gpi-prototype-top-banner

News (945)

Sensable announced today that it has shipped a major new version of its Freeform™ 3D Design for Manufacture solution for product designers who create organic, highly sculptural goods, from jewelry to toys to medical implants – and need to manufacture them efficiently. Freeform Version 12 adds over 50 new features and enhancements to the company’s proven Freeform 3D modeling platform, which is highly valued by many of the world’s top designers in industries where organic, sculptural forms are needed. Its ability to work across many geometries, including voxels, mesh, polygons and NURBS, and prepare objects for manufacturing, is unique in the industry, allowing users to quickly prototype, iterate and then cost-effectively achieve production-ready models.

"Freeform version 12 has put the fun back into the process of developing new product designs, with new and enhanced features that allow creativity to flow more freely,” said George Sivy, owner of Ghost Studio, a product design firm in Longmont, Colorado. "Fast and effortless is the best way that I can describe these new capabilities. In Freeform, I can model a concept in 15 minutes compared to the hours that it would take in other 3D modeling packages. We are constantly being asked to produce intricate models and figures, and new Freeform features such as the new "Bend & Twist Tool" and the "Pivot Tool" provide us with unrivaled speed and flexibility in experimenting with different poses. Because my models often start as scans, or imports from other modeling programs, Freeform’s ability to use these new tools in a variety of different geometry formats saves significant amounts of time."

“Being able to easily add artistic flair to a mechanical design and have it be machine ready is a great benefit of using Freeform in our workflow,” said Ryan Buckalew, manager of prototyping at Beme International, maker of stylish, yet affordable drapery hardware. “With Project Patch to Clay in Freeform version 12, there is now a greater ability to cleanly surface the elements sculpted in Freeform and stitch them into solid assemblies for manufacturing.“

Highlights of the new Freeform Version 12 release include:

  • Expanded modeling and prep for manufacturing capabilities, across multiple geometries. Workflows today are more complex, requiring numerous model types – for example, scans are output as polygons, engineering files as NURBS, and sculpting models as voxels and polygons. Conversion between formats is often required at different points in a workflow because of limitations of various CAD software packages. This can result in a loss of design details, such as subtle curves, and more importantly in today’s competitive market — time.

Freeform is unique in its ability to model in polygons, voxels, and NURBS surfaces and solids, allowing the designer to retain original design integrity. With Freeform, users can break up polygon models for articulation, interactively optimize mold pull direction, fix moldability problems and develop complex parting surfaces in the geometry that best suits the project. Enhancements in Freeform version 12 expand Freeform’s interoperability, including:

  • Support for Booleans between CAD surfaces/solids, meshes and/or voxels or across any combination of these – saving time while keeping the integrity of the design. For example, users can import a polygon model of a toy into Freeform without the need to convert it into voxels. Once in Freeform, users can “carve up” the toy to indicate articulation points, such as the arm and leg joints – then add further engineering design and export the model as a polygon file -- all while keeping the perfectly sharp edges essential for mold tools.

  • New Mesh tools such as Mesh Division, Mesh Smooth, Mesh Booleans, to allow modeling in the designer’s native format, which protects against potential loss of data as well as the pervasive “gotchas” that can occur when converting between formats. Mesh Division allows a toy designer, for example, to take an animated character model that is highly faceted, and in 1 or 2 clicks create a model that removes the facets and can be used for production.

Streamlining the conversion steps between representational types. Freeform tools allow users to quickly change between formats, enabling flexible workflows using the best format for the task at hand, with such enhancements as:

  • Project patch to clay – a one button, fast and easy command for converting low level relief sculptures in NURBS surfaces. Ideal for incorporating sculptural detail into CAD models for further detailing, or for downstream machining where only NURBS surfaces are supported.

  • Improvements in autosurfacing, - autosurfacing usually means many hundreds of patches to adequately capture detail and this can dramatically slow down downstream CAD/CAM applications. The new improvements dramatically reduce the number of patches required by adding t-joints and further control parameters.

New features and enhancements for traditional sculpting workflows such as faster and more flexible deformation and roughing out tools, include:

  • Curve Spheres – replicating the sculptor’s real world armature, this allows designers and sculptors to quickly create volumetric models controlled by an underling curve skeleton. Allowing quick volume studies, fast re-posing and base model generation.

  • Bend and Twist - allows designers more flexibility to dynamically pose figures by recreating the natural bend and twist of human joints. Extreme deformations like corkscrewing can be achieved, without damaging the model typically associated with such operations.

  • Pose – ideal for action toy designers, medical modelers and anyone creating articulated joints in their designs. Allows for fast and easy joint definition and re-posing to aesthetically test range of movement.

  • Hot Wax Tool – replicating more subtle sculpting procedures, this allows sculptors to gain a finer control over their modeling as well as combining multiples tools into one for a faster, more natural workflow.

  • Interactively optimized mold pull directions – ideal for turning complex organic models into fully drafted, production ready designs. This new tool allows designers to interactively change the pull direction with real time draft analysis to find the optimal pull direction before the task of removing undercuts has begun.

“With Version 12, we’ve added an incredible list of new features and capabilities, building on Freeform’s already extensive 3D modeling tools. We are especially proud of the enhanced interoperability capabilities,” said Joan Lockhart, vice president of sales and marketing at Sensable. “Freeform is the only organic CAD software that supports manufacturing-ready designs across so many types of CAD models – meshes, NURBS, voxels, and polygons . Other software may make a great looking model, but Freeform lets you rest assured it can be manufactured to the highest quality standards, efficiently.”

Founded in 1993, Sensable remains the leading developer of touch-enabled solutions and technology that allow users to not only see and hear an on-screen computer application, but to actually “feel” it. With 44 patents granted and over 10,000 systems installed worldwide, Sensable helps people innovate with human touch solutions. The company markets and sells a suite of 3D organic design solutions that includes its flagship product, Freeform; and the Phantom® and Omni™ lines of haptic devices, used in surgical simulation and planning, stroke rehabilitation, medical training, and a range of research and robotic applications.

For more information, visit: www.sensable.com/products-freeform-systems.htm







Monday, 12 March 2012 11:25

3D-Printer with Nano-Precision

Written by

Printing three dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using “two-photon lithography”. With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have now made a major breakthrough in speeding up this printing technique: The high-precision-3D-printer at TU Vienna is orders of magnitude faster than similar devices (see video). This opens up completely new areas of application, such as in medicine.

Setting a New World Record

The 3D printer uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. The focal point of the laser beam is guided through the resin by movable mirrors and leaves behind a polymerized line of solid polymer, just a few hundred nanometers wide. This high resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand. “Until now, this technique used to be quite slow”, says Professor Jürgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at the TU Vienna. “The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second – our device can do five meters in one second.” In two-photon lithography, this is a world record.

This amazing progress was made possible by combining several new ideas. “It was crucial to improve the control mechanism of the mirrors”, says Jan Torgersen (TU Vienna). The mirrors are continuously in motion during the printing process. The acceleration and deceleration-periods have to be tuned very precisely to achieve high-resolution results at a record-breaking speed.

Photoactive Molecules Harden the Resin

3D-printing is not all about mechanics – chemists had a crucial role to play in this project too. “The resin contains molecules, which are activated by the laser light. They induce a chain reaction in other components of the resin, so-called monomers, and turn them into a solid”, says Jan Torgersen. These initiator molecules are only activated if they absorb two photons of the laser beam at once – and this only happens in the very center of the laser beam, where the intensity is highest. In contrast to conventional 3D-printing techniques, solid material can be created anywhere within the liquid resin rather than on top of the previously created layer only. Therefore, the working surface does not have to be specially prepared before the next layer can be produced (see Video), which saves a lot of time. A team of chemists led by Professor Robert Liska (TU Vienna) developed the suitable initiators for this special resin.

Researchers all over the world are working on 3D printers today – at universities as well as in industry. “Our competitive edge here at the Vienna University of Technology comes from the fact that we have experts from very different fields, working on different parts of the problem, at one single university”, Jürgen Stampfl emphasizes. In materials science, process engineering or the optimization of light sources, there are experts working together and coming up with mutually stimulating ideas.

Because of the dramatically increased speed, much larger objects can now be created in a given period of time. This makes two-photon-lithography an interesting technique for industry. At the TU Vienna, scientists are now developing bio-compatible resins for medical applications. They can be used to create scaffolds to which living cells can attach themselves facilitating the systematic creation of biological tissues. The 3d printer could also be used to create tailor made construction parts for biomedical technology or nanotechnology.

For more information, visit: www.tuwien.ac.at

Whether it's a flame design on a video game console or a wood grain look for a laptop, sometimes a product or prototype just needs some pizzazz to capture people's attention. Companies like Realize Inc. help companies create such engaging products through custom finishing services that result in unique eye-catching designs.

"We have been looking for ways to make our models look more production-like to meet the demands of some of our clients," said Realize President Todd Reese. "With RealCool, we can accomplish this and so much more. The process allows for an almost endless combination of visually stunning aesthetics that can be applied to nearly any surface."

Realize recently expanded its custom finishing services with the introduction of its RealCool finishing process, which involves applying patterns to three-dimensional rapid prototypes or existing products. RealCool can be used to enhance Stereolithography (SLA) models and cast urethane models, as well as other plastics, metal, wood and glass.

RealCool finishing can allow an ordinary plastic prototype model to be completely transformed into a part that looks like a real production piece. Realize has already had opportunities with many types of existing products such as video game consoles, sports equipment, laptop computers, smartphone cases and much more from clients just wanting a unique and custom appearance on their personal gear. Customers can choose from hundreds of patterns such as carbon fiber, metal, wood and camouflage.

"We've heard a lot of 'Wow!' in response to the projects we've done to date, including a miniature wood-grain table, a camouflaged projectile, a brushed metal bicycle component, and even a few tricked out phone cases for some local school children," Reese said. "We are really excited by the possibilities the RealCool process brings to the table, plus we can provide the customized, low quantity option that is often hard to find."

Founded in 1999, Indiana-based Realize creates customized rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries, including biomedical, aerospace and electronics. Services include Stereolithography, RTV molding and Cast Urethane Models, and Custom Finishing and Painting.

For more information, visit: www.realizeinc.com

For over a decade, Nikon Metrology pioneered laser scanning and gradually sharpened the capabilities of this non-contact measuring technology. Nikon’s superior optics combined with innovative 3D laser scanning technology resulted in this new, groundbreaking Nikon scanner. The LC15Dx digital laser scanner is a new milestone, as it brings laser scanning in the accuracy range of tactile inspection. The LC15Dx is a viable alternative to a tactile probe for an increasing number of high precision CMM applications; including molds, small turbine blades, medical devices and other complex geometry.

Closing the gap with tactile probe accuracy

Following an intense R&D phase involving engineering from Nikon Japan, the LC15Dx is the first CMM laser scanner to benefit from a high quality Nikon lens and receive the Nikon branding. “The LC15Dx is a significant breakthrough product, our customers can now realize the measurement possibilities and productivity gains they have been asking for.  This  further bolsters our position as industry innovator and market lead for metrology grade laser scanners.”commented Kenji Yoshikawa, chairman and CEO of Nikon Metrology.

LC15Dx accuracy comes close to the accuracy expected when using a CMM and tactile probe. Thanks to new solid state laser scanner technology, an innovative calibration method and high quality Nikon lens, the LC15Dx achieves a probing  accuracy of 2.5µm (0.0001in) multi-stylus test accuracy of 6µm (0.00024in) in tests comparable to EN/10360-2 and -5. A unique thermal stabilizer inside the scanner body eliminates the uncertainty and delay caused when the laser scanner is used before it has reached operating temperature. Probe tip compensation errors are also eliminated by using non-contact triangulation between the laser source, workpiece and CCD sensor to measure the surface of the workpiece directly.

Versatile scanning without the hassle

The LC15Dx provides significant benefits for a wide variety of high precision parts and geometry, including small details, semi-rigid parts and the more demanding materials. A greater range and mix of surface materials, finishes, colors and transitions can be measured more efficiently without user interaction, manual tuning and part spraying. Nikons unique third-generation Enhanced Scanner Performance (ESP3) technology maintains accuracy, speed and data quality by intelligently adapting the laser settings for each measured point in real-time. Unwanted reflections are neutralized by an advanced software filter while changes in ambient light are absorbed by a high grade daylight filter.

Better insights, earlier

Manufacturers gain a full appreciation of the dimensional quality of their products without compromising on cycle times. As the LC15Dx passes over the workpiece mounted on a CMM, a laser line is projected onto the surface. The line measures 70,000 points per second at intervals of 22µm (0.0008in). As the entire part is checked to the design intent CAD model, any areas of concern are immediately highlighted using color mapping. Further investigation and analysis is possible using fly-outs, sections and a library of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T).

