CNC milling equipment.

The facility focuses on rapid prototyping and digital fabrication through reverse engineering, additive and subtractive prototyping and manufacturing technologies, and laser cutting.

Participating students will learn cutting-edge applications for industries that include aerospace and defense, consumer products, product development, prosthetics, dentistry, medicine, forensics, and art and design

Reverse engineering with three-dimensional scanning can digitize existing objects for manipulation and reproduction. For example, the technology can be used to scan an existing body part to make a matching prosthetic. Digitization can also be applied to dentistry, combat weapons, and other arenas, to determine how an object has failed and what is needed to improve performance.

Digital fabrication uses three-dimensional printers and milling machines to create parts and objects, directly applicable to rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Central to this technology is skill in three-dimensional modeling, which is taught alongside the lab.

For more information, visit: www.theobjectlab.com

Dynomax Inc., a leader in value-added engineering and high-precision machining, injection molding and tooling, has updated and expanded its micro molding and tooling machine fleet to better serve the tight tolerance requirements of its medical, aerospace and defense customers. Dynomax's increased capacity supports its commitment to meet the growing medical device market demand.

Dynomax's investment includes all-electric injection and insert molding machines employing 6-axis robots for repeatability of plus or minus 0.0001 inches, and micro injection units with 0.6 oz. shot sizes for near 100% accuracy and repeatability. The company also purchased several Swiss-style turning machines for manufacturing components from titanium, stainless steel and other metals, and enhanced EDM machines that employ advanced Swiss technology. The new machines can hold tolerances of plus or minus 0.0002 inches for micro injection molding and turning, and plus or minus 0.0001 inches for thin wall molding.

“Dynomax's high glass content thermoplastic and thermoset injection molding and tooling operations are supported by a vertically integrated engineering and manufacturing team, incorporating the latest design process technology for mold flow analysis,” said Walter Zic, Vice President of Operations. “By expanding and upgrading to over 35 cutting-edge machines, and utilizing cellular manufacturing and robotic machine tending, we are able to provide superior customer service and go from design to part in three weeks or less.”

Celebrating 25 years of excellence, demand for Dynomax's contract manufacturing services has also grown. The company has experienced tremendous growth recently, having added two new facilities and over 100 employees in the past two years. Its molding and tooling operations are located in Mundelein, Illinois.

An ISO 9001:2008, AS9100 Rev C and ITAR registered company, Dynomax is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-precision machined components, injection molding and tooling, sub-assemblies, specialty machines and machine tool spindles. From early stage production through dockside ready components, Dynomax develops fully integrated solutions that enable its customers to improve their competitive advantage. Its customers include some of the largest names in the aerospace, defense, medical, transportation and energy industries.

For more information, visit: www.dynomaxinc.com

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:05

As Seen On TV, Inc.'s Pitch Tank Event Successful

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As Seen On TV, Inc., the parent company of TVGoods, Inc., held a Pitch Tank event in Tampa, FL over the weekend of December 10th and 11th.

Pitch Tank is marketed to entrepreneurs and inventors as a platform to introduce and demonstrate businesses and/or products to the As Seen On TV, Inc. team, including Kevin Harrington. The event includes real training from Kevin Harrington on how to take your business or product from an idea to reality, including information on development and marketing. Covered topics include mass marketing, branding, intellectual property, manufacturing, ecommerce, web design, and all the latest marketing trends and strategies. Distribution channel strategy is also a key area of focus, including television shopping channels, infomercials and the Internet.

In addition to assisting and training the participants, the As Seen On TV, Inc. team was exposed to several businesses and products that it will continue to evaluate and monitor, with the hopes of partnering in the future. The company looks forward to hosting its next Pitch Tank event in a different city within the next 90 days.

"Pitch Tank has already turned into a profitable department for As Seen On TV, Inc. The company is able to use its expertise to be able to monetize the thousands of inventor submissions we get annually," said Steve Rogai, CEO of As Seen On TV, Inc.

"Last weekend's Pitch Tank event surpassed our expectations. It was successful for both the entrepreneurs and inventors in attendance and our company. There are tons of amazing people in this world, people with a lot of talent, skill and great ideas. Unfortunately, many of these amazing people struggle because they have no direction. I get approached daily from people with great ideas, and many have done a lot of work on those ideas. People show me prototypes, market research data and some have even begun selling their products or ideas. Every one of these people have a few pieces of the puzzle, but the one thing that they are all lacking is knowledge on how to complete the puzzle; and Pitch Tank gives them that knowledge," said Kevin Harrington, Chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc.

As Seen On TV, Inc. is the parent company of TVGoods, Inc., a direct response marketing company. We identify, develop and market consumer products for global distribution via TV, Internet and retail channels. TVGoods was established by Kevin Harrington, a pioneer of direct response television.

Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) is pleased to announce the availability of Version 5.8.1, of its complete die system simulation solution, DYNAFORM ™.  This latest release promises to deliver a robust environment for engineers to simulate and analyze the entire die system.  The FEA software solution guides the engineer through a wide range of stages in the manufacturing process, from cost estimation and die face design to formability analysis and stamping process simulation.

Some of the most significant enhancements in this version are delivered through DYNAFORM’s Die Face Engineering (DFE) module.  DFE now offers the capacity to parametrically build die faces for a symmetrical part.  Therefore, after the user defines the symmetry line, the program can automatically build the die faces for the other half of the symmetrical part accordingly.

Also notable, a ‘new product change replacement’ feature was added in 5.8.1.  It allows the user to retain the current die face design and simply drop in new product design surfaces, saving the user a great deal of time while providing greater flexibility.

Finally, a new ‘Auto Mesh’ option was added in DFE and allows the user to automatically mesh the CAD model immediately after it has been imported.

The Blank Size Engineering (BSE) module was also enhanced in the latest round of development.  The module was significantly improved upon by way of a streamlined guided user interface (GUI).  New dialogues within the GUI contain tabbed menus for easy navigation between functions.

For more information, visit: www.eta.com/index.php/software/dynaform

Monday, 12 December 2011 10:30

CadSoft launches EAGLE version 6

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CadSoft Computer GmbH, today announced the launch of version 6 of its easy-to-use ‘EAGLE’ PCB software for professional board design.

CadSoft EAGLE Version 6 focuses on flexibility and enabling users to save time by optimizing and integrating new features such as BGA escape routing, differential pair routing, automatic meanders and undo/redo logs. Additionally this latest software provides automatic layout dimension, assembly variants, cut out polygons, and the design reuse feature to merge board/schematic pairs using the PASTE function with full consistency.

EAGLE Version 6 not only helps in the design of a board, but also saves designers time by providing direct connections to experienced, high-quality PCB manufacturers for fast quotes on PCB fabrication. In North America customers can connect with Pentalogix, for European customers Eurocircuits is your reliable partner to get your prototype produced by mouse click, through The Knode on element14.

Flexibility and productivity are also achieved through User Language Programs (ULPs) for customization and feature enhancement, such as 3D-visualization, simulation and data-export. Hundreds of ULPs, project designs and part libraries to accelerate the design process are available through CadSoft EAGLE’s download centre.

CadSoft EAGLE users can also benefit in their design process from Accelerated Design’s Ultra Librarian to quickly create parts, symbols and footprints that can be exported to various PCB design flows. The Ultra Librarian tools integrate Premier Farnell’s DesignLink, an integrated tool, which offers a streamlined method to do component research by allowing a designer to transparently interface to the search engine of their regional supplier without leaving the design environment.

“This is a landmark day for our award-winning CadSoft EAGLE PCB software with the launch of version 6,” said Thomas Liratsch, CadSoft’s General Manager. “EAGLE v6.0 will make the lives of design engineers even easier – saving them time and effort. Simply put, the new release of EAGLE takes designer friendliness and freedom to a whole new experience.”