Multi-sensor applications , ready to retrofit to your CMM

In situations where a single sensor technology is insufficient for measuring all the features, the LC15Dx can be combined with a tactile probe and change rack to create a versatile fully automated multi-sensor CMM. Depending on the application both technologies can be used independently or together within the same inspection program.

The LC15Dx is available with any Nikon Metrology CMM and can be retrofitted to existing CMMs fitted with CMM controllers from Aberlink, Deva, Coord3, Dukin, LK, Hexagon DEA, Hexagon Brown & Sharpe, Hexagon Sheffield, Mitutoyo, Mora, Renishaw, Wenzel, Werth, Zeiss and probe heads Renishaw PH10M, PH10MQ, PHS and Hexagon CW43.

For more information, visit: www.nikonmetrology.com/en_US/Products/Laser-Scanning/CMM-scanning/LC15Dx-laser-scanner

Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced the release of Fibersim™ software version 2012. Fibersim helps reduce risk throughout the aerospace, automotive and wind energy industries by optimizing the design and manufacture of innovative, durable and lightweight composite structures. It is developed by Vistagy, which was acquired by Siemens on December 7, 2011, and is now a business segment within Siemens PLM Software.

Fibersim 2012 reduces uncertainty in the performance of composite parts by defining, communicating, and validating desired fiber orientations throughout the product development process, ensuring that they meet specifications. By eliminating design interpretation errors, this new release significantly reduces the risk of producing over-engineered parts that not only behave unpredictably, but are also heavier and more costly than necessary.

Fibersim is the world’s leading software for composites engineering, enabling premier organizations in aerospace, automotive, wind energy, and other industries to successfully address challenges throughout the entire engineering process—from supporting conceptual design, defining detailed laminates, simulating ply layup and generating manufacturing data feeds to verifying quality. Fibersim is fully integrated into industry-leading, 3D commercial CAD systems.

“Inaccuracy in fiber orientation, from the design through the manufacturing phases of composite parts, leads to sub-optimal design,” said Guy Lambert, director, Experimental, Design, Material and Process, Bombardier Aerospace, which standardized on Fibersim software for all composites design-to-manufacturing processes in 2009. “It is critical to have confidence in the way manufactured composite parts will perform. Otherwise, engineers will need to account for the fiber orientation variability, which generates parts that end up weighing and costing more. By providing the ability to define, communicate, and validate desired fiber orientations from the beginning to the end of the development process, Fibersim provides engineers with the best opportunity to optimize parts.”

Specific benefits of Fibersim 2012 include:

Increasing opportunities for optimizing designs
Fibersim 2012 increases confidence in the way manufactured composite parts perform by providing a new Spine-Based Rosette, enabling desired fiber orientations to be defined along a path that can then be communicated and validated throughout the development cycle. Maintaining desired fiber orientations in manufactured parts—whether an airframe stringer, an automotive C frame, or a 60-meter wind turbine blade—is critical to optimizing weight and performance.

Accurately simulating how composite materials conform to complex shapes
Fibersim 2010 introduced new advanced material and process simulations for multilayered materials, including non-crimp fabric and ply forming simulations. Fibersim 2012 builds on these capabilities to simulate a greater number of materials and manufacturing processes used with the first-ever Spine-Based Simulation for parts produced using steered fiber methods. Steering fibers along the path of an aerostructure stringer, an automotive B pillar or a scribed line on a wind turbine blade mold will cause localized buckling and deformation. By identifying these issues early in the design cycle, key decisions can be made to ensure expected part strength is achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Efficiently communicating a complete part definition between design and analysis
The new versionintroduces a breakthrough in the exchange of Multi-axial Material and Core data to allow for efficient communication of two critical design components between analysts and designers throughout the iterative development cycle. Accurate analysis of part stiffness and strength necessitates the inclusion of multi-axial and core materials commonplace in aerospace, automotive, and wind energy designs.

Simplifying composite part development and documentation
Fibersim 2012 simplifies composite development with new, intuitive tools for design and documentation for engineers with different levels of composites experience. The most challenging and time-consuming design task is capturing drop-off specifications for regions of varying thickness. Fibersim 2012 introduces a new Stagger Editor, a visual drag and drop method for easily capturing those specifications. Large aerospace panels, such as wings, stabilizers or empennage, have a significant number of different drop-off profiles. The Stagger Editor makes it easy to develop the profiles and reduce design errors.

Fibersim can be used independently or as a key component of the Aerosuite™ portfolio of software and services, which provides a comprehensive solution spanning preliminary design to quality assurance that enables aircraft designers and manufacturers to engineer optimized parts and assemblies in less time at lower cost. Aerosuite also includes Syncrofit™ software for designing and manufacturing complex assemblies and large aerostructures, Quality Planning Environment™ software for developing plans to assess aerostructure quality and Vistagy professional services for the aerospace industry.

“The innovations in the latest version of Fibersim are born from our conviction that the most effective way to address composite engineering and manufacturing challenges is to develop industry-specific solutions,” said Leigh Hudson, director of product and market strategy for Fibersim. “Fibersim 2012 provides end-to-end solutions for developing and optimizing composite part types that are common to aerospace, automotive, wind energy and other industries, enabling our users to develop robust products on schedule and on budget and, ultimately, to meet their goals.”

For more information, visit: www.vistagy.com/products/fibersim-2012.aspx

ROB|ARCH has been initiated by the Association for Robots in Architecture as a new conference series on the use of robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design, closely linking industry with cutting-edge research institutions.

For the first time, ROB|ARCH 2012 will bring together international university partners who will open their robotic research labs to a creative use and present an insight in their applied robotic research at various locations throughout Europe. While the international workshops will be distributed at university partners, the following conference will take place in Vienna, a city well known for its living quality, but also a hotspot for technology and innovation.

The internationally renowned publishing house Springer Wien/New York will publish and market the proceedings of the conference worldwide with the following topics:

-design to robotic fabrication
-rapid prototyping with industrial robots
-mass customisation
-robots beyond industrial uses
-robotic aesthetics
-customized robotics
-digital and physical robotic interfaces

Schedule:

13.12.2012

Free sponsor “pre-workshops” for ABB Robot Studio and Grasshopper

14.12. – 16.12.2012

Conference workshops:

  • Rotterdam: 2x ABB IRB6400 by TU Delft and University of Michigan/Jelle Feringa & Wes McGee
  • Stuttgart: KUKA KR125/2 by University Stuttgart / Achim Menges & Tobias Schwinn
  • Graz: ABB IRB6600 by TU Graz / Andreas Trummer
  • Zurich: KUKA KR150 by ETH Zurich and ROB Technologies / Gramazio & Kohler
  • Vienna: 2x KUKA LWR by TU Vienna / Marcus Vincze et al.
  • Vienna: ABB IRB120 by HAL /  Thibault Schwartz

17.12.-18.12.2012

Conference sessions at TU Vienna

Paper Submission:

We invite authors to submit papers with original research relating to the use of robots in architecture, art, and design. An international scientific committee consisting of researchers and practising architects will evaluate the papers and provide feedback to the authors. The selected papers are published in the Springer proceedings and presented at the conference in Vienna.

Electronic Submission of Abstracts 04.06.2012
Electronic Submission of Full Papers 16.07.2012
Author notification 10.09. 2012
Final Paper due 01.10.2012

Information and Contact

For more information, visit: www.robarch2012.org

BOXX Technologies, the leading innovator of high-performance workstations and rendering systems, today announced the introduction of the 3DBOXX 8920 workstation which delivers an 80% application performance increase over its predecessor, the 3DBOXX 8520. The latest addition to their heralded 3DBOXX 8500/8900 workstation line, 8920 features dual, eight-core Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 series processors, along with a host of other technology upgrades that boost overall performance for VFX artists, animators, designers, engineers, and other creative professionals.

"Our BOXX is better than their box," said Shoaib Mohammad, BOXX VP of Marketing and Business Development, in response to being asked what's separates the workstation manufacturer from its competitors. "At BOXX, we understand the applications our customers employ to create, test, and modify their ideas. And we create optimized configurations using the latest Intel® Xeon® processors in order to provide the best possible user experience when dealing with complex simulations, rendering, and ray tracing applications."

The 3DBOXX 8920 features up to 16 cores (32 threads) of high-powered, multitasking performance for 3D design, animation, rendering, visualization, VFX compositing, and more. Designed to accommodate multi-threading, multiple applications, and complex production pipelines, the new 8920 has also expanded to include additional memory and up to three NVIDIA GPUs. The result is faster performance for both CPU- and GPU-based rendering, simulation, and ray tracing tasks.

"We are very enthusiastic about BOXX's new 3BOXX 8920 and its use of the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family," said Joe Curley, General Manager of Intel's Professional Workstation Group. "This processor was designed to solve big problems fast -- delivering the most compute capacity and bandwidth of any Intel® dual processor-based workstation. The Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family is capable of powering complete design suites from ISV's like Autodesk and SolidWorks. That means users can now seamlessly combine creation with analysis, simulation and ray tracing. We think with solutions like the 3BBOXX 8920 based on our Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family, users can potentially ask more 'what ifs?' with their design and make adjustments that may lead to optimal designs rather than just good ones."

For more information, visit: www.boxxtech.com/products/3DBOXX/8920.asp?prodid=8920

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI), the global leader of additive metal manufacturing, is proud to announce the availability of Stainless 17-4 PH for DMLS.

Stainless 17-4 PH has been in development at MTI since March 2011 and was released with full heat treatment properties in October 2011. This material is precipitation hardened and heat treated to exceed the minimum requirement of the AMS standards. It is comparable to typical commercial wrought properties. MTI offers multiple heat treatment options, ranging from H900 to H1150, yielding a range of material properties tailored to engineering applications.

The introduction of 17-4 PH is the latest addition to the 11 other alloys Morris Technologies offers for producing metal parts using additive manufacturing. A material property data sheet for 17-4 PH is located on the Morris Technologies website.

Morris Technologies employs a Research & Development team focused on additive metal equipment, process, and alloy development. This enables MTI to develop materials and introduce them to the market in a timely manner.

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

Friday, 02 March 2012 11:16

Luxology’s modo 601 Now Available

Written by

Luxology® LLC today announced the immediate availability of modo® 601, a landmark release of its award-winning, artist-friendly 3D content creation software. modo 601 includes character animation, built-in dynamics, volumetric rendering, and enhanced retopology modeling tools along with a host of other new capabilities. modo is now a full pipeline solution for professionals working in media and entertainment, advertising, engineering and architectural design visualization.

“modo 601 is our most significant release ever,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “With new feature and workflow enhancements, modo now offers an end-to-end production solution that is both powerful and highly usable by artists and designers.”
modo 601’s new feature and workflow improvements include:

Character Animation: modo offers a range of character animation functionality from easy-to-use posing tools to the creation of fully articulated character rigs that can be manipulated through a full-body inverse kinematics solver and a general purpose system of layered deformers.

Dynamics: Rigid and soft body dynamics, based on Version 2.79 of the Bullet Physics engine, are now a standard part of modo and provide realistic simulations of mechanical and organic motion.

Retopology Modeling: Focused tools and a new dedicated retopology modeling layout simplify the rapid creation of clean models on top of imported geometry.

Rendering and Shading: New photorealistic rendering capabilities include volumetric rendering, render booleans, hair and skin shaders, and rounded edge control for hard surface models. Cel, contour and halftone shaders offer enhanced non-photorealistic rendering opportunities.

3D Paint: The multi-purpose paint system in modo 601 is extended to paint, scale, erase and smooth vertex (weight) maps on meshes.

Rendering Workflow: The Preview Renderer can now be used for final image production as it will progressively render an image to the desired resolution at full quality. A comprehensive render pass system, plus new interactive image processing and comparison tools, speed image refinement.

Modeling: modo’s Pixar Subdivision surface modeling now includes the ability to crease individual vertices and control display resolution while rendering at full quality. Soft and lazy selection options enable rapid, yet precise isolation of model components while modeling.

“Throughout my 18 years in the 3D business, I've never seen a 3D software application become so powerful, so fast,” said Dan Ablan, President - AGA Digital Studios, Inc. “The additions to modo 601 are mind blowing, and the render boolean function, blobs, and new deformer tools are absolutely invaluable!”

"This is character animation done right,” said Greg Brown, beta tester and Sr. CGI Artist at Alter. “We've all been holding our breath for this one and it was definitely worth the wait.”

modo is an innovative 3D modeling, painting and rendering software designed to accelerate the creation of world-class designs and ultra high-quality renderings. modo’s modern workflow and advanced toolset easily deliver enhanced productivity for professionals working in design visualization, conceptual modeling, package design, and graphic arts. A favorite tool among designers and artists, modo’s flexible feature set is ideal for modeling and visualization on the PC and Mac.

For more information, visit: www.luxology.com/modo/601/tour/index.aspx

Friday, 02 March 2012 09:55

Startup Weekend Bay Area “Maker” Event

Written by

As innovation around 3D printing technology continues to be a focus for both entrepreneurs and enterprise alike, Startup Weekend Bay Area (powered by the Kauffman Foundation) has announced the first of its kind “Maker” event where local area enthusiasts will collaborate to build products and gadgets using sensors, 3D printers, laser cutters, and 3D modeling.

The 54-hour “crash course in entrepreneurship” weekend will be hosted by Autodesk and TechShop, and will take place at the TechShop space: 926 Howard Street, San Francisco, California 94103, from Friday, March 2, 2012 to Sunday, March 4, 2012. Sponsors for the weekend event include: Inventables, Jameco, SparkFun and Maker Shed who all provided components, kits or other materials for the maker teams to work with.

“Over the past several years technology innovation has been focused on software, cloud, and mobile, which are non-tangible products and services,” said Ahmed Siddiqui, Startup Weekend Bay Area organizer. “With the popularity of Kickstarter, and the funding available to physical technology-related products, entrepreneurs now have the tools, resources and incentive to pursue these types of projects.”

"We are thrilled to be hosting the first Startup Weekend focused specifically on making physical objects," remarked Jim Newton, Founder of TechShop. "We feel there’s no more appropriate place than TechShop for this event to be taking place. Our mission is to engage, encourage and empower people by providing the tools of the next Industrial Revolution for anyone to build their dreams."

Added Samir Hanna, Vice President, Consumer Products, Autodesk: “The Maker revolution is in motion and Autodesk is thrilled to be partnering with TechShop and Startup Weekend to strengthen the movement through the first event geared towards making physical objects. Our mission is to unlock the creativity in everyone and bring 3D to the masses, and Startup Weekend provides the perfect opportunity for us to reach the community with this vision.”

Startup Weekend Bay Area, “SWBAY”, is an intense 54-hour event, which focuses on building a web or mobile application that could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together developers, designers and entrepreneurs to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. With access to Silicon Valley’s best and brightest innovators, SWBAY offers a unique opportunity to connect and learn from leaders in the tech industry and provides an experiential education process for event participants.
 
For more information, visit: bayarea.startupweekend.org or www.startupweekend.org

In celebration of its mission to recognize and foster invention, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has announced its 2012 Inductees.  The inventors to be honored this year created remarkable innovations that include the now ubiquitous laser printer commonly found in the workplace, the thin-film head technology that has contributed to the success of the disk drive industry, and the first statin which pioneered the class of drugs targeted at lowering cholesterol.

This year's Induction ceremony, sponsored in part by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will take place on May 2 at the historic Patent Office Building, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C.  At that time, the 2012 Inductees will be recognized for work such as the carbon dioxide laser which is widely used across diverse fields, the design of computer programming languages, and solar thermal storage innovations.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees are:

Akira Endo Mevastatin, the first statin – Endo discovered mevastatin, the first statin, pioneering research into a new class of molecules that are now a hugely successful class of drugs targeting the lowering of cholesterol.  His work was done at Sankyo Company in Japan, and he is currently Director of Biopharm Research Laboratories and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Barbara Liskov Programming languages and system design – MIT Institute Professor Liskov is considered an innovator in the design of computer programming languages, largely for helping to make computer programs more reliable, secure, and easy to use.  Her innovations can be found within almost all modern programming languages.  

C. Kumar N. Patel Carbon dioxide laser – Patel invented the CO2 laser while at Bell Labs.  Since ushering in the use of high power laser applications, the CO2 laser has become common and versatile with uses in the medical, industrial, and military arenas.  Patel founded his own company, Pranalytica, to manufacture mid-infrared quantum cascade laser systems and gas sensing instruments. He is also a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA.

Lubomyr Romankiw, David Thompson Thin-film magnetic head – IBM researchers Romankiw and Thompson invented the first practical magnetic thin-film storage heads.  Thin-film technology increased the density of data that could be stored on magnetic disks, even while the disk size was being substantially reduced, dramatically reducing the cost of data storage.

Gary Starkweather Laser printer – Starkweather's laser printer, invented at the Xerox PARC facility, was the first to print any images that could be created on a computer; a laser beam carried digital information, and the copier then developed the imaged digital information to make a print.  The laser printer would go on to become one of Xerox's best selling products of all time.

Alejandro Zaffaroni Controlled drug delivery systems – Biotechnology innovator Zaffaroni conducted early work in controlled drug delivery methods, particularly early concepts for transdermal patches, which led to the growth of research in innovative drug delivery systems.  He has founded numerous biotech companies throughout his career.

Dennis Gabor (1900-1979) Electron holography – Gabor is best known for his research in electron optics which led to the invention of holography.  Because of his efforts and also the efforts of researchers after him, holography has seen numerous modern day applications.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) Technology – Co-founder of both Apple and Pixar, Jobs was named on over 300 patents and is credited with revolutionizing entire industries, including personal computing, mobile phones, animated movies, digital publishing and retailing.

Maria Telkes (1900-1995) Solar thermal storage systems – Telkes was a highly respected innovator and a foremost authority in the field of solar energy, widely publishing and inventing on the topic throughout her career.  Ultimately Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware, Telkes also spent time at MIT, NYU, and in industry.

"This year's class of Inductees demonstrates the importance of innovation," said Edward Gray, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.  "The applications and widespread use of their inventions show us how vital ingenuity is to not just the well-being of the United States, but also the rest of the world."

The National Inventors Hall of Fame annually accepts nominations for men and women whose work has changed society and improved the quality of life.  The candidate's invention must be covered by a United States patent, and the work must have had a major impact on society, the public welfare, and the progress of science and the useful arts.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premier non-profit organization in America dedicated to honoring legendary inventors whose innovations and entrepreneurial endeavors have changed the world.  Founded in 1973 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association, the Hall of Fame will have 470 Inductees with its 2012 Induction.  The National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the atrium of the Madison Building on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA.  Hall of Fame hours are Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday from Noon to 5 PM (closed Sundays and federal holidays).  Admission is free.

For more information, visit: www.invent.org

Tecplot, Inc. released the 2012 version of Tecplot® Chorus™, the company’s simulation analytics tool. This latest release offers improved data loader support, case management, and advance data extraction features.

“When we released Tecplot Chorus in the fall of last year, it had been developed in close collaboration with a core group of customers from world renowned aerospace organizations in the government and private sectors” said Mike Peery, Tecplot, Inc. chairman. "This time is no different: the enhancements released today are the direct result of customer input.”

Tecplot Chorus enables engineers to manage CFD projects by bringing together results from simulation cases, derived quantities, and plot images in a single environment. An engineer using Tecplot Chorus can evaluate overall system performance and visually compare tens, hundreds, or thousands of simulation cases without writing scripts. It also allows them to analyze a single parameter over the entire project both visually and quantitatively. This gives engineers the ability to make decisions faster and with more confidence. Tecplot Chorus changes the post processing paradigm by pre-computing the plots, making downstream analysis faster. Currently, CFD engineers use a time-consuming combination of scripting and manual steps to do that work.

Enhancements in the 2012 version of Tecplot Chorus include:

  • Improved project setup and data loaders. Tecplot Chorus now opens data files in CGNS, Fluent, and PLOT3D formats directly in Tecplot 360 and can be configured to use other Tecplot 360 loaders. Users can also associate multiple data files with a given tag per case and can be opened in Tecplot 360 from Tecplot Chorus.

  • Case and data management. When appending data to a project, it is now possible to update existing cases or add duplicate case records in situations where the independent variables match. Users can now show and hide filters, and easily reset them to their defaults, using the Manage Filters dialog.

  • Plot and data extractions. Tecplot 360 macros can be specified when loading data or generating plot images or data; the macro runs after each case’s data is loaded and can be used in combination with a style template. Users can now designate selected cases as active or inactive and filter cases on this attribute using the variable case status.

  • Reporting. Plot Images viewed in Tecplot Chorus may now be copied to the clipboard. Multiple selected plot images may be exported to a folder in one operation. Exported plot images may include labels.

Tecplot Chorus is available on 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista, and XP, 64-bit Linux platforms, and can easily interface with SQL databases stored locally or on a server. In addition, the company offers engineering consulting services to help with deployment preconditioning the metadata.

For more information, visit: www.tecplot.com/chorus

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today celebrating the opening of its nearly $1 million cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classroom.

The event marks a special donation from Robert H. Graebe, an East St. Louis native, and his wife, Norma J. Graebe, who live in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The gift made the new state-of-the art facility—named the William Frederick Graebe Sr. STEM Learning Center—a reality.

The Learning Center features the latest technology, including a 70-inch multi-touch SMART interactive LCD board, 3D scanning and printing, and HD teleconferencing capabilities. It also includes a fabrication laboratory that allows users to design and create prototypes with moving parts that can be tested.

“This Center will provide the next generation of professionals with access to competency in the STEM disciplines, which are so critical for obtaining gainful employment in the global economy,” said SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift.

The ribbon cutting ceremony, which was sponsored by the Chancellor, the SIUE Office of the Provost, the SIUE Foundation and the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School, took place in Building B of the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus.

"The STEM Learning Center will ensure that our students are stronger in math, science and technology,” said Dr. Venessa Brown, SIUE associate provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and executive director of the East St. Louis Center. “This is their key to academic access and success.”

The gift is part of Defining Excellence: The Campaign for SIUE . The new center will be a “model, high-technology STEM classroom” to provide students access to the latest technology, equipment and curricula, and will support teachers in providing students with hands-on, “minds-on” science learning, said Sharon Locke, director of the Center for STEM Research, Education, and Outreach in the SIUE Graduate School.

Locke said the Learning Center, which is part of the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School, also will be used as a training facility for teachers throughout the region. “The Center will be designed to promote 21st Century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork and technology literacy,” Locke said, adding it should draw regional and national interest.

She also added that SIUE faculty, students in STEM disciplines and teacher candidates will work with the Charter School to support high quality STEM education and study the use of technology in the classroom and its broader impact.

“The investment goes far beyond the technology and equipment that will be put in place—it is also a commitment to the teachers who will teach the students,” Locke said. “Strong STEM education is one of the foundations for a vibrant regional economy.”

SIUE has existing programs in STEM in East St. Louis, such as the Upward Bound Math & Science program, which provides enrichment in science and mathematics for high school students from East St. Louis and nearby cities. Upward Bound includes a residential program at SIUE in the summer and Saturday programs during the school year.

The new Learning Center is part of SIUE’s strong commitment to STEM education in the greater St. Louis region. The University’s STEM initiatives provide students with a strong foundation to succeed in college.

SIUE’s Center for STEM Research, Education, and Outreach is a collaborative enterprise among several SIUE academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Schools of Education, and Engineering, as well as local community colleges and school districts, regional offices of education, and the community at large. The Center’s mission is to develop, strengthen, and promote STEM research, education, and outreach in the region. The aim of the Center is to further enhance the teaching and learning of STEM education in pre-service and in-service teachers, and serve as a stimulus and resource for outreach activities.

SIUE offers all the benefits and resources of a large university and the personal attention of a small, private college. Our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, this Illinois university draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 46 states and 48 nations.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 11:30

3D Printed Robotic Dinosaurs at Drexel University

Written by

Researchers at Drexel University are bringing the latest technological advancements in 3-D printing to the study of ancient life. Using scale models of real fossils, for the first time, they will be able to test hypotheses about how dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals moved and lived in their environments.

“Technology in paleontology hasn't changed in about 150 years,” said Drexel paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We use shovels and pickaxes and burlap and plaster. It hasn't changed -- until right now.”

3-D Printing Technology in Paleontology

Lacovara has begun creating 3-D scans of giant dinosaur bones and other fossils in his lab. The 3-D scan puts a virtual image in a digital workspace that researchers can manipulate and analyze. To bring these scans to life, Lacovara is also teaming up with mechanical engineer Dr. James Tangorra, an assistant professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering, to use 3-D printing technology to create and test scale models of fossil bones.