For more information, visit: www.cadsoft.de

Success through innovation and cutting edge technology has been the driving goal of Flintshire-based company At 3D-Squared Limited, and this was fully recognized last week when the firm scooped the ‘Clogau Gold Growth through Innovation’ award at the Achievement Wales 2011 awards ceremony in Bangor. This accolade comes after At 3D-Squared won the 2011 Flintshire Business Award for Innovation in October, earlier this year. Winning this award was not a given, At 3D-Squared had to fight off some tough competition but the innovative work the company has undertaken with 3D Printing technologies shone through.

Andrew Allshorn, Managing Director of At 3D-Squared in no way expected to win, but was absolutely delighted to be presented with the award by TV Newsreader, Nicholas Owen. Commenting on the night, Mr Allshorn said, “I am a product designer by trade and was up against some really tough businesses, so it is just amazing to win.”

He continued, “I travel a lot in Europe and this has made me realize tonight that I could be doing so much more right here in North Wales — there are so many great businesses, like Airbus, right on our doorstep that could benefit from having innovative technologies like 3D printing locally. And with Deeside being made an Enterprise Zone there are great opportunities to do more, it’s really positive. This award is amazing, a real honour.”

3D printing technology is relatively new and in the 20+ years since it was first commercialised as a prototyping method the developments have been tremendous. It now presents product development, engineering and manufacturing companies in many different industry sectors with an alternative production method for parts and components, as well as speeding up the development process itself. With a wealth of 3D printing technology expertise and experience, At 3D-Squared offers a full strategic consultancy service as well as a direct maintenance & support service for companies with 3D printing machines in-situ. Clients of At 3D-Squared include Formula 1 teams, aerospace companies, auto makers, jewellers and R&D facilities amongst many others.

At 3D-Squared is also the company behind the development of the Metalise it … process. This unique process enables plastic models — often 3D printed — to be plated with a range of different metal finishes and is now offered to clients via At 3D-Squared’s sister company 3DDC Limted.

For more information, visit: www.at3d-squared.com

The Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) announces the opening of registration for MIM2012, an international conference on injection molding of metals, ceramics, and carbides, to be held March 19–21, 2012, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, California. The conference, co-sponsored by the Metal Injection Molding Association, a trade association of MPIF, and its affiliate APMI International, also offers an optional one-day tutorial on powder injection molding (PIM).

With a focus on "designing MIM parts and materials for performance and value," this specialized conference is targeted at engineers, product designers, manufacturers, consumers, researchers, educators, and students who have an interest in the application of powder injection molding. It features over 20 presentations as well as a tabletop exhibition and networking reception.

The PIM industry, comprised of MIM (metal injection molding), CIM (ceramic injection molding), and CCIM (cemented carbide injection molding), has sales estimated at over $1 billion and could possibly double over the next five years. The industry has realized major technological advances and overcome numerous business challenges. The objective of the conference is to continue to explore these advances, assist in the transfer of technology, and investigate new developments in the field of powder injection molding of metals, ceramics, and carbides.

The technical program chairmen for the conference are Bruce Dionne, General Manager, Megamet Solid Metals, Inc., Earth City, Missouri, and Toby Tingskog, Regional Sales Manager-NAFTA, Sandvik Osprey Ltd., Neath, UK.

For more information, visit: www.mimaweb.org/mim2012

Quickparts® assisted PediaVision® with the development and production of Spot, a wireless, handheld vision screening device that is easy to use and can capture results in less than one second.

PediaVision® is a medical device company providing comprehensive vision assessment technology to adults and children as young as 6 months old. Their latest innovation, Spot, is a patent-pending technology that can assess a child’s vision quickly, and objectively, eliminating the subjective analysis that results from many of today's vision screening tools.

With the demand for Spot outpacing traditional manufacturing techniques, PediaVision® sought a vendor that could meet demanding lead times and offer safety grade materials, without sacrificing quality. They ultimately turned to Quickparts® for pre-production cast urethane parts, and Quickparts® was able to deliver safety grade parts with production tolerances, all within the required lead time.

“Quickparts allowed us to test production quality prototypes months before traditional tooling would allow,” said Jeff Lammers, Lead Engineer at PediaVision®. “We got to market faster and the pre-production prototypes were exactly what we needed. Rapid prototyping allowed us to compress our schedule by 3-6 months.”

The PediaVision® Case Study from Quickparts® is available at: www.quickparts.com/LowVolumePrototypes/CastUrethanes/CaseStudy.aspx

Thursday, 08 December 2011 09:46

Council on Competitiveness Releases MAKE Report

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Called MAKE: AN AMERICAN MANUFACTURING MOVEMENT, the strategy maps how the United States can lead the world in 21st century advanced manufacturing that will be at the heart of our nation's long-term productivity and prosperity.

Under the leadership of Council Chairman and Deere & Company Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen and a steering committee of 60 CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders, and laboratory directors, MAKE will be released to Congress, the White House, and all 50 governors. The recommendations are the result of hundreds of interviews conducted over nearly three years by Deloitte, as well as dozens of dialogues where Council members and national thought leaders came together to discuss specific manufacturing topics.

The Council on Competitiveness, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-partisan organization whose membership consists exclusively of corporate CEOs, presidents of universities, and heads of labor unions, will celebrate its 25th Anniversary and host its National Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit on December 7-8th. The Council provides policy recommendations to make America more competitive in the international market place.

Media partners include U.S. News and World Report, IndustryWeek, Popular Science, Scientific American, Manufacturing Executive, and CNBC. The popular CNBC show Street Signs with Brian Sullivan will be filmed on-location to pose questions to c-suite speakers and guests. Adding to our esteemed list of participants will be panel moderators such as Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post columnist; Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor for Time Magazine; Brian Kelly, Editor for U.S. News and World Report; Mark Jannot, Editor-in-Chief for Popular Science; and Patricia Panchak, IndustryWeek Chief Editor.

Speakers will feature top executives from: Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Deloitte, Bank of America, Snap-On, Bossa Nova Robotics, 3D Systems Incorporated, General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Ernst & Young, and NASDAQ OMX, among others.

The Watson Kiosk – IBM's high performance computing system that matched wits earlier this year with America's brightest on the game of Jeopardy!® – will appear. Attendees will experience the latest technology in additive manufacturing – live, 3D printing at the cutting-edge of 21st century customized manufacturing and a specialized modeling computer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The MAKE report is now available for download at: www.compete.org/publications/detail/2064/make

Tuesday, 06 December 2011 10:19

CAT5Works Ready for 2012

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CCE announces the immediate availability of an updated version of its CAT5Works product that supports the latest version of SolidWorks.

CAT5Works is a bi-directional SolidWorks/CATIA data translator, which enables CATIA file translation from within SolidWorks. The latest version of CAT5Works is compatible with SolidWorks 2009 through 2012 on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems.

CAT5Works enables seamless design collaboration between CATIA V5 / CATIA V4 and SolidWorks systems. CAT5Works imports CATIA V5 Release 6 to 21 part (*.CATPart) / assembly (*.CATProduct) files to SolidWorks, and exports SolidWorks files to CATIA V5 part (*.CATPart) / assembly (*.CATProduct) files.

CAT5Works supports batch translations for convenient handling of bulk data. It supports transfer of CATIA V5 FT&A entities (Flag note, Text, Geometric Tolerance, Simple Datum, Datum Target and Roughness) into SolidWorks. CATIA data can be filtered by entities and layers before conversion into SolidWorks. CAT5Works also exports SolidWorks assemblies based on the Component Configurations.