A 3-D printer is a technology for rapid prototyping and manufacturing objects based on a digital design. Common models work by repeatedly extruding extremely thin layers of a resin or other material, building up strata to create a physical object.

“It’s kind of like Star Trek technology, where you can press a button and the object pops out,” Lacovara said. A six-inch model of a dinosaur bone can be printed in a few hours using current technology.

Using 3-D printing can aid paleontology in several ways:

  • To create exact-size replicas for museum display, without the limitation on the number of copies made and materials and storage hassles of traditional casting methods.
  • To create small-scale models for educational use.
  • To create small-scale models for modeling and testing hypotheses about the mechanics of how long-extinct animals moved and behaved.

This biologically-derived modeling to test possible movements of extinct species is the major focus of Lacovara and Tangorra’s collaboration.

Robotic Models to Test Mechanics of Dinosaur Movement

“We don’t know a lot about the way dinosaurs move,” Lacovara said. “How did they stand? How did they ambulate? Did they run or trot? How did they reproduce? It’s all a bit mysterious,” especially when it comes to the largest dinosaurs. Paleontologists’ current methods of understanding such mechanics rely heavily on guesswork and common sense about what types of movements seem possible. With new technology, researchers can begin testing their predictions for the first time.

Lacovara has been part of scientific teams unearthing some of the largest known giant sauropod dinosaur specimens, including the new species Paralititan stromeri found in Egypt in 2000, which is the second-most-massive known dinosaur species and a new giant from Patagonia. Such giant sauropod dinosaurs could reach weights of 60 to 80 tons, which is 12 to 14 times heavier than a large modern elephant.

When working with enormous dinosaur fossils, Lacovara said, it’s simply physically impossible to manipulate the bones to test theories about mechanics and movement. That’s why scaled-down replicas that preserve the exact shape and proportion of the bones can help. Researchers can also digitally reshape the models to correct for changes that may have occurred over millions of years of fossilization and compression.

Lacovara and Tangorra will work together to create robotic models of giant sauropod dinosaurs, attaching artificial muscles and tendons to perform comprehensive tests of how the animal’s body could have handled physical stresses of the environment.

This work is similar to Tangorra’s ongoing work modeling and manufacturing robotic fish. “We extract features from biological species and create software-based or robotic testing systems. It’s easier to test a biorobotic system than a biological system,” Tangorra said. This work relies on studies of the fish’s movements, biomechanics and fluid mechanics to ensure that the robot reflects the biological system. Tangorra noted that because the dinosaur species they are modeling are extinct, any robotic reconstructions will be more speculative.

Lacovara predicts that they will have a working robotic dinosaur limb constructed by the end of 2012. A complete robotic dinosaur replica will take one to two years to create.

“A Virtual Zoo of Cretaceous New Jersey”

In addition to constructing models of giant dinosaurs, the researchers will make 3-D models of some fossils found closer to home. A fossil dig site in Gloucester County, N.J., has yielded a large number of marine animal fossils from the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. Lacovara and his students and collaborators from other institutions continue to excavate the site. Now they will begin producing 3-D models of the turtles, crocodilians, fish and other animals found at that site, for what Lacovara called “a virtual zoo of Cretaceous New Jersey.” A sample of their first reconstruction, of an ancient New Jersey crocodile, can be seen here: www.drexel.edu/now/features/archive/2011/November/Evan-Boucher-Dream-Job

See A Giant Dinosaur Bone and its 3-D Model in Philadelphia

A cast of the giant, 5.5-foot-long humerus bone of the Paralititan dinosaur is on display alongside a 1/10 scale 3-D printed model at the Franklin Institute as part of the Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit. The Franklin and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are offering a “Giant Dinosaur Deal” combination ticket, available at the box offices of both museums through March 18, 2012.

Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the Replicator™, an affordable, personal 3D printer offering 1- or 2-color “printing” of solid objects. The Replicator runs open-source 3D-printing code and is compact enough to fit on a desktop. Ready within minutes to start printing right out of the box, The Replicator fabricator turns raw feedstock, such ABS or PLA, into instant prototypes as large as a loaf of bread.

The Replicator is a precision-made parts fabricator, built with linear ball bearings and precision-ground 8 mm shafts, ideal for personalized manufacturing or prototyping, providing a new way to fabricate designs and variants quickly as large as 225 x145 x150 mm (8.9” x 5.7” x 5.9”). The Replicator is available with single or dual extruders, facilitating simultaneous two-color printing.   

The Replicator features a 4x20 character LCD panel and multi-directional control pad. The LCD screen provides build data as well as monitoring information, and full machine control is possible without the use of a computer. Using an SD Card slot or USB connection, model designs can be loaded and built directly from control pad commands. Professional engineers can now quickly fabricate solid objects using tools like AutoCAD and Solidworks producing STL or gcode files.  ReplicatorG software provided (Linux, Windows, and OSX compatible) enables rapid prototype production. Layer thickness may be selected from 0.2-0.3mm with the stock 0.4 mm nozzle, and parts are built at a speed of 40 mm/s, with positioning precision of 2.5 micron (Z axis) and 11 micron (XY axes).

Sized for almost any desktop (320 x 467 x 381 mm; 12.6” x 18.4” x 15”) The Replicator weighs 26/29lbs (single/dual). Made by Makerbot Industries.

For more information, visit: www.saelig.com/category/RO.htm

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 12:45

A robot sketches portraits

Written by

An industrial robot as artist? From March 6-10, 2012, researchers will be presenting what may at first seem to be a contradiction at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany (Hall 9, Stand E08). There, interested visitors can view the metal painter in action and can even have it sketch their own faces.

Artists are often colorful personalities. This one, though, comes across as cool, precise and metallic – and is anything but extravagant. No wonder – after all, it’s an industrial robot, one that will convert the Fraunhofer stand at CeBIT into an art studio. Its artistic genius only emerges if someone takes a seat on the model’s stool positioned in front of the robot: first, its camera records an image of its model; then it whips out its pencil and traces a portrait of the individual on its easel. After around ten minutes have passed, it grabs the work and proudly presents it to its public. This robot installation was developed by artists in the robotlab group, at the Center for Art and Media ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, some of whom are now employed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB in Karlsruhe.

But how does this technical production aid manage to provide an authentic rendering of a person’s facial expressions? “We have used an image-evaluation process that essentially equips the robot with the sense of sight,” explains Martina Richter, a scientist at IOSB. “There is a camera mounted on the robot’s arm that it uses first to take the person’s picture.” Edge-processing software seeks out the contrasts in the image and translates these to robot coordinates: to movements of the robot’s arm.

For the researchers and artists, the main difficulty was to adjust the algorithm for image processing so that the sketched image would leave the impression of a portrait – and so that the high-tech artist would overlook the tiny wrinkles but would still render the eyes. “We attach great importance to the artistic look of the drawings that results, but on the other hand, we have also equipped the robot with an automatic system that enables it to carry out all of the steps itself. With this installation, we have created an interface between art, science and technology,” Richter is convinced.

The robot’s everyday routine is less artistic, however: ordinarily, researchers at IOSB use it to analyze the optical reflection properties of various materials. They shine light on an object - a reflector of the kind mounted on children’s school bags or jackets, for instance - from various directions. The robot’s arm circles the material sample in a hemispheric pattern, measuring how the object reflects light. Experts refer to this as a material’s spatial reflection characteristics. This helps design objects such as reflectors so that they return light in the most bundled way possible to the direction from which it comes – to a car driver, for instance. Then the reflector emits a bright flash that draws the driver’s attention to the child. The objective is different when it comes to paint effects on a car’s own surface: The aim there is to display different hues to the observer depending on the direction of view.

For more information, visit: www.robotlab.de or www.cebit.de

Roland DG Corporation, a leading worldwide provider of 3D milling, engraving and direct part marking technologies, today introduced the new METAZA MPX-90M, a desktop impact printer designed to permanently mark UDI (Unique Device Identification) barcodes on medical instruments for tracking and traceability. Incorporating 30 years of Roland's proven technology, the MPX-90M quickly creates two-dimensional (2D) DataMatrix barcodes that meet GS1 standards, and imprints them on the surface of medical instruments with high speed and precision. MPX-90M barcodes can be read with commercially available barcode scanners*2 to trace and track the usage of medical instruments throughout their lifecycle.

"To protect the safety of patients, medical professionals need a reliable way to trace and track the usage of instruments such as scalpels, tweezers and forceps," said Y. Yazawa, Roland DG 3D product manager. "The new MPX-90M has been exclusively designed for this application, marking tools and devices with lasting barcodes, serial numbers and other information. Among the industry's most precise direct part marking tools, the MPX-90M creates 2D DataMatrix barcodes as small as one square millimeter."

The MPX-90M imprints data on a wide variety of materials without generating any odor or debris. Because it does not burn or remove materials, marked surfaces remain protected from corrosion. With the MPX-90M, no special training is required. The included vise makes it easy to secure an item and a built-in laser pointer pinpoints the exact area to be marked. Its compact footprint and energy efficiency make the MPX-90M ideal for small office settings, as well as medical-instrument manufacturers and suppliers.

METAZA MPX-90M Features:

-Durable diamond-tipped stylus directly imprints on titanium, stainless steel and other hard metals*3
-Quickly imprints 26 digits of information inside an area as small as one square millimeter
-Clean, high-speed precision marking does not burn or remove material on impact
-Operation is free of odors and debris
-Marked area will not rust
-Includes GS1 standard 2D DataMatrix barcode software
-Imports CSV spreadsheet files for variable data printing which allows for serialization of barcodes
-Imprints logos, text and graphics in jpg or bmp file formats to incorporate branding elements and other customized data
-Easy to setup and use with the included vise and built-in laser pointer and no special training or daily maintenance required
-Compact footprint and energy efficient design make it ideal for small office settings, as well as medical instrument manufacturers and suppliers
-The built-in laser pointer is safe to use, with a fully enclosed, class 1 laser

Included METAZA Studio Software Generates UDI Numbers

The MPX-90M comes with METAZA Studio software, which includes a 2D DataMatrix barcode feature. To create a unique barcode, simply select the barcode icon from the software's main screen and enter the appropriate UDI numbers. The software does the rest, creating a 2D DataMatrix barcode that can be output on the MPX-90M. METAZAStudio also imports CSV spreadsheet files for variable data printing to add 2D DataMatrix barcodes with a series of numbers and text. METAZAStudio also imprints logos and graphics in jpg, bmp or Adobe Illustrator 8 (ai/eps) file formats to incorporate branding elements.

For more information, visit: www.rolanddga.com/products/impactprinters/mpx90

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:57

Instructables Make It Real Challenge

Written by

This is your chance to win an Objet 3D Printer with a 6 month supply of 3D printing materials.  Ten first prize winners will receive an Up! 3D Printer.  Twenty runners-up will receive free 3D printing services.

To enter, post an Instructable that shows how to turn a virtual item into a tangible object. Examples include: 3D printed objects, laser-cut files, and even printed decals using an inkjet printer. So long as something in your project was designed using a computer and turned into a physical object, you are eligible to enter.

If you need software to help generate design files for your project check out all of the free software packages on 123D.

Anyone who shares the digital files that they create (using any software) in the 123D Gallery and posts a link to it in their Instructable will receive a free thank you gift from 123D (see details here) and then be eligible to win the special 123D Judges Prize.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive an Objet30 Desktop 3D Printer Bundle and a 6-month supply of build material for the printer. Winner will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Ten First Prize winners will receive an Up! 3D Printer, and one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000).  Winners will also will receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Judges Prize is eligible to those who share the digital files that they create (using any software) in the 123D Gallery. One winner will receive an Up! 3D Printer, and one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000). Winners will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack

Twenty Runner Up prize winners will receive one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000). Winners will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Multiple entries are accepted, but each entrant can only win one prize. Contest is open to entries from US, Canada [excluding Quebec], UK and Australia. Contest closes for entries at 11:59pm PT, April 30, 2012.

For more information, visit: www.instructables.com/contest/makeitreal

ReverseEngineering.com announces the demonstration of their newest product, MESH SURFACE, to be shown at SolidWorks World 2012 in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Convention Center, February 12 through February 15, 2012 in Booth #404.

ReverseEngineering.com, a Certified SolidWorks Gold Partner reverse engineering plug-in, now supports non-contact measurement capabilities for Point Cloud to Mesh Surface for SolidWorks.

ReverseEngineering.com provides an easy to learn four-step workflow, for mesh surface creation:

1-Set Alignment, 2-Laser Scan, 3-Process Point Cloud, 4-Create Surface Mesh.

  •     Optimized dialog boxes allow for quick processing of large point clouds for profile extraction and surface mesh visualization.

  •     Process millions of points in seconds for parametric modeling in SolidWorks, while working direct in both SolidWorks Standard and SolidWorks Premium allowing for STL support.

  •     Transform and reduce large point clouds for SolidWorks to work with even after the data capture device is disconnected.

  •     Simplify the extraction of geometric entities on digitized models, accelerating the development of parametric wireframe, surface and solid models in SolidWorks.

ReverseEngineering.com 2012 has the ability to integrate with devices such as Faro EDGE , Romer Absolute , Microscribe, 3D Creator, Baces 3D, 3D Scanners, white light 3D digitizers, Faro and Leica laser trackers although the new Mesh Surface is not device or CAD reliant.

Established in 1996, ReverseEngineering.com is an industry leader in supplying indigenous bridging software for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems, portable coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and other scanning devices.

ReverseEngineering.com software seamlessly bridges native CAD integration with 3D engineering applications, such as reverse engineering, inspection, and measurement.

Based out of La Jolla, CA, ReverseEngineering.com has dedicated to developing unprecedented CAD-integrated 3D reverse engineering solutions. The continuous growth of the product line is primarily attributed to user input and has led to the addition of new features that improve 3D digitizing processes.

For more information, visit: www.ReverseEngineering.com

Friday, 10 February 2012 11:25

Haas Automation Produces 125,000th CNC Machine

Written by

In 1988, Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading machine tool builder, achieved an industry milestone by introducing the first American-built vertical machining center (VMC) to sell for less than $50,000 – a price unheard of at the time. The Haas VF-1 quickly became the industry benchmark for affordable CNC technology.

Haas Automation is pleased to announce the company’s latest milestone: the production of the 125,000th Haas CNC machine tool. Machine number 125,000 – a 2012 VF-1 vertical machining center – came off the line January 26, and is bound for a customer in the Philippines.

The VF-1 is a fitting model for the 125,000th machine, as it is the model that began the Haas legacy nearly 25 years ago. A simple comparison of that first VF-1 to the modern version of the same machine proves how far Haas has come, and how much value a Haas machine provides.

When Haas introduced the VF-1 in 1988 at IMTS in Chicago, the suggested retail price was $49,900. Adjusting for inflation, that’s equivalent to about $94,880 in 2011 dollars.* The machine featured 20" x 16" x 20" travels, a 7.5-hp (peak) spindle motor, speeds to 5000 rpm, brush-style servomotors on all axes, 480-ipm rapids, a 16-tool ATC, and the Haas CNC control, which featured a whopping 128 K of program memory, and a maximum processing speed of 20 blocks per second. Additional options were essentially non-existent.

Today’s VF-1 is easily 10 times the machine as its 1988 namesake, yet its base price is only $45,995, or about $24,190 in 1988 dollars. The VF-1 still has travels of 20" x 16" x 20", but now features a 30-hp (peak) spindle with a high-performance vector drive, speeds to 8100 rpm standard, brushless servos on all axes, 1000-ipm rapids, a 20-tool ATC, and the Haas control, which now features 1 MB of program memory (8 times the 1988 figure) and provides processing speeds up to 1000 blocks per second (or 50 times faster than in 1988). And that’s the base model machine. A wide selection of high-productivity options is available to boost performance – and value – even further.

Haas Automation currently manufactures a complete line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes and rotary products. The company also builds a variety of specialty machines, including 5-axis machining centers, mold making machining centers, toolroom machines, and gantry routers.

All Haas products are built in the company’s 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Southern California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs) that provide the industry’s best sales, service and support.

*U.S. dollar equivalents calculated using inflation conversion factors published January 19, 2012, by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information, visit: www.haascnc.com

Friday, 10 February 2012 13:10

Protecting Your Guitar from Wear

Written by

This article covers my concept and design process for creating a sound-hole guard for my acoustic guitar. The idea was to protect my guitar from damage and wear after long and repeated use of a pick while strumming.

Some time ago I decided to replace the pick guard on my vintage Guild acoustic guitar. I play it all the time, and it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It was my very first guitar. I purchased it new back in 1982 in Northern California. After nearly 30 years of use, some minor maintenance and repairs were in order, including replacing the original pick guard. I removed the old pick guard, cut out a new pattern matching the old guard (using new acrylic plastic) and applied the new one on to my guitar. That’s when I decided something needed to be done in order to prevent any further damage to the lower portion of the sound-hole. I noticed over many years using a pick while that this area had eroded away considerably. Bare wood from the soundboard was now exposed and continuing to grow in length downward from the sound-hole edges. Depending on the guitar manufacturer, there is usually a gap between the edge of the sound-hole and the beginning of the pick guard, which runs concentric to the sound hole. Regardless, the edge of the sound-hole and soundboard on acoustic guitars are exposed and unprotected from damage, something where even moderate use can have long-term affects.

My initial concept was to develop a flat pattern that could be laid onto the soundboard with an overlapping piece that bent around to the back of the sound-hole. The development piece would have to have a pressure sensitive adhesive in order to adhere in place. I used a .020 thick piece of Mylar for the original pattern, but soon afterward came up with another concept that would act as a more permanent and stronger solution. That fix turned out amazingly well and is still on my guitar.

I designed a flat pattern out of .125 thick piece of polycarbonate, heat formed it around a fixture that duplicated the sound-hole/soundboard dimensions. This design acts as a clip that fits over the lower half of the sound-hole. I attached the prototype piece onto my guitar with some silicon rubber adhesive in order for it to stay in place. Although this prototype proved to prevent any further damage to the area, I felt I needed to refine the design by reducing the wall thickness (the prototype appeared to be too bulky) and to simplify the fit by eliminating the use of an adhesive.

Then I picked up a seat of SolidWorks so I could properly build and design 3D solid models. This was something I had been putting off and had wanted to do for quite a while. My guitar project prompted me to take some action. After familiarizing myself with the software, I decided to tackle the sound-hole guard project. My first design incorporated negative draft on the two walls to act as a clip to squeeze onto the soundboard. I also designed three concentric ridge features on the inner wall to act as teeth to bite onto the soundboard, preventing movement and eliminating the need for the adhesive.

After converting to my first .stl file, I was ready to shop for a prototype service that would build the part. I was a little disappointed in discovering the pricing structures I was looking at, as my part did not seem very intricate or big. Searching further, I found ZoomRP who’s pricing seemed reasonable. Plus they offered very fast turn-around times, and their on-line quoting system was convenient and almost immediate, within seconds after submitting the .stl file. I decided to go with the Poly Jet HD Blue process, which advertised the highest resolution, highest accuracy, and was specific to smaller prototypes.

When I received my first part, I was completely impressed by the accuracy and quality of the surface finish and to the details of the very small teeth on the inner wall. My part would allow me to test for fit and function on my guitar. The only problem I experienced was an interference issue, which I overlooked in the design process. The inside edge of the outer wall of the part was catching on the edge of the pick guard. This prevented it to seat properly. The dimension of the outer wall of the part was too close to the location of the edge of the pick guard. So I went back to solving this issue on SolidWorks.

I also felt it necessary to play around with wall thickness and draft. Thickness of .100 still seemed too thick and the fit also seemed too tight on the guitar. I did extend the front wall to fit over the pick guard and added a small radius extending the entire inner edge.

A couple of designs later I was finally able to fine tune all design concerns including the right amount of draft, wall thickness, overall length, and front wall length, (final part: pic-4, front view and back view). I now feel very comfortable that this piece will fit and offer protection on all acoustic guitars that have round sound-holes.

I now have a provisional patent, and plan to go forward with obtaining a final patent. I am sure my sound-hole guard product will catch on and appeal to all levels of musicians who can appreciate the need to protect their investment, whether sentimental or financial.

For information, visit: www.Strumhard.com or www.ZoomRP.com

Thursday, 09 February 2012 12:39

Roland’s New 3D Hobby Milling Machine

Written by

Roland DGA Corp. has introduced the iModela hobby milling machine, providing hobbyists with easy and affordable access to 3D milling technology.

“iModela is a completely new concept – a digital hobby mill designed to support a range of unique creative pursuits, from miniatures and model railroading to jewelry design and craft projects,” said Brian Brooks, product manager for Roland DGA Corp. “The applications for this innovative technology are endless, and we can’t wait to see what our customers will produce with it.”

With iModela, 3D modelers and hobby enthusiasts can easily and accurately create and embellish a wide range of projects by producing 3D shapes, reliefs, textures and patterns from modeling wax, foam, balsa wood and plastic materials. With a milling area of 3.39 inches wide by 2.17 inches in length and 1.02 inches in height, iModela is the perfect tool for small-scale creative projects.

Based on 25 years of proven Roland milling technology, iModela is a complete solution, with a cutting tool, sample materials and software.  To build on this starter kit, Roland offers a variety of optional tools and materials that can be purchased conveniently online. Designed for ease of use, iModela comes equipped with a virtual panel that allows users to operate the machine right from a personal computer.

iModela “iCreate” Community

To help iModela artists further their creative goals, Roland has established an online iModela community at: icreate.rolanddg.com.  The site serves as a collaborative forum for sharing design ideas, production workflows and technical tips.  In addition, users can download free software and sample projects for production on iModela.

Priced at $899, iModela can be purchased online at www.rolanddgastore.com, and is available for delivery anywhere throughout North and South America (except Brazil).

Following several years of declines, manufacturing employment in Illinois rose a half percent over the past twelve months according to Manufacturers' News, Inc. MNI reports Illinois gained 3,496 industrial jobs between November 2010 and November 2011, the first time in over a decade that the 100-year-old company recorded a gain in manufacturing employment for the state.

Manufacturers' News reports Illinois is now home to 19,111 manufacturers employing 817,063 workers.

"We're finally starting to see positive numbers for Illinois," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Despite a high corporate tax rate, Illinois still boasts an educated workforce, easy access to capital, and a central location within the Midwest to do business. It's unlikely that manufacturing employment will ever return to the levels of ten years ago, but it's nice to see the uptick."

Bright spots for the state included Chrysler's recent announcement that it planned to hire 1,800 workers for its Belvidere assembly facility; the opening of a new Boeing plant in Mascoutah; the planned expansions of Caterpillar's facilities in Decatur and East Peoria; and Ford's plans to expand its Chicago-area plants. Excel Foundry & Machines recently announced the company would expand its Pekin factory; Continental Tire and Magnum Steel Works both plan expansions in Mount Vernon; and Italian pasta maker Pastificio will open a production facility in Bartlett.

MNI reports industrial machinery and equipment remains Illinois' largest industrial sector by employment with 129,114 jobs, up 871 jobs or a half percent. Second-ranked fabricated metals accounts for 94,089 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months, while third-ranked food products manufacturing accounts for 91,615 industrial jobs, down 1.6%.   

Industrial sectors that gained jobs over the year included transportation equipment, up 5.2%; instruments/related products, up 2.4%; rubber/plastics, up 1% and electronics, up a half percent. Losses were seen in lumber/wood, down 4.8%; printing/publishing, down 4.6%; furniture/fixtures, down 4.5%; stone/clay/glass, down 4.1%; paper products, down 4% and chemicals, down 1.9%.

Manufacturing locations closing down included Quad/Graphics' Mt. Morris site; the Chicago Sun-Times printing plant on Chicago's south side; Protein Solutions' meatpacking plant in Chicago; Honeywell's Safety Products establishment in Rock Island; Dehler Manufacturing's facility in Chicago; National Envelope's Elk Grove Village site; and Lifetime Doors, Inc.'s location in Watseka.

Manufacturers' News reports Northeast Illinois accounts for 70% of the state's industrial employment, with 568,929 jobs, up 2,047 jobs or less than one percent over the year. Cook County accounts for 301,209 of these jobs, down 1.4% over the past twelve months. The manufacturing employment picture improved significantly for some of the collar counties, with jobs in the region posting a net 3.1% gain. Industrial jobs were up 4.7% in DuPage County; rose 3.7% in Lake County; and increased 5% in Kane County. Will County saw no significant change in industrial employment, while McHenry County saw a 3.7% decline.

Northwest Illinois accounts for 71,735 jobs, down 1.4% over the past twelve months. East Central Illinois is home to 56,507 jobs, up 1.5%, while West Central Illinois accounts for 55,660 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Employment in Southwest Illinois increased 3% and now accounts for 35,912 jobs, while industrial jobs in Southeast Illinois were also up 3% with the region currently home to 28,320 jobs.