For more information, visit: www.cadcam-e.com/products/cat5works

For centuries, America has been an engine of invention and innovation, creating the technology that has shaped world history.  From Ben Franklin to the Wright Brothers; Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, this country has been a consistent generator of revolutionary ideas.  Today many Americans, in basements and backyards around the country, are trying to turn their dreams into the next big thing.

INVENTION USA, a new HISTORY series that premieres Friday, December 9, 10pm ET/9C follows Reichart Von Wolfshield and Dr. Garrett Lisi, innovators and scientists with ties to investors, as they go in search of the next breakthrough invention. Whether they're traveling the country to visit backyard inventors at home, or meeting inventors at their Los Angeles testing lab, Reichart and Garrett will put prototypes to the test and give a tough, no-nonsense evaluation of the invention’s potential.  If they like what they see, it can mean the Inventor will get the investment they'll need to help bring the product to market. In every case, the stakes are high: a dream is on the line, and the next idea they see could change someone's life...and even the world.

Their adventures are chronicled in INVENTION USA which celebrates not only America’s knack for invention but also its entrepreneurial spirit. As Garrett and Reichart see it, one is meaningless without the other – and these two know quite a lot about bringing pioneering new products to the marketplace. As Garrett and Reichart travel the country meeting with inventors, if they agree that there’s revenue potential in an invention, they will use their considerable collective experience – in consumer products, marketing, science and design – and make that invention come to life, and ultimately to the marketplace.

INVENTION USA doesn’t focus solely on the inventions. The 6-episode series also takes a fascinating look at the inventors themselves, some of whom have sacrificed it all, including money and marriages, to make their creations a reality. Some inventions are brilliant, some batty; and some simply both! There’s “The Fireball,” a non-lethal weapon that uses modified paintballs to deter wild animal attacks, a product the inventor claims was inspired by his run-in with Bigfoot. There’s the “Phone Glove,” a cell phone that’s not exactly hands free, given that it’s built into a winter glove.  Also Easy Down, a potential life-saving invention inspired by the events on 9/11; and “Roscoe: One Bad Bird” – a new “weapon” in the battle to keep pesky pigeons away.  Which of these and many other items will meet with Garrett and Reichart’s approval? The stakes couldn’t be higher for the inventors.

Garrett is an American theoretical physicist best known for "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything," a unified field theory combining particle physics with Einstein's theory of gravitation. Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego, California, Lisi received bachelor’s degrees with highest honors in physics and mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in physics from the University of California, San Diego. After moving to the island of Maui, Lisi balanced his efforts between physics research, scientific consulting, and surfing. His work has been featured in many academic, popular, and online publications.

Reichart has produced over 120 consumer products and pioneered dozens of technologies over the past 30 years including one of the first multiplayer video games, co-designed the first set-top computer, created Disney's Animation Studio software, designed slot machines for Vegas, Toys for Mattel, and weapons for the Defense Department. From their Laboratory nicknamed "The Barn" Garrett and Reichart evaluate and test an array of newly developed prototypes for the series.

INVENTION USA is produced for HISTORY by T Group Productions. Matthew Ginsburg and Charles Nordlander are Executive Producers for HISTORY. Executive Producers for T Group are Jenny Daly, Gunnar Wetterberg and Jason Sklaber.

For more information, visit: www.history.com/shows/invention-usa

With the addition of an iPro 8000 SLA Production Printer, Realize Inc. continues to emerge as a leader in the rapid prototyping industry.

"The 8000 gives us more large part capacity," said Todd Reese, President of Realize. "It also allows us to expand our material offerings for large pieces."

Based near Indianapolis, Realize creates customized rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries, including consumer electronics, automotive, health care and education. The company has created prototypes for a vast variety of products -- from gaming figurines to wind tunnel automobile models and intricate machine parts.

Customers use these prototypes for design verification; they can use the custom model created at Realize to determine if their design is valid before incurring the expense of going into full production.

Realize has become a national leader in Stereolithography (SLA), which involves using lasers to selectively and successively cure thin layers of specialized liquid resins -- creating a precise, custom prototype reproduction of the 3D modeled design. The company's new iPro 8000 is a state-of-the-art SLA machine that increases the company's production capacity, including the ability to react more quickly to aggressive delivery requests.

Realize now has a total of 11 Stereolithography machines in its SLA lab, each affectionately named after a supermodel. These machines include seven Viper SLA systems, two SLA-5000 Systems, the iPro 8000 and an iPro 9000. While the iPro and SLA-5000 systems handle larger parts, the smaller Viper systems can reproduce small parts with extremely fine detail, and are capable of a high resolution mode that can reproduce even finer detail.

"We have the latest technology," said Tonya Reese, Chief Financial Officer of Realize. "That's something that sets us apart from many of our competitors."

Founded in 1999, Realize, respected as a premier rapid prototyping company, is one of the industry's largest companies in the Midwest. Other Realize services include Industrial Design, Computer Aided Design, Rubber Molding & Urethane Casting (RTV), and Custom Finishing and Painting.

For more information, visit: www.realizeinc.com

James Dyson believes that creativity and innovation are related to discovery and exploring the world in a hands-on way.

That's why the James Dyson Foundation has teamed up with Science World to create a North American first: the Engineering Lab by the James Dyson Foundation, which opens free to the public on Saturday, December 3rd - as part of a Dyson-sponsored free admission day.

"Inventing and creating must be encouraged and Canada has a wonderful legacy of engineering and innovative research and development. From the creation of the epic Trans-Canada railway and highway; to the invention of insulin, IMAX films, revolutionizing air and public transit through Bombardier, technology advances and the list goes on," explains James Dyson.

"Science World is a wonderful place and it's been great fun to collaborate with them to create the Engineering Lab. We hope it will help inspire Canada's young inventors, engineers and designers of the future to continue to be curious about the world. That is the most essential element of innovation," says James.

Engineering Fascinating


The Engineering Lab by the James Dyson Foundation that's on-site at Science World features an irresistible tangle of tall tubes and valves that encourage experimentation with air flow.

Brightly coloured scarves are sucked into the apparatus, and children can turn and direct valves to change the route the scarves take before they are vaulted out of clear plastic tubes at the top. In the process they learn about cause, effect and engineering principles.

The Engineering Lab also features an Interactive Classroom where children learn about velocity, gravity and other important engineering principles. Activities include building spaghetti bridges, marble runs and even constructing their very own geodesic dome.

For families and educators who can't make it to Science World British Columbia to see the live exhibit, the James Dyson Foundation offers an interactive companion site at www.jamesdysonfoundation.com/scienceworld that's filled with activities, scientific facts and more.








My Robot Nation™, a pioneer in bridging creativity and emerging technologies, today announced the official launch of the world's first consumer-friendly digital-to-actual 3D creation service, just in time for the holidays!

My Robot Nation™ allows anyone, regardless of artistic or computer skills, to quickly and easily create their own totally unique custom robot collectible online, then have it made real with full-color 3D printing and delivered to their door!

With an engaging and easy-to-use interface designed by veteran game industry creatives, My Robot Nation leverages its proprietary (patents pending) online browser technology with WebGL™ 3D graphics to provide a fun and playful creation process that allows everyone to instantly access the exciting, futuristic power of 3D printing.

The robot you create is completely unique: more than 9 billion possible combinations of body shapes, limbs, color, decals and attachments exist. Your personalized creation is then made real through high-quality, full-color 3D printing by premier 3D printers, Offload Studios (Vancouver, BC), and mailed directly to your home. My Robot Nation uses Z Corporation's (Burlington, MA) cutting-edge, environmentally friendly 3D printing technology – the fastest, most affordable in the industry – to make the high-quality ceramic-like collectibles the ultimate, personalized holiday gift.

My Robot Nation is a champion of revolutionary technology that facilitates creativity, as first recognized by Google® when the service was featured as an exclusive Beta on the Google® Chrome® Web Store. My Robot Nation brings a new sense of high-tech cool to this holiday season, combining technology with personal creativity in a completely accessible way. In preparation for the holidays, My Robot Nation has included a gifting option that allows you to make a present of the creation experience. This holiday season, give your favorite people something utterly unique: a custom robot collectible they design themselves, then can hold in their hand – a taste of the future of personalized manufacturing made possible through 3D printing.

"As a fangeek of all things future-tech, I'm blown away by My Robot Nation," said Bob Goodman, Emmy Award-winning writer-producer of Warehouse 13™, Batman® Beyond, Justice League® and Batman: The Animated Series. "The idea that you can design your own robot – and they'll 3D print it and mail it to you in a matter of days – is incredible. The interface is easy and intuitive, and the design is gorgeous and fun – it's a killer app for 3D printing!"

Once created, each robot is showcased online in the My Robot Nation gallery, where a community of creators can share and compare designs, "like" and promote robots, and share robot photos on Facebook®, Twitter®, and Google+. Users can even repurpose shared designs from other members as a starting place to create their own robots and add to their Robot Nation. News, featured robots and special promotions are tweeted regularly from @myrobotnation on Twitter.

"At My Robot Nation, we believe that everyone is creative, and everyone can create – we all just need a fun and easy way to get started. YouTube®, Facebook and Twitter show us how creative everyone can be digitally – we're giving people an amazing new way to bring that creativity into the real world," said Sarah W. Stocker, co-founder of My Robot Nation. "Robots are only the beginning – the My Robot Nation platform is designed to be flexible and allow for the creation and customization of objects of any type. 3D printing is a revolution in creation – we want everyone to have access to it!"

"WebGL allows us to create and manipulate 3D objects right in your Chrome browser in real-time – something that was previously only possible in PC applications or consoles games. We're using that power and flexibility to connect people with real-world object creation through 3D printing, one of the most potentially world-changing emerging technologies," said Mark Danks, co-founder of My Robot Nation.

As part of its launch, My Robot Nation is offering limited-edition holiday robot designs for the gift-giving season – it's the ultimate, unique holiday gift!  Pricing details and videos showcasing the robot creation process can be found at www.myrobotnation.com and through the My Robot Nation app on the Chrome Web Store.

Thursday, 01 December 2011 08:49

T-FLEX CAD 12 Released

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Top Systems, the leading developer of advanced parametric design software, has announced the release of version 12 of its T-FLEX CAD® system.

Significant improvements in both 3D modeling and 2D drafting in the latest version accelerate the design process with various productivity enhancements, optimized technology of parametric assemblies that is helpful for quick design modifications, as well as more convenient operations with complex and large assembly models. The new version offers improved tools for simulation and efficient team collaboration.

T-FLEX CAD 12 with its new architectural solutions provides serious improvements of stability, quality, and performance of the application. It includes hundreds of enhancements to the quality of the application and has improved performance achieving gains up to 10 times and more at some time and resource consuming operations.

The new graphics engine is based on modern architecture and leverages the capabilities of modern graphics cards. Operations with data were optimized, thus significantly reducing the amount of used memory, providing convenient work with much larger models on the same hardware.

“Users will immediately feel the impact of the new modeling and graphics architecture that makes the overall productivity much faster”, commented Sergey Kozlov, Chief Technology Officer of Top Systems. “The enhancements in T-FLEX CAD 12 further expand its unmatched ability to make extremely difficult tasks possible for the end users”, he added.

New object-oriented mechanism of 3D manipulators helps to control elements of the models providing functionality for rapid changes in the projects. The new 3D sections significantly simplify assembly modeling allowing users to continue operations with objects within the clipped areas.

The all-new command for modeling pipelines meets the challenges of cabling and piping design.

Many modeling operations, including blending, extrusion, sweeping, deformation, local geometry modifications have new additional features and options based on the use of the latest version of Parasolid kernel.

Tools for parametric assemblies got further development. In T-FLEX CAD 12 it is possible to change parameters of parts at any level from the upper assembly. This eliminates the need to pass parameters through all levels of assembly for parametric control. Adaptive “smart” fragments allow users to seamlessly incorporate design intent into their assemblies. Execution of arbitrary macro when inserting a part was implemented. Macro can be programmed for a specific algorithm to insert custom entities improving intuitiveness and adding a variety of additional functionality.

The new mechanism for part alignment with specific bindings to floor, walls, ceiling, and horizontal surfaces by mechanism of connectors is very helpful for interior designs. The possibility of modifying external variables in the model by means of manipulators adds flexibility for parameters control. Inserting and editing of parts was noticeably accelerated.

Mechanism for creating BOM tables and placing was greatly enhanced receiving an automatic option. Functionality for creating 2D documentation was expanded. Tools for creating leader notes and GD&T symbols got new functionality, improved interface, and support for 3D. Section views now have additional features. Database access functions were completely redesigned. New mechanism of grouping elements significantly accelerated selection of elements in a variety of operations.

New features were added to T-FLEX CAM and T-FLEX Analysis - fully integrated into T-FLEX CAD applications that offer completely parametric functionally for CNC machining and finite-element simulation.

For more information, visit: www.tflex.com

Putting focus on your long-term investment strategy, rather than short-term capital savings will deliver a greater return and a more valuable and healthy business. To succeed in a highly competitive global market, injection molders must invest for the long term and focus on delivering the highest quality product, at the lowest cost, on time.

This webinar will demonstrate how making short-term investment decisions based purely on price can undermine the success of your business in the long run. We’ll show how molders who focus on smart, long-term investments that reduce part costs and energy requirements while increasing operational efficiencies, will ultimately increase the value of their business and thrive in a competitive marketplace.

We’ll explore:

* How smart investments increase how your business is valued by others
* The long-term effects that “good enough” decisions have on your business
* How under-investing now will cost more in the long run

- Overall equipment and factory effectiveness
- Material costs
- Rejects and down time
- Inventory
- Labor
- Quality
- On-time delivery
- Energy
- Dissatisfied or lost customers

Thursday, December 8, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CET

For more information or to register, visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/141134432

Egyptian mummies have fascinated mankind for centuries, and now modern-day 3D design software is helping Egyptologists to better see what two small mummies looked like in life, and from that, advance their understanding of ancient cultures.

Sensable announced that its Freeform® 3D-modeling and organic design solution helped put a face on two high-profile Egyptian mummies in displays that just opened this month. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History exhibition, “External Life in Ancient Egypt,” displays a new 3D-printed bust of a Freeform-designed facial reconstruction performed from the computed tomography (CT) scans of a 3-year old mummified boy. The child is the subject of extensive research by noted physical/forensic Smithsonian anthropologist Dr. David Hunt. In a separate case with a mummy owned by the Spurlock Museum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Freeform helped reconstruct the face of an 8-year old child mummy, revealing greater detail on facial features, and even showing a small one-sided ponytail.

Facial reconstruction formerly required physically sculpting on casts taken from the skeletal remains, a painstaking, time-consuming process that is potentially destructive process to 2,000-year old mummies. Freeform allowed Joe Mullins, a Washington DC-based forensic artist, to work from new-era CT scans, input them into Freeform, and then with digital speed and accuracy, define precise layers of muscle, skin and soft tissue following skeletal lines to depict the children with startling realism.

“From Joe’s facial reconstruction work, we learned our mummy was from West Asian or Middle Eastern heritage, and had more delicate facial features that we previously thought,” said Dr. Sarah Wisseman, archaeologist at the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS, Prairie Research Institute), which collaborates with the Spurlock Museum on exhibits and interdisciplinary projects. Her 2003 book “The Virtual Mummy” detailed what is known about the Spurlock mummy based on a 1990’s-era technology. “This is valuable new insight that confirms what is known about the mixed Mediterranean and Middle Eastern population inhabiting Egypt during the Roman Period."