MNI's city data shows manufacturing employment in Chicago was virtually unchanged over the year, with the city now home to 106,980 industrial jobs, down 932 jobs or less than one percent. Elk Grove Village accounts for the second most industrial employment in Illinois with 20,333 jobs, down 1.8% over the year. Third-ranked Rockford accounts for 19,291 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months, while Decatur is home to 11,358, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Fifth-ranked Elgin is home to 11,259 industrial workers, up 5.4%.

Detailed profiles of Illinois' 19,111 manufacturers can be found in the 2012 Illinois Manufacturers Directory, available in print for $209, or available online through MNI's subscription-based service at www.ezselect.com. Users may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using a variety of criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), 60,913 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, and number of employees. MNI also maintains IndustryNet.com, an industrial search engine designed specifically for locating manufacturers and suppliers nationwide, and has recently launched an expansion and relocation guide for manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.manufacturersnews.com

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the federal government.

Working in conjunction with Tinker Air Force Base, MTI will be developing methodology, processes, and analytical tools required for final machining of metallic aircraft components produced using additive metal manufacturing. The goal is to reduce qualification costs and time versus conventional manufacturing methods. In this endeavor, MTI is partnering with TechSolve, an Edison Technology Center.

As the global leader in additive metal manufacturing, Morris Technologies is ideally suited to conduct aerospace research using DMLS and EBM technologies.  "This is an important step toward helping the USAF resolve their diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages through the use of additive metal processes," says Lloyd Fields, VP of MTI's Federal Business Unit. "The SBIR program is fundamental to our advancing additive manufacturing technology."

The project is expected to take up to nine months to complete.

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

Signaling a significant breakthrough in polyurethane research and development, Innovative Polymers, Inc. today introduced a new biobased family of products to the marketplace. The environmentally conscious line of polyurethane materials includes biobased elastomers with Shore 30A to 90A hardnesses as well as one rigid Shore 80D biobased polyurethane. Created for hand-batch and vacuum-assisted casting processes, these formulations contain 30% to 40% soy oil-based polyols, a rapidly renewable feedstock produced as a co-product of soybeans grown and processed as a food source for humans and livestock.
 
According to Michael Molitor, president of Innovative Polymers, “We developed our new line of biobased polyurethanes to provide customers with environmentally sound casting materials that offer measurable carbon benefits to contribute to reduced global warming.”

New InnoGreen™ polyurethanes exhibit low viscosity for easy handling and processing.  Parts cast from the new elastomers can be demolded in less than 12 hours.

Once cured, the polyurethanes exhibit elongations of up to 200% and tear strengths as high as 115 pli.  In addition to use as casting systems, the new products are ideal for overmolding biobased foams.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages the BioPreferred product effort that was initiated in 2002 as part of a Farm Bill and expanded in 2008.  The goal:  to encourage the use of renewable feedstocks in products ranging from coatings and adhesives to cleaning agents and lubricants. As an industry leader in manufacturing polyurethanes without mercury, MOCA or TDI, Innovative Polymers used its environmentally conscious formulating expertise to create the new family of InnoGreen™ polyurethanes.  Each of the new materials was tested by USDA-approved independent laboratories and subsequently was certified as BioPreferred.  Companies seeking to use biobased products can receive purchasing consideration by federal agencies and their contractors.

Innovative Polymers is a leading manufacturer of advanced polyurethanes for modelmaking, prototyping and initial part production. Shore A and Shore D hardness materials are formulated without mercury, MOCA or TDI. The comprehensive line of Innovative Polymers polyurethanes exhibits a broad range of physical performance properties. In-house chemists specialize in custom-coloring and formulating products tailored to specific project requirements. Outstanding product quality and rapid, cost-effective response to customer needs are our top priorities.

For more information, visit: www.innovative-polymers.com

Polymer Technologies, Inc. (PTI) today announced its acquisition of Polmold, a Wallington, NJ-based manufacturer and repair shop for injection molds, tools, dies and fixtures. The acquisition is expected to close February of 2012.

PTI is a custom plastic and metal injection molding company that provides contract manufacturing to the aerospace, defense, medical/surgical, automotive, commercial, consumer electronics and dental industries. The company offers design, engineering and manufacturing services supported by Mold Flow™ analysis. Its Clifton-based facility is home to 24 injection molding machines ranging from 38-Ton to 650-Ton machines and employs 71 professionals across its 24 hours a day, five days a week operations.

Polmold manufactures precision injection molding tooling for both plastic and metal injection molding (MIM) programs. Additionally, the company has extensive experience in construction and repair of molds for compression and investment castings applications, as well as providing complementary services for associated tools, dies and fixtures. The purchase will strengthen PTI’s position as a ‘one-stop shop’ contract manufacturing solutions provider. The company has five CAD/CAM work stations, four late-model computer numerical control (CNC) machining centers, seven CNC milling machines, two lathe machines, two wire and three “sinker” electric discharge machines (EDM), six grinders and QC inspection equipment to guarantee the quality of the value-added services they supply.

“The acquisition of Polmold complements our existing product offering and continues our strategic plan to offer streamlined contract manufacturing services to our customers in the USA and internationally,” said PTI president Neal Goldenberg. “Our vertical integration of this critical technology into our operation will truly make us a complete solutions provider for any engineered injection molding application.”

Melvyn Goldenberg, PTI founder and Neal’s father added, “We have been pleased to see a strong resurgence of tooling work being done here in the United States. Much of this is due to the realization that the cost-savings from work done overseas in places such as China didn’t pan out the way people had hoped it would when variables such as lost time and additional costs of rework were not a part of the original equation. Further, given the size of some of the tooling, transportation and import fees, outsourcing has become very cost prohibitive.”

Wallington-based, Polmold was founded by Henry Marzec in the 1980s. Polmold employs six highly-skilled workers whose combined 80+ years of experience in injection molding tool design and construction and use of their state-of-the art equipment will ensure the tools built will meet or exceed the stringent requirements of PTI’s customer base. With this acquisition, PTI will employ a total of 77 manufacturing professionals at its two facilities. Mr. Marzec will assume the role of Polmold Tool Inc general manager.

“We are very pleased to join our forces with PTI and the Goldenberg’s. We still intend to support our existing clients with the same level of superior quality, workmanship and service for which they have come to rely on us however, now can also offer a new value-proposition,” says Marzec. “Through utilization of PTI’s injection molding expertise, we can prototype and troubleshoot these tools prior to being shipped to the client. This will significantly reduce the debugging time associated with new tool manufacturing and increase our client’s speed-to-market.”

Polymer Technologies Inc. (PTI) is a custom plastic and metal injection molding company providing contract manufacturing to global leaders in the aerospace, healthcare, commercial and military industries. PTI, a family owned-and-operated company was founded in 1987 and is ISO9001:2008 and AS9001B registered.

For more information, visit: www.polymertek.com

University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate innovators will present 14 inventions on Feb. 9-10 in Engineering Hall on the College of Engineering campus as part of the annual Innovation Days.

The inventors will present their ideas and demonstrate prototypes in hopes of earning a share of more than $27,000 in prizes in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions. Designed to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in students and give them experience with prototype building and intellectual property, the contest awards teams whose ideas and inventions are judged the most innovative and likely to succeed in the marketplace. In addition, awards are given for the best ideas notebook and best presentation.

All prototypes will be on display during the presentations and judging Thursday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Many prototypes will be on display during the presentations on Friday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Winners will be announced Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m. in 1610 Engineering Hall.

UW-Madison students can receive a door-prize ticket for each presentation they attend. The prizes, including electronics and computing equipment, will be distributed in a drawing after the awards ceremony.

UW-Madison chemical engineering alumnus Richard J. Schoofs (BS '53) sponsors the Schoofs Prize for Creativity; the Tong Family Foundation, including electrical and computer engineering alumnus Peter P. Tong (MS '65), sponsors the Tong Prototype Prize and grants.

Engineering Hall is located at 1415 Engineering Drive. Visitors can park for a fee in Lot 17, the parking ramp on Engineering Drive near Camp Randall Stadium.

The timetable for student presentations follows:

Thursday, Feb. 9

8:45-9 a.m. - Opening remarks from Dean Paul Peercy and competition director Alicia Jackson
9:15-9:30 a.m. - Letzgo (Sean Kelly)
9:35-9:50 a.m. - Mobile Phone Payment System (Michael Starr)
9:55-10:10 a.m. - The DualX Fracture Fixation System (Tom Gerold and Marc Egeland)
10:15-10:30 a.m. - Prototype Judging
10:40-10:55 a.m. - TapTop Double Tablet Laptop (Michael Szewczyk)
11-11:15 a.m. - Rotoar Handle (Kevin Ripley & Brandon Kryger)
11:20-11:35 a.m. - NoVo Luggage (Scott Johanek)
11:40-11:55 p.m. - Prototype Judging
12-12:45 p.m. - Lunch
1-1:15 p.m. - Liico Brand Collapsible Mug (John McGuire)
1:20-1:35 p.m. - Liquid Cooled Replaceable LED Light Bulb (Stefan Jedlicka)
1:40-1:55 p.m. - Passive Interrupted RFID (Scott Hatfield)
2-2:15 p.m. - Clean Coal (Justin Vannieuwenhoven)
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Prototype judging

Friday, Feb. 10

9 a.m. - Remarks from competition director Alicia Jackson
9:05-9:20 a.m. - Javi (Matthew Kirk)
9:25-9:40 a.m. - Manu Print (Eric Ronning)
9:45-10 a.m. - Library Counting and Study Friend Finding System (Junzhe Wang)
10:05-10:20 a.m. - PureWater Trike Converter (John Boland and Joshua Gilberts)
10:30 a.m.-noon - Break for judges' deliberation
1:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony/door prizes

For more information, visit: innovation.wisc.edu

Lattice Technology® Inc.,the standard for technical communication and digital mock up software in the manufacturing enterprise, today announced the release of the iXVL Player and iXVL Publisher applications.

The ultra-lightweight 3D XVL® format is widely used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, heavy machinery, medical devices etc. where products can have a large number of parts and complex structures. It allows even the largest CAD files (often more than 1GB!) to be viewed easily on-the-go. Now, iXVL Player will allow your data to be shared and viewed on mobile devices.

iXVL Player is the new addition to the iXVL technology offered by Lattice Technology, Inc. and brings a new level of functionality to mobile 3D Data Viewing.

iXVL Player is a free application for the iPad® and iPhone® available on the App Store for sharing, viewing and interrogating 3D models. As well as viewing functions like pan, zoom, and rotate, iXVL Player provides additional features including hide/show parts, change display quality and view snapshots created with XVL Studio.

“iXVL Player is the ideal tool to share part information and manufacturing and service data” said Bill Barnes, General Manager, Lattice Technology, Inc. “It provides access to additional information including assembly structure and individual part names and properties coupled with the ability to update information over the internet.”

Along with iXVL Player, Lattice Technology, Inc. is also launching iXVL Publisher. iXVL Publisher supports all XVL files types and versions and enables them to be viewed and interrogated using any of the free XVL Players.

iXVL Player and iXVL Publisher are the latest additions to the Lattice Technology, Inc. family of mobile applications. These applications help companies in the adoption and use of mobile devices to easily distribute and share their 3D product data and information.

For more information, visit: www.lattice3d.com/products/ixvl/index.html

IMDS® (Innovative Medical Device Solutions) announces the addition of its newest Co-Innovation™ facility in Orlando, Florida. The new facility joins three other IMDS Co-Innovation facilities based in Logan, Utah; Chandler, Arizona; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

As a leader of design in Orthopaedic Medical Devices, IMDS Co-Innovation brings over 350 years of combined experience to the development of innovative medical products. The 12,000-square-foot facility currently houses 13 product development engineers, a surgical skills cadaver lab, a prototype manufacturing machining center, an additive manufacturing development center, and a verification and validation mechanical testing laboratory. These capabilities allow IMDS to provide world-class service while continuing to enhance the quality of life and standard of care for patients.

Chief Technology Officer Dan Justin stated, “This IMDS Co-Innovation expansion is all about better connecting our talented resources to the needs of the medical device industry. We are excited about expanding our footprint to include the East Coast. IMDS has an exceptional talent pool and has enhanced its product development capabilities by moving to a location with faster access to many of our corporate customers and surgeon partners. Additionally, Orlando is already proving to be a great location to access the international medical device industry.”

With this recent addition, IMDS service areas now span the country across nine different locations. Specializing in outsourcing to the medical device community, companies and surgeon inventors come to IMDS to bring their product ideas to full market realization. From concept development through full ISO 13485 production manufacturing, IMDS is the one-stop shop for medical device innovation.