Freeform is the 3D-modeling and design solution of choice for experts in facial reconstruction worldwide among archeologists and forensic artists at such institutions as the British Museum, Manchester University, the University of Dundee, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and numerous law enforcement organizations. Freeform’s rich set of organic modeling tools and unique ‘digital clay’ design paradigm, allow technicians to feel the model as they reconstruct and sculpt features using clues from the scans and skulls – and to work faster and more iteratively, during reconstruction than if working in physical clay.

“With Freeform, I can see what the skull is telling me, to maintain a direct representation of the skull into the tissue so I can bring it to life,” said Joe Mullins, forensic artist and chairman of the forensic art subcommittee of the International Association for Identification, an industry group for forensic specialists. “If I were working in clay, I couldn’t see through to the bone. With Freeform, I can, and because it’s optimized for working with complex, organic shapes, I can work at amazing speed. I work in layers, adding muscles that I’ve taken from libraries of anatomies, tweaking them, and adding skin and refining facial features.”

“Best yet, I can save my work in stages, and make multiple variations – so that whenever I want to go back to a previous version, all I do is click.”

Since mummies’ heads often are damaged in death or over time, Freeform makes it fast and easy to mirror an intact section of the skull onto the damaged side, to create facial symmetry. After flattened or missing bone sections are corrected, Mullins refines the design of individual facial features, such as upper and lower lips and noses. Mullins uses standard guidelines for skin thickness by gender, race or age, but lets the bones serve as the foundation.

With one mummy, cranial analyses such as the measurements of the nasal aperture and space between the eyes determined the mummy to be of African descent and likely from near Luxor in Egypt. Based in this input, Freeform easily allowed Mullins to refine the look of the nostrils and the eyes.

“The eyelids require a lot of finesse, and that’s where Freeform’s sculptural advantage shines through,” Mullins said. As the industry’s only touch-enabled 3D design solution, Freeform users like Mullins sculpt by holding a touch-enabled (haptic) device instead of a computer mouse. For example Mullins established a reference point on screen, then simply pulled, tugged or smoothed out skin by “feel” as he moved across the underlying eye socket. “And if I didn’t like a variation I did – I simply went back to an earlier version. You can’t do that when working in clay,” he said. These digital files also are easily output in many forms of rapid prototyping additive manufacturing, allowing multiple copies to be made for display purposes or further analyzed.

With another mummy, by working in Freeform, Mullins had the tools to take the higher-resolution, more detailed CT scan, and correspondingly better define the design of the nose, lips, ears, and the eyes than in the previous 20-year old recreation made from clay. He also could work both from CT-indicated hair as well as historical images to design the small one-sided ponytail hairstyle.

“Even secrets of the grave are no longer so secret with today’s advanced technology,” said Joan Lockhart, vice president of marketing for Sensable. “We’re proud to showcase the facial reconstruction work of our Freeform customers, and are excited about the way it is helping to bring new insights to ancient civilizations – as well as helping solve forensic mysteries in the modern world.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History “External Life of Ancient Egyptians” exhibition is permanent and includes an additional eight cases focusing on the science behind studying mummies. The museum is located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. More information about the exhibition and the museum is available at: www.mnh.si.edu

The Spurlock Museum’s mummy is on display on the museum’s second floor. For more information, visit: www.spurlock.uiuc.edu

Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc. (KMSA), the worldwide leader in the industrial measurement of color, light and shape, launches their new corporate website to better serve its customers in the Americas.

Officially launched, KMSA departed from its past web structure and pushed their website forward in one giant leap; incorporating the latest web technology and completely rethinking how to connect with existing and new customers. Overall navigation is much improved with graphical icons being used throughout the site as well as providing several different easy to use filters to help guide users to the correct products.

"Our web visitors are extremely important to us and we want to make it easy for them to find a solution. The site was designed with 2 types of visitors in mind. Type one is a new visitor that has identified a problem within their company but may not be familiar with the existing technology that's available. Type two is a visitor who is experienced, knows the science behind how our products work, and is looking for something specific. Both will come to find a solution which could be the same instrument, but each will take a different path to arrive to that solution," explained Lou Carulli, Marketing Manager for KMSA.

In addition to improved navigation, a new area called The Learning Center was added to educate visitors on the science behind the instruments and how a solution from Konica Minolta Sensing can improve their business. An expanded On Demand Webinar section now includes support for Spanish & Portuguese languages, allowing visitors from Latin America the ability to educate themselves. In this virtual environment guests can move at their own pace with complete control to pause, fast forward, rewind or skip to specific topics.

Perhaps the largest addition to the new website comes from the complete catalog of accessories available for each category of instrument. "KMSA has decades of applications experience across all of our measurement solutions. We have developed and engineered hundreds of accessories over the years on some of the most specific application requirements. This is the level of service and commitment you can expect from Konica Minolta Sensing," said Carulli.

For more information, visit: sensing.konicaminolta.us

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 10:38

Infinite Z Launches zSpace at Autodesk University

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Infinite Z, Inc. ®, a technology provider that enables virtual-holographic 3D imagery to bring designs to life, today announced the formal launch of the company and its flagship product, zSpace® at Autodesk University. The revolutionary zSpace platform is immediately available to early access beta customers as a standalone product now supporting Autodesk® Maya® and Autodesk® Showcase® software. zSpace will be generally available in the first half of 2012.

zSpace provides a highly realistic 3D visualization experience that enables designers and engineers to work with product designs in a way not previously possible in a traditional 2D computing environment. Using a proprietary stereoscopic display, trackable eyewear, a new type of direct interaction stylus and an innovative software platform, objects in zSpace appear "solid" in open space, with full color and high resolution, and can be directly manipulated as if they were real physical objects. This capability gives users a natural way to navigate, grab, slice, carve, zoom and explore models as never before possible.

Initially focused towards the digital/product design, scientific, medical, GIS/geospatial and government markets, zSpace is a completely new model for experiencing and communicating design ideas and significantly advancing the way people solve problems, learn, teach and communicate in today's world.

"zSpace is the wave of the future for product design and development," said Paul Kellenberger, CEO of Infinite Z. "Our immersive zSpace experience enables users to interact with 3D applications just as naturally and intuitively as they would with real physical objects, which has never been possible before in the virtual computing space. zSpace has the potential to dramatically enhance and improve user workflows, saving companies time and money, and enabling designers and engineers to represent their ideas more effectively and realistically than possible with today's 2D displays."

zSpace replaces indirect access of 2D rendered 3D objects with direct control of stereo 3D rendered objects, providing increased productivity for those proficient in Maya 2011 and Showcase Professional 2012  and accelerated learning and utilization of products for less experienced users. Beta versions of zSpace plug-ins are available today for Autodesk Maya 2011 and Showcase Professional 2012, as well as a proof-of-concept zSpace demo for Autodesk Alias Design software.

"The quality of 3D stereo in zSpace is impressive; I feel like we've been living in a 2D world, and an application like zSpace with such immersive qualities gives better cognition to digital 3D content," said Brian Pene, senior principal researcher, office of the CTO at Autodesk. "I think the future is 3D content so seamlessly realistic that you can't tell the difference between the virtual and real worlds. I can see many use cases for zSpace that fit into Autodesk's breadth of solutions and am looking forward to working on zSpace with additional Autodesk software products moving forward."

Infinite Z will be showcasing zSpace at its booth #911 in the exhibit hall of Autodesk University as well as at the Autodesk gallery, Autodesk® manufacturing lounge, IMAGINiT Technologies, booth, 3Dconnexion booth and Lenovo Platinum Lounge.

A virtual demonstration of zSpace is available at: www.zspace.com





3Dconnexion today announced the SpaceMouse™ Pro – its newest 3D mouse for professional 3D software users working in a range of industries from mechanical engineering to media and entertainment, product design, architecture, and healthcare. SpaceMouse Pro combines 3Dconnexion's patented six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) sensor for intuitive and precise 3D navigation with an advanced ergonomic design and innovative On-screen Display, to deliver superior comfort and a simpler, more productive workflow.

"3D mice revolutionize the way people interact with digital 3D content," said Antonio Pascucci, vice president of products, 3Dconnexion. "We are committed to developing products that meet the needs of 3D users. SpaceMouse Pro provides a professional 3D navigation experience, enabling users to better understand their 3D content, while its new advanced ergonomic design ensures a comfortable working experience."

The SpaceMouse Pro 3D mouse is an easy-to-use, professional solution with advanced features, including:

* Professional Navigation: The patented six-degrees-of-freedom sensor provides intuitive 3D navigation while five QuickView keys offer one-touch access to 12 view combinations – top, right, front, and 90-degree rotation.
* Advanced Ergonomic Design: SpaceMouse Pro ensures a balanced and comfortable workflow with full-size, soft-coated hand rest and fifteen large, tactile and easy-to-locate buttons.
* Application Control: Four large, fully customizable Intelligent Function Keys provide fingertip access to frequently used application commands while the new On-screen Display provides visual feedback on function key assignment. In addition, SpaceMouse Pro's Keyboard Modifiers provide convenient access to Control, Shift, Alt, Esc functions.

3Dconnexion will be demonstrating the SpaceMouse Pro in booth #136 at Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.

3Dconnexion 3D mice revolutionize the way users work with 3D applications by providing a more natural and intuitive way to interact with digital 3D content. By gently manipulating the controller cap, users can simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate their 3D models or camera position while using the standard mouse to select, create and edit. It's an intuitive, balanced and cooperative work style that results in increased productivity, improvements in design quality and enhanced comfort.

The SpaceMouse Pro is backed by a three-year warranty, and is currently available at a suggested retail price of $299. The SpaceMouse Pro is supported by Windows 7, Vista®, XP, Mac OS 10.4.6 or later, Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC), Sun Solaris 10 (x86/x64), and Linux® (Redhat Enterprise Linux WS 4, SuSE 9.3 or later).

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

Cideas, Inc., a leading Rapid Prototyping, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) and 3D Printing company, today announced the purchase and installation of two (2) Fortus 900mc 3D Production Systems. This purchase solidifies Cideas as the world's largest independently owned FDM service center.

The Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) equipment, purchased from the Fortus Group of Stratasys Inc., comes as a direct response to an increased demand from existing as well as new customers requiring larger 3D printed thermoplastic and end-use parts which offer a high level of accuracy, durability and repeatability.

“In a response to our ever growing and diverse audience, these Fortus 900mc's enable us to expand our target market and offer new exotic plastics such as Ultem 9085, to customers who would normally be limited to CNC machining or injection molding. Now these customers can create more complex and larger 3D printed end-use parts quickly, without the extraordinary expense imposed by other methods,” said Cideas President Mike Littrell. “With our current capacity and ability to provide all legacy materials, this acquisition enables Cideas, unlike any other FDM bureau, to offer every available material by the manufacturer including our own custom blends.”

With a build envelope of 36”x 24”x 36”, the Fortus 900mc offers the industry’s largest build platform. “Although Cideas offers up to seven different material choices on the 900mc, the focus is truly on Ultem 9085. Ultem 9085 and FDM are a perfect match for the automotive, medical and aerospace industries due to its high heat deflection, chemical resistance and FST (flame, smoke and toxicity) rating," stated Littrell.

Cideas is proudly free of rush charges, pricing minimums and holiday/weekend rates. Cideas also maintains a full service in-house model shop to compliment its many available 3D printing services.

Founded in 1998, Cideas is the largest independently owned service provider of the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. Their new state of the art Chicago-land based facility was specifically designed to house the ever growing 17+ FDM Systems supporting over 13 different FDM materials such as: ABS-M30, M30i, ABS-ESD7, PC-ABS, PC-ISO, PC, ULTEM 9085, PPSF / PPSU, P400, and ABS F1. In addition to FDM, the company offers an additional 15+ materials with Polyjet Printing, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA),

Urethane Casting, CAD Engineering and full model finishing services. Cideas is a member of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

For more information, visit: www.buildparts.com

Kraftwurx is not a simple manufacturing company making custom products, it’s a revolutionary new way to print the planet in 3D. Kraftwurx is a social community for artists, engineers, designers and anyone with an idea where your ideas are made into products, printed in 3D and sold to the world as real products.

Kraftwurx is partnering with 3D printing companies around the globe, creating the worlds first and only networked manufacturing system of 3D printers, ready to make products and ship them to your door. We currently have over 600 bureaus and 40+ materials in our network and it is growing every day! Kraftwurx also provides an outlet for creative people to make money because products on Kraftwurx are designed by community members and sold on the site.

As an educational tool for 3D design and printing, Kraftwurx has a lot to offer. The site is available in 58 languages and has a real-time chat system in your own language. The site also features a Facebook-like social platform designed exclusively for those interested in learning about 3D printing and selling products.

Kraftwurx is a very efficient and cost effective way to bring products to market. Every product for sale on Kraftwurx is stored as a 3D model (or an assembly of models) and produced through 3D printing only when a customer orders something from the site. Products are drop shipped directly to the customer. The software that powers Kraftwurx makes decisions on where to produce your product when you order it. It looks for the closest facility to you that can make your item. This saves time because the items will often be made locally. As a business owner, it is not difficult to see that the business model has merits.

It’s a compelling business model which reduces the need for transportation and fuel, because products are made near the end user. It also eliminates the need for inventory and warehouses because products are stored as 3D models until someone orders an item. Early next year, Kraftwurx will be adding the ability for customers to customize and personalize many of the products for sale in the site.

Satisfied business owners and end customers are the result of all this because consumers get custom products that meet their unique needs quickly, and cheaply and businesses are able to bring new products to market without the need for their own supply chain and warehouses.

Kraftwurx has amassed a network of several hundred 3D printer facilities globally and the number is growing. The trend reflects the movement back to more localized manufacturing. As this trend continues, consumers will notice more products available with Kraftwurx & Digital Factory at the epicenter of the movement. Kraftwurx is currently experiencing traffic from 86 countries & territories around the world. The sites traffic is increasing by 3000% monthly.

Kraftwurx is based on a business model developed in 2005 and patented in 2006 by Digital Reality. In 2006, the company launched a beta website to showcase the idea and raise capital. Work has continued quietly ever since. Digital Reality has been monitoring the market which, has gradually developed into a working method to make real products, without a factory and costly labor force and they felt the timing was right to make the announcement.

In 2004, Chris Norman, a Manufacturing Engineer from Texas A&M University and avid 3D designer realized that 3D printers were maturing enough to be used for the consumer products market but enabling technologies did not exist. He began work on the system that powers Kraftwurx through a patent called “Made-To-Order Digital Manufacturing Enterprise” and turned it into a factory-in-a-box that you can purchase much like you would buy Microsoft Office. It enables you to open a web-based store where the products are 3D models until purchased and then printed in 3D without any additional software or services. It includes a system that enables consumers to customize and personalize their own products and see what they are buying in 3D on their computer at work or home.

The Kraftwurx community is wrapped around Digital Factory™ which allows the community members to upload their 3D models in a sellers account and sell them to anyone around the world.