“Innovation is at the core of our mission. We believe our new Co-Innovation Orlando facility represents an expansion geographically as well as an expansion of some of the key ingredients of innovation at IMDS such as talent, environment and resources,” said President and CEO Brady Shirley.

Those interested in visiting the new facility should contact IMDS to schedule a tour. IMDS Co-Innovation Orlando is located 25 minutes from the Orlando International Airport in the Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the UCF campus.

IMDS will be exhibiting at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco from February 8-10, 2012.

IMDS (Innovative Medical Device Solutions) is the strategic source for contract, full-service medical device development and manufacturing. With an intense focus on innovation, speed to market, and our partners’ goals, we deliver products that enhance the quality of life and standard of care for patients.

For more information, visit: www.imds.net

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 11:21

SURFCAM 6 to Showcase at SolidWorks World 2012

Written by

Surfware, Inc., developer of SURFCAM® CAD/CAM systems, will be demonstrating the upcoming release of its flagship product, SURFCAM 6, at the SolidWorks World 2012 exhibition to be held in San Diego, CA at the San Diego Convention Center from February 12 - 15, 2012.

SURFCAM has been a Certified SolidWorks CAM partner for many years, providing SURFCAM customers with world class precision and control over their NC programming environment when using SolidWorks design models in their shops.

SURFCAM’s powerful associativity enables programmers to open native SolidWorks files directly into SURFCAM, completely eliminating the translation process. When changes are made to the SolidWorks design models, SURFCAM automatically recognizes the design revisions and offers to regenerate the affected toolpaths. With this seamless interoperability between these two systems, SURFCAM users can quickly adapt to design changes and efficiently update their toolpaths.

The up and coming SURFCAM 6 release contains many new and powerful features such as:

A 64-Bit Version
New Tools and Material Database Engine
Faster Verification Technology
Updated Interface
Completely redesigned Help System
Four new toolpath strategies
Updated CAD translators to latest CAD systems (plus RHINO CAD translator now included)
Updated Post Processors (MPost and SPost)
Updated Integration to FARO and MicroScribe Arms
Newest Version of EditNC included
Enhanced calculator for TRUEMill toolpath parameters
Refined TRUEMill toolpath algorithms
Plus much more.

SURFCAM 6 also supports SolidWorks 2012 parts, assemblies, sketches and configurations and includes over 200 Post Processors for major CNC machine manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.surfware.com

Company owner Travis Perry is ready to seek funding in dangerous waters after two years of developing his guitar product. On Friday, the Alabama inventor will pitch his ChordBuddy Guitar Learning System to the ravenous business tycoons of ABC's "Shark Tank." Perry developed his product with help from Indiana rapid prototyping company Realize Inc.

Perry has taught guitar lessons to hundreds of students over the past 30 years. ChordBuddy fits on the neck of an acoustic or electric guitar. It is designed to help people learn to play guitar in as little as two months by pushing the colored buttons that correspond with different chords.

"The Realize team was a great partner to have during the development of the ChordBuddy," Perry said. "It was a bonus that they had a couple of guitar players on their staff and that allowed me to communicate my concept and requirements with ease. The series of custom finished rapid prototypes they quickly produced for me really helped accelerate the ChordBuddy's journey to production."

Products often begin as just an image in an innovative mind. In the case of ChordBuddy, it started with Perry's dream to create an easier way to play the guitar -- and his phone call to Realize, Inc.

Realize creates custom rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries. The ChordBuddy project was a little out of the ordinary in that a typical Realize client is a mid-to-large established company, said Realize President Todd Reese.

"When Travis first contacted me, we spoke in depth about this idea he'd had for years. I could sense his passion and we immediately connected," Reese said. "When the conversation ended, it felt as if I had just spoken with an old friend. I knew that Realize would be a great fit for what Travis wanted to accomplish."

Perry called Reese one evening in 2009 and asked if he was familiar with playing guitar. Having played guitar for a decade and with one even propped up at the end of his office desk, Reese proved eager to help Perry create his envisioned product. He connected Perry with Troy Mason, owner of Impulse Product Development, who performed CAD design work for the ChordBuddy. Realize performed Stereolithography and custom finishing and painting services. Multiple versions of the ChordBuddy were produced as Perry evaluated and critiqued different designs leading to the final design.

Now, Perry is ready to pitch to a true shark's den of investors including billionaire Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks; and entrepreneur Daymond John, founder and CEO of the FUBU apparel empire.

So can Perry swim in dangerous waters -- or will he get eaten by the sharks? Find out at 8 p.m. EST this Friday on ABC.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival hosted by Lockheed Martin offers a special appeal for budding entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and programmers who will find the ideas, tools and resources to help them make their dreams a reality. From robotic technology to amazing desktop manufacturing technology that makes prototype development easy and cost-effective, the “makers” and innovators of society will find a wealth of inspiration throughout the Festival and Expo, as well as in the Robot Fest and DIY Expo pavilion, where creativity and technology meet.

“The Festival is a fantastic place for technical experts of all kinds to learn about the amazing advances that have been made in technology to help them make product prototypes from 3D printers, find designs online for parts and components, and meet an array of experts to help them bring their product ideas to life,” said Larry Bock, serial entrepreneur and Executive Director of the USA Science & Engineering Festival— the nation’s largest celebration of science and engineering that will take place April 28-29, 2012 in Washington, D.C. “If you’re an inventor or entrepreneur looking for inspiration, the Festival will be a wealth of ideas and the DIY Expo will provide the tools to get your ideas in motion.”

Organizations like MakerBot Industries, Fab Lab DC and Fab@Home by Cornell University and Dassault Systèmes Americas will show prospective inventors how they can develop product prototypes with 3D printers and digital fabrication. Sparkfun Electronics will show participants how to bring new product ideas to life more easily and inexpensively than many of us may have thought was possible, through electronics and microcontroller kits. The Festival will also feature an array of robotic technology ranging from military, manufacturing and surgical robots to more entertaining robots like R2DC’s Star Wars droids and other exhibits that allow attendees to build their own robots.

In addition, budding entrepreneurs will be able to network with members of various “hackerspace” groups who work collaboratively to network, socialize and develop technical solutions and new products in their spare time, simply because they love to tinker with new ideas, create something from nothing, and solve problems. The Baltimore Node, Unallocated Space and HacDC are three hackerspace groups participating in the DIY Expo and will show some of their recent projects like the HacDC spaceblimp. Unlike the more malicious forms of hacking, the hackerspace model is borne of an interest in collaboration, shared knowledge and tools to create and innovate.

“One of the most intriguing developments in the world of American innovation over the past few years has been the advancement in collaborative ‘crowdsourcing’ to make it easier for ideas to become reality by working together with like-minded individuals,” said Gary Mauler, founder of Robot Fest and host of the Robot Fest and DIY Expo pavilion at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. “The ‘hackerspace’ groups that have come together across the country are providing volunteer assistance to the defense industry and cyber-security industry, and they are now making an impact on assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, fashion and many other industries,” he added.

The Festival also features a Book Fair where some of the leading authors and experts in the DIY world will speak, including William Gurstelle, author of The Practical Pyromaniac, a professional engineer and has been researching and building model catapults, ballistic devices and flamethrowers for more than 30 years. His previous books include the best-selling Backyard Ballistics, among others.

“The USA Science & Engineering Festival is an amazing place for engineers and DIY enthusiasts to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology,” said Gurstelle. “I can’t imagine anyone in my field who wouldn’t find it to be a tremendously inspiring event, full of creative fuel to spark that next great idea or invention.”

Dustyn Roberts, author of Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists and Artists, will also appear at the Festival. Roberts is an engineer who started her career at Honeybee Robotics working on the Sample Manipulation System project for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. She is the founder of Dustyn Robots where she consults on projects ranging from gait analysis to designing guided parachute systems.

“I’m looking forward to this year’s Festival to find out what all of the world’s leading innovators have developed to demonstrate the wonders of modern science and engineering,” said Roberts. “I’m particularly excited to see the array of female innovators who will be sharing their expertise and inspiring young girls to consider a career in the science, technology, engineering or math fields.”

The USA Science & Engineering Festival and Book Fair is a free, family-friendly event that allows kids and adults to participate in over 2,000 hands-on activities and see more than 200 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts. For inventors and others looking for ideas and information, the Festival offers a smorgasbord of scientific and technological wonders that will entertain as it inspires the American spirit of innovation.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the country’s only national science festival, and was developed to increase public awareness of the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering by celebrating science in much the same way as we celebrate Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and pop stars. Lockheed Martin is again the presenting host of the USA Science & Engineering Festival and is joined by many other Festival sponsors and partners. The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a grassroots collaboration of over 500 of the United States leading science and engineering organizations.

For more information, visit: www.usasciencefestival.org

PolyFlex Products, Inc., Livonia, MI, is moving its headquarters and manufacturing operations to a 50,000 square foot facility in Farmington Hills, MI. Mark Kirchmer, PolyFlex, CEO, stated “our continued growth during the past decade had forced us to have operations in multiple facilities. This new facility allows us to consolodate everything under one roof while providing additional room for future expansion.

“We recently increased our overall injection molding capacity by 30% and also doubled our foamed urethane capacity with the addition of a new RIM machine. Moving forward, this new facility provides the expansion room needed for our forecasted growth.” he concludes.

The new address is: 23093 Commerce Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48335.

PolyFlex Products engineers and manufactures plastic, urethane and rubber material handling products including custom returnable part handling containers, protective shipping containers, plus custom and standard dunnage systems. Its sister company, ThermoFlex, has capabilities for heavy-gauge thermoforming, injection molding and cast urethane molding operations.

For more information, visit: www.polyflexpro.com

Monetizing on Patents and Ideas, Patent Rights Group Inc. of Toronto Canada (PRG) Announced Today the Launch of Phase 1 of Their Aggressive Patent Acquisition Strategy. Inventor's and patent holders are invited to discuss their options for monetizing their innovations.

Innovation is accelerating at unprecedented levels and Industry now recognizes that intellectual property rights are valuable and strategic assets that can yield significant revenues when properly licensed or sold. Nortel auctioned off 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion, Disney paid $4.2 billion to acquire the rights to Marvel Comics, and IBM generates over $1 billion annually in licensing revenues.

"Ideas matter and their values are at an all time high. Patent owners need to act now and participate in this campaign to take advantage of favourable market conditions." said Tony Canapini, PRG's President and CEO. "PRG is committed to stimulating, incubating, licensing, and defending the intellectual property rights of individuals, entrepreneurs, or any enterprise that can benefit from using our services."

PRG is an expert in realizing value from patents. In this campaign, PRG will assume all risk and manage all legal and administrative matters when monetizing patent rights, and revenue generated by PRG will be shared with the patent owners. By working with PRG, everyone benefits; Inventors are financially rewarded for their ideas, Entrepreneurs receive funding to start their businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises can leverage incremental cash to grow or take advantage of market opportunities, and Innovation Labs can realize positive returns on their research and development investments.

Investors can also benefit by contacting PRG because as PRG's patent asset base grows, so does its market value. As a fast growing, private company with a business model that leverages easily, PRG welcomes inquiries from investors interested in a company with a bright future.

Founded in Toronto, Canada in 2010, Patent Rights Group Inc. is an intellectual property management company that buys, sells, licenses, and defends patents. We focus on inventors, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, non-profit enterprises, and innovation labs in Canada and the US. Our markets include, but are not limited to Mobile, High Tech, Health Care, and Green Energy.

For more information, visit: www.patentrightsgroup.com

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) has assembled this year’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) jury to choose the IDEA 2012 honorees. Nineteen international design experts from design consultancies, corporations and universities compose the jury.

The jury members include:

Chair: Rhys Newman, head of advanced projects at Nokia, Nokia Insight and Innovation
Jonah Becker, principal, One & Co.
Jan Chipchase, executive creative director, frog design
Ed Dorsa, assistant director and associate professor, Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design
Khodi Feiz, founder, Feiz Design
Sean Hägen, president, BlackHägen Design Inc.
Rachel Hinman, senior research scientist at Nokia Research Centre
Lance Hussey, vice president and creative director, RKS Design
Mike Kruzeniski, creative director, Microsoft Mobile
Shaun Jackson, professor, University of Michigan
Matt Jones, principal, BERG
Sam Lucente, designer
Thomas Overthun, associate partner and practice director, IDEO
Carrie Russell, senior design manager, Procter & Gamble
Leslie Speer, associate professor of design, San José State University
Philip Swift, director of industrial design, North America, Crown Equipment
Tad Toulis, creative director, TEAGUE
Duncan Trevor-Wilson, global design manager for emerging markets, GE Healthcare
Simon Waterfall, creative director, fray

For bios and photos, visit: www.idsa.org/idsa-idea-awards

With its roots reaching back to 1938 and founded in 1965, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world’s oldest, largest, member-driven society for industrial design. IDSA represents professionals in product design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design and related design fields. The society produces the renowned International Design Excellence Award® (IDEA) competition annually; hosts the International Design Conference and five regional conferences each year; and publishes Innovation, a quarterly journal on design, and designBytes, a weekly e-newsletter highlighting the latest headlines in the design world. IDSA's charitable arm, the Design Foundation, supports the dissemination of undergraduate and graduate scholarships annually to further industrial design education. The organization has more than 3,000 members in 29 professional chapters in the U.S. and internationally.