Even users with little or no experience in 3D design can turn an idea into a product and earn money from it. Kraftwurx has a system called Alchemy where an idea can be posted. Other community members can assist in the product’s 3D design and development. Compensation can then be negotiated in terms of actual cash or potential profit from future sales of the finished design. With Alchemy, 3D experience is not necessary.

Kraftwurx is easy to use for everyone, whether you are a designer, seller or a 3D printer and the community brings everyone together, regardless of nation or language.

Republic Steel announced it will invest $85.2 million in an electric arc furnace and associated equipment at its steelmaking facility in Lorain, Ohio, to meet growing customer demand for the company's SBQ steel. The location was chosen for its proximity to customers and its skilled workforce.

The announcement was made at the site by Republic Steel President and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Vigil, and is subject to finalization and ratification of a new labor agreement with the United Steelworkers. It is estimated that the project will bring 449 new jobs and more than $1 billion dollars in annual economic activity to Ohio. The existing 489 jobs at the Lorain facility will be retained.

"This investment in our Lorain plant will help Republic Steel maintain its position as the industry leader in SBQ manufacturing," Vigil said. "The additional capacity created by the new furnace will allow us more flexibility and efficiency in delivering the highly engineered products our customers require."

On hand for the announcement were Ohio Governor John Kasich and local dignitaries showing support for the project's role in bringing jobs and prosperity to Lorain and positioning the state of Ohio to be a leader in tomorrow's economy.

The new furnace is expected to increase the company's steel production by one million tons annually and will account for Lorain's first significant growth in steelmaking in the 21st century. It will also enable production of bloom cast for the production of SBQ bar and the production of seamless tube rounds.

Construction of the electric arc furnace is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be complete in mid 2013.

Established in 1886, Republic Steel is celebrating its 125th anniversary as the leader in SBQ manufacturing and providing continuous service to its customers. The company makes and sells more SBQ than any other company. Republic Steel was acquired in July 2005 by Industrias CH, S.A de C.V. (ICH), a rapidly growing steel producer and processor based in Mexico City. The company's strategic alliance with ICH helps strengthen its relationships with customers expanding in Mexico and South America. Since 2005, ICH has invested more than $600 million into Republic Steel to maintain the company's position as the forefront of the SBQ industry.

For more information, visit: www.republicsteel.com

Even as time and cost pressures mount in manufacturing, product designers and engineers have new, unprecedented opportunities to drive their companies' success through improved innovation.

That's the focus of Z Corporation's presence at EuroMold 2011, the world fair for moldmaking, tooling, design and application development. The event takes place 29 November through 2 December in Frankfurt, Germany.

Z Corporation, appearing in Hall 11, Stand D48 of the Exhibition Center at Frankfurt am Main, provides 3D printers and 3D scanners for the world's most productive designers and engineers. Its 3D printers are the world's fastest, most affordable and only ones capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors.

Z Corporation will demonstrate its solutions at EuroMold as well as offer an important session, "How to Choose the Right Rapid Prototyping System," by Peter Hansford, Z Corporation vice president of EMEA/APAC. It takes place Thursday, 1 December, 10 a.m. in Hall 11, the House of Creation.

Attendees can see these 3D printing and 3D scanning solutions at the Z Corporation Stand 11/D48:

* The ZPrinter® 250, the company's newest and most affordable multicolor 3D printer. The ZPrinter 250 has a small physical footprint and incorporates the speed and automation features found in Z Corporation's mid- and high-end printers, making it ideal for the classroom, department or small business.

* The ZPrinter® 450, a full-color, easy-to-use, office-friendly 3D printer delivering advanced color, automation and a print speed five to ten times faster than competing printers.

* The ZPrinter® 650, which delivers the industry's largest models, highest-quality color and finest resolution. It is engineered specifically to satisfy the most demanding application requirements. With the largest build volume of any 3D printer, it enables users to print very large, high-resolution, multicolor models in hours or to simultaneously make many smaller models.

* The ZBuilder® Ultra rapid prototyping machine, which builds durable plastic parts rivaling injection molding's accuracy, material properties, detail and surface finish.

* ZPrinter and ZBuilder prototypes, including concept models, molds, functional parts and show giveaways.

* The ZScanner® 700 CX, the world's first handheld 3D laser scanner that can capture surface information in full 24-bit color, rendering the complete picture of an object, not just the geometry.

"We serve the highest-achieving designers and engineers, so we concentrate on making our solutions the fastest, easiest, most accessible and most valuable," said Z Corporation Vice President of Marketing Kevin Lach. "Our goal is to remove productivity obstacles and unleash the innovation in every designer."

For more information, visit: www.euromold.com or www.zcorp.com

Monday, 21 November 2011 12:30

Midwest Manufacturing Expo and Job Fair

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Ironically, while so many people are looking for jobs, many local manufacturers are looking for qualified, skilled employees to fill hundreds of job openings.

Compounding this problem, is the outdated image of manufacturing as offering only low-skill, low wage jobs. In fact, many of today’s youth don’t even bother to apply for open positions because they think manufacturing is boring and offers no career path.

To address these issues, Medusa Consulting Group, Inc. is teaming with CHAMPION Now, Manufacturing Careers, Inc., the Midwest / Illinois Reshoring Initiative, WCPT-AM/FM, the Golden Corridor, and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council to host the Midwest Manufacturing Expo and Job Fair.

The event will be held Monday, December 5, from 1 pm – 6 pm at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, IL. This event is geared towards three audiences: job seekers with manufacturing training and background; returning veterans with transferable skills and high school and college students with an interest in starting a manufacturing career.

“Manufacturers across the region are desperately looking for employees with manufacturing experience,” explained Rand Haas, President of Medusa Consulting Group, a Medinah, IL-based consulting firm specializing in manufacturing. “In fact, some are turning down business because they do not have enough employees to produce the orders.”

In addition, Haas points out many manufacturers have stopped advertising for help, because they get flooded with hundreds of resumes from unqualified job seekers. “That’s why this Manufacturing Expo and Job Fair is inviting students looking for a career path in manufacturing and job seekers with manufacturing training or backgrounds”, he added. He expects over 100 manufacturers, suppliers and education and training providers to participate in this unique event. It also is designed to improve the image of manufacturing.

“We want to show the American public that American manufacturing is very much alive and doing quite well,” said Haas.

Forest View Educational Center
2121 S. Gobbert Rd.
Arlington Hts. IL 60005

1:30 - 2:00    Midwest/ Illinois Reshoring Initiative - Lowering the Total Cost of Ownership
Hosted by Harry Moser, President Midwest Reshoring

2:10 - 2:40    Manufacturing Careers Internship Program - Manufacturers wanted!
Hosted by Rand Haas, President, Medusa Inc.

2:50 - 3:20    On-the-Job-Training Opportunities - Helping Manufacturers develop a skilled workforce
Hosted by John Bradrich, Chicago Federation of Labor

3:30 - 4:00    Hiring Returning Veterans - Want Employers Need to Know about Transferring Skills
Hosted by Tim Graves, IDES

4:15 - 5:15   “Getting Youth Involved with Manufacturing” Roundtable
Meet with representatives from High Schools, Community Colleges, Manufacturers, CHAMPION NOW, MCIP, and WIB

For more information, visit: www.yourmanufacturingcareer.com or www.medusainc.com

Monday, 21 November 2011 10:23

Z Corporation to be Acquired by 3D Systems

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Z Corporation, the leader in multi-color inkjet 3D printing, today announced that it will be acquired by 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), becoming the first company capable of delivering an integrated platform of mixed 3D printing technologies, 3D content, and 3D design services. The news is part of a wider announcement today in which the Contex Group, a subsidiary of Ratos AB, announced that it had signed an agreement to sell its subsidiaries, Z Corporation and VIDAR Systems, to 3D Systems Corporation for USD 137m in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

“Our vision is to help designers create more ideas, more communication, and more innovation; and joining 3D Systems enables to us deliver on that promise even faster,” said Z Corporation CEO John Kawola. “We intend to make multi-color 3D printing accessible to far more designers, provide a more complete customer experience, rapidly advance new applications, and build the foundation for a new generation of Z Corporation innovations.”

"This decisive step will unleash the growth and value creation potential that this opportunity presents to our expanding base of customers, employees and shareholders,” commented Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems. “This is a strategic fit for both businesses that will expand our capabilities in product development, channel coverage, manufacturing and marketing. We share Z Corporation’s commitment to its customers and partners, and look forward to building the 3D content-to-print platform of the future.”

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

On September 16, 2011, the America Invents Act (AIA) became law. Although a number of provisions of the Act do not have an “effective date” for quite some time, some provisions took immediate effect. The expert patent attorneys of Bay Area Technology Law Group highlight one such provision: the elimination of permitted legal actions based on a failure to meet the requirement that an application filed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office include the “best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention” [35 U.S.C. §112].

The rationale for the “best mode” requirement stemmed from the recognition that a patent is a contract with the public whereby an inventor discloses his or her invention in exchange for the receipt of a limited monopoly. If the “best mode” contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his or her invention was not recited, the public would be somewhat shortchanged by providing the inventor with the statutorily prescribed monopoly and yet not receiving, in return, the most ideal construction or use of the invention.

“In other words,” explains Malcolm Wittenberg, an intellectual property attorney at Bay Area Technology Law group, “the patent statue required, as a condition for validity, that the ‘best mode’ known to the patent applicant be disclosed.”

Wittenberg notes that as a practical matter, there is no way that an examiner could independently learn whether an applicant disclosed his or her “best mode.” However, in litigation, where an examiner can be deposed under oath and invention records scrutinized, failure to disclose the “best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention” could be determined, which provided a basis for challenging the validity of the patent. With AIA, this has all changed.

According to changes to patent law under Section 15 of AIA, it is now provided that “failure to disclose the best mode will not be a basis on which any claim of a patent may be cancelled or held invalid or otherwise unenforceable…” Thus, although the rules requiring the disclosure of the “best mode” remain in place when prosecuting an application before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, failure to comply with the “best mode” requirement does not provide a basis to attack the validity of an issued patent.

“Because an examiner would find it virtually impossible to independently determine whether a patent applicant disclosed the ‘best mode’ for carrying out his or her invention, the ‘best mode’ requirement has been effectively stricken from the statute in light of the inability of a defendant to attack patent validity under 35 U.S.C. §282 [presumption of validity] on this basis,” explains Wittenberg.

For more information about changes to the “best mode” requirement under the new patent law or any of Bay Area Technology Law Group’s products or services, visit: www.batechlaw.com

Rand Worldwide announced that 12 IMAGINiT Technologies and ASCENT industry experts will lead 16 different sessions at this year’s Autodesk University. The conference and exhibition takes place November 28 – December 1, 2011 at the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.

The IMAGINiT Technologies exhibit booth (#724) will showcase new product and service offerings from IMAGINiT Technologies and Rand Secure Archive – North America’s first and only Autonomy powered data archive, compliance and discovery technology for small to mid-sized organizations. Rand Worldwide’s educational courseware publishing division, ASCENT, will have its own booth again this year located in the Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC) Pavilion and Bookstore (Booth #601).

“With more than 85 technical experts across the building, civil, manufacturing, infrastructure and facilities management verticals, we’re often invited to speak at conferences across North America, Australia and Southeast Asia,” says Bob Heeg, executive vice president, IMAGINiT Technologies. “Autodesk University represents a great opportunity for us not only to showcase our industry insight and highlight our new products and services, but to also connect with our customers in a unique setting.”

The IMAGINiT booth will showcase new updates to the popular Scan to BIM product, highlight the brand new ProductivityNOW portal, spotlight the Rand Secure Archive division, and showcase the full range of IMAGINiT services.

Technical implementation experts, software developers, educational courseware authors, and trainers will present on a wide variety of topics including Autodesk software, CAD management, customization and programming, architecture and building design, civil infrastructure, manufacturing, and MEP and structural design and engineering.

IMAGINiT and ASCENT Speaker Topic Line-Up for Autodesk University 2011

Building Presentations:

* Super-Size Me: An Owner's Guide to the Real Cost of a Mega Autodesk Revit Project
* On CLOUD 9 with BIM 9: A BIM/IT Managers Guide to Private BIM Clouds
* Leveraging an Architect's Model in Revit MEP
* Multiple Discipline Scheduling in Autodesk Revit: It's Possible to Schedule Anything with Revit
* Get a Load Outta Autodesk Revit MEP


Infrastructure Presentations:

* Surveying and Base Mapping Standards and Practices
* AutoCAD Civil 3D Survey: From the Ground to the (Point) Clouds


Manufacturing Presentations:

* Watch Your Assets: Best Practices for Autodesk Factory Design Asset Libraries
* Mechanical Advantage: Using AutoCAD Mechanical for 2D Legacy and 3D Model Documentation
* Go with the Flow: Using Material Flow Optimization in Autodesk Factory Design Suite


Software Development Presentations:

* Seeing Data and More: The Analysis Visualization Framework in the Revit API
* A Few Million Points: Scan to BIM
* Connecting the "I" in BIM: Leveraging Information in Autodesk Revit


ASCENT Training Presentations:

* Incredible AutoCAD Civil 3D Users: Prove Your Credibility with Civil 3D Certification
* The Brainy Bunch: Teacher Training Tips for Revit Architecture, MEP and Structure
* From Concept to Published Document: Tips for Working Effectively with Autodesk Inventor Publisher

For more information, visit: au.autodesk.com

The University of California Berkeley is using Z Corporation 3D printing technology to accelerate the evolution of a new medical device that promises to deliver safe, non-invasive angiography.

Called X-space Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI), the technology will let doctors look inside the heart and brain without the dangers of radiation, iodine, guide wires or catheters, according to Patrick Goodwill, University of California Berkeley research associate and developer of both the theory and first x-space MPI scanner. The MPI scanner detects nanoparticles spotlighted by benign iron oxide tracers injected into the bloodstream.

Goodwill and a team of graduate engineering students in the Conolly Laboratory use the ZPrinter® 150 3D printer to create parts for MPI scanner prototypes that can image small animals. These devices are precursors to human-scale scanners.

"Since we're building the world's first MPI scanners, we can't just buy parts off the shelf," said Goodwill. "We're using the ZPrinter to manufacture parts such as transmit coils, receive coils, heated animal beds and even custom components for delivering animal anesthesia. Every scanner we've built has incorporated at least two or three ZPrinted parts."

Goodwill purchased the ZPrinter after trying Dimension 3D printers, which were expensive -- costing up to $1,500 per part in materials -- and time consuming, taking as much as 20 hours to make a single part. The ZPrinter creates parts in half the time, at a fraction of the price, and even produces multiple parts in each build cycle. "We can build 30 parts for the price of one," Goodwill said.

"ZPrinting is the fastest way we can create the parts we need to rapidly iterate our design so we can bring MPI to the general public sooner," Goodwill said. "We train all our students on SolidWorks® CAD software and have them manufacture their own parts. Now, whenever we have an inspiration, we try it out with a real part. We never have to leave the lab."

3D printing creates physical models you can hold in your hand from 3D digital data, much as a document printer creates a business letter from a word-processing file. ZPrinters are the fastest, most affordable 3D printers and the only ones capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors.

For more information, visit: www.qb3.org/blog/2011/09/magnetic-particle-imaging-0

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