For more information, visit: www.idsa.org

3D Engineering Solutions has added another dimension to their 3D laser scanning services with the acquisition of a structured light scanning tool, the Steinbichler Comet L3D, which uses LED blue light technology and can capture up to two million points in 1.5 seconds. 3D Engineering has already used the new technology for turbine blade and impeller inspection, and mold and tool making. The structured light scanner is useful in applications such as 3D scanning, quality control, tool making, reverse engineering, rapid manufacturing and design.

3D Engineering Solutions Vice President Rob Glassburn said, “It’s unusual for a company to have the full range of tools we have to cover different component sizes and accuracies. The Steinbichler tool is great for capturing anything with a lot of sharp edges and detail—even small medical instruments.” 3D Engineering can integrate photogrammetry with the structured light scanning, which increases ability to measure larger parts. “We can capture entire vehicles,” said Glassburn. “We can get accuracies as small as .0003 inches.” In addition to the photogrammetry accessory, 3D Engineering has a 2-axis integrated turn table, which allows for automated inspection.

In addition to increased portability of equipment, benefits of structured blue light scanning over structured white light scanning include a longer-lasting light source and lower temperature influence due to LEDs, the ability to scan a well-lit room, and the ability to filter out other light present when capturing an object. “This technology is about 3D data acquisition with a lot finer detail and greater resolution—especially when working with small parts,” said Glassburn.

Customers rely on 3D Engineering Solutions to design process tooling and fixtures for the automotive, industrial, green energy, nuclear and aerospace industries, using engineering tools such as Unigraphics NX7 Mach 3 CAD platform. Leading edge point cloud software, InnovMetrics PolyWorks, allows a common software platform for collecting data across all of Faro laser-based data collection platforms. In addition to reverse engineering services, 3D Engineering Solutions is registered with the State of Ohio for Professional Engineering and ISO 17025 Certified for third party inspection. In their sixth year of operation, the company maintains a state-of-the-art, climate controlled metrology lab, servicing the Midwest OEM needs for 3D laser scanning, data collection, 3D CAD modeling, FAI / PPAP inspection, and reverse engineering services. 3D Engineering Solutions brings more than 100 years of collective experience to every engineering project.

For more information, visit: www.3D-engineering.net

Entrepreneurial inventors and can-do manufacturers will have the opportunity to meet, swap ideas and join forces in what's being dubbed the new "manufacturing revolution" at the Inaugural Manufacturing EXPO: Putting a Face on Manufacturing, Feb. 14 and 15, 2012, at The Galleria in Downtown Cleveland.

The first-of-its-kind event will bring inventors face-to-face with about 175 exhibitors representing just about every aspect of manufacturing. More than 3,000 attendees from across the United States and Canada are expected. Eight regionally and nationally renowned speakers will share their manufacturing-specific insights, including information on the potential impact of the new America Invents Act.

At The EXPO, inventors will find themselves in an elite category with some of the region's and the world's most significant manufacturers, according to Mary Kaye Denning, founder and president of The Manufacturing Mart, creators of The EXPO. "Where else but at this EXPO can you display your invention next to the latest ideas brought forth by NASA?" Denning asks.

The EXPO will feature a designated pavilion for North American inventors called "Design: Protect: Package: Ship." Booth prices are $550 and allow for up to two inventors per booth. Inventors will also have the opportunity to enter the Export Experiment, which is open to inventors with new and exciting ideas.

Hotel accommodations can be made at the Hampton Inn in Downtown Cleveland for $79 per night. The EXPO is sponsored by Penton Media, The City of Cleveland, StudioTh!nk and The Galleria at Erieview.

For more information or to register, visit: www.mfgtradeshow.com

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and Stratasys, Inc., announce the successful design, fabrication, and test of a Webbed Tube Heat Exchanger (WTHX), believed to be the first plastic heat exchanger made by additive manufacturing. Fabricated at the Stratasys facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., the 3D-printed WTHX promises to expand the potential applications of polymer heat exchangers to small production volumes and cost-constrained systems.

The WTHX represents the first time that a plastic heat exchanger has been manufactured through Stratasys' Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) technology and used to successfully transfer heat through a polymer structure from a hot gas to a cold liquid. Room air, heated to 120 degrees Celsius was cooled by building water at 27 degrees Celsius, transferring nearly 65W of heat in the 500 cubic centimeter heat exchanger.

Juan Cevallos, a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in the Thermal Management of Photonic and Electronic Systems (TherPES) Laboratory at the Clark School's Department of Mechanical Engineering, was responsible for testing the WTHX. Under the direction of Professor Avram Bar-Cohen-along with Professors S. K. Gupta, David Bigio, and Hugh Bruck-Cevallos has been working in collaboration with the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi to advance polymer heat exchanger technology for seawater cooling of liquified natural gas processes, among other applications. The relatively high tool and assembly costs of low-volume polymer molding production led Bar-Cohen's research team to select an additive manufacturing technology that could build complex geometries in a single step. Stratasys' FDM technology provides that capability while using some of the strongest and most heat-resistant thermoplastics found among additive manufacturing technologies.

The WTHX geometry consists of a stack of rectangular flat plates, each containing an array of tubes that span the length of the plate and are separated by short webs. The tubular array carries the water, while the air flows in the gaps between the rectangular webbed-tube plates. The diameter of the tubes is selected to reduce the power required to pump the liquid while creating a "bumpy" surface on the gas-side that enhances heat transfer between the gas and liquid streams. Moreover, most of the heat transfer occurs directly across the thickness of the WTHX tubes, minimizing the deleterious effect of the low thermal conductivity of the polycarbonate resin.

The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S., with graduate and undergraduate education programs ranked in or near the Top 20. In 2011, the Clark School was ranked 11th in the world by the Institute of Higher Education and Center for World-Class Universities in its Academic Ranking of World Universities. Three faculty members affiliated with the Clark School were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2010.

The school, which offers 13 graduate programs and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs tailored for working professionals, is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the country. The Clark School garnered research awards of $171 million last year. With emphasis in key areas such as energy, nanotechnology and materials, bioengineering, robotics, communications and networking, life cycle and reliability engineering, project management, intelligent transportation systems and aerospace, the Clark School is leading the way toward the next generations of engineering advances.

For more information, visit: www.eng.umd.edu

Media Corp has become the official sponsor of the ICKC National inventors contest held in Kansas City. The ICKC contest was created by the Ewing Kauffman Foundation and is a nonprofit organization with over 1,000 members. Media Corp will offer a $20,000 testing package to the winner of the contest.

The ICKC National Invention Contest is looking for inventors to submit their inventions for a chance to win a commercial produced for Direct Response television (DR-TV). The complete package which includes a TV spot to be aired in select markets for product testing is a prize worth $20,000. If successful, the winners invention would generate thousands of dollars in royalties for the inventor.

Ed Waldberg, President of Media Corp. says "We are pleased to be the primary sponsor of the ICKC National Invention Contest. This contest provides inventors of all types to have a chance to win a DR-TV spot that could literally change their lives if the product is a success. DR-TV is still the best and quickest way to get your product to market. In our industry the right product and speed to market is the key to success."

Typically an inventor will spend in excess of $10,000 to produce and air a commercial. "Going it alone is expensive and time consuming. The ICKC National Invention Contest is an opportunity like none other," says Carrie Jeske, Marketing Director for the Inventors Club of Kansas City. When inventors submit products to the ICKC National Invention Contest they should consider the seven most important criteria for DR-TV product success:

1. Does your product have a unique selling advantage? In other words how does your product stand apart and does it have a "wow" factor?
2. Problem/Solution/Benefit Orientation. The bigger or more common the problem solved?the more the product sells!
3. Does your product appeal to the masses? TV reaches a very broad demographic, if your product appeals to the masses you have a winner.
4. Product Pricing. Typically products under $100 are considered good short-form DRTV items.
5. How demonstrable is your product? The better the visual demonstration of the product the greater the chance for success.
6. Is your product believable? Will people believe your product will work?
7. Is your product easily explained? Consumers must be able to understand what the product does in a relatively short amount of time.

If you have an invention and you think that it meets the seven criteria to make a DR-TV winner then submit your product today at: www.inventorsclubofkc.org

Friday, 20 January 2012 08:32

ATOS Compact Scan: Capture 3D's New 3D Scanner

Written by

Capture 3D's GOM ATOS series of industrial optical 3D scanners provide accurate scans with detailed resolution at high speeds. ATOS delivers 3D measurement data and analysis for industrial components such as sheet metal parts, tools and dies, turbine blades, prototypes, injection molded parts, castings, and more. Instead of measuring single points or with a laser, ATOS captures an object's full surface geometry and primitives precisely in a dense point cloud or polygon mesh. ATOS is widely utilized in various industries, and can measure different object sizes, surface finishes, and shape complexities.

The new ATOS Compact Scan provides accurate scans with detailed resolution at high speeds. This modern 3D scanner combines the latest ATOS Blue Light Technology and software into a compact design with an affordable price. Manufactured with high-quality components, this lightweight and compact sensor ensures ultimate adaptability for various applications and environments, especially in narrow and confined areas. Quickly measure and inspect castings, design models, forms, injection molded parts, interiors, prototypes, vehicles, and much more.

We live in a world fueled by creativity, innovation, and competition. When product ideas are born, the world of engineering gives it life. The tools and technologies we use on a daily basis are a critical factor to achieve success. Capture 3D is a leader in 3D metrology solutions since 1997. From aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, power generation, entertainment, medical, to a variety of other industries, we improve product development through manufacturing and maintenance processes. Products include 3D scanners, portable CMMs, inspection, automation and robotic solutions.

For more information, visit: www.capture3d.com/products-ATOS.html

Tuesday, 17 January 2012 12:12

Moderntech Announces New Charleston, SC Office

Written by

ModernTech, the leading value-added reseller of 3D CAD and Engineering Technology for manufacturers in the Southeast, has opened a new office in Charleston, South Carolina.  The new office is on Daniel Island, a strategically-situated, award-winning planned community is located at:

146 Fairchild Street, Suite 180
Charleston, SC 29492
Phone: 843.410.2276

“Our presence in the Carolinas enhances the opportunity to expand in the Southeast and allows for us to have a large footprint in the coastal areas as a reseller of SolidWorks and Objet.  We are very excited about discovering and getting to know the Charleston business base,” says Jon Carlton, Vice President of ModernTech.

ModernTech provides solutions to solve the toughest mechanical design and engineering problems in industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Consumer Products, Electronics, Medical, Manufacturing, and many more.   In addition to offering a variety of 3D technology products, ModernTech also provides training, support and services to customers across the Southeast and beyond.

“We are delighted ModernTech has made a decision to expand operations to Charleston,” said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. ”As Charleston’s high-tech manufacturing economy expands, the leading-edge tools provided by ModernTech will become a great asset to our businesses.”

ModernTech’s expansion to Charleston was facilitated by the City of Charleston’s Digital Corridor initiative. An open house at the new Charleston office is being scheduled and more information will be made available soon.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, ModernTech provides engineers and designers with 3D technology and training for the entire product development lifecycle —Design, Analysis, Data Management, Tech Publishing, 3D Prototyping and Scanning. Our solutions help engineers and designers in any industry meet the demand for innovative, high-quality products in less time and at lower cost.

For more information, visit: www.moderntech.com

To deliver on the promise of manufacturing, Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT), Chairman, President and CEO Carlos Cardoso told journalists and stakeholders during an appearance at The National Press Club today that he and his industry peers need to more clearly articulate their success stories and educate young workers about viable manufacturing careers.

A new poll conducted by Kennametal, a global manufacturing leader in tooling solutions, engineered components and advanced materials, reveals that Americans of all ages are unaware that manufacturing is leading the economic recovery, and believe manufacturing jobs are unavailable.

"Contrary to public perception, the manufacturing industry is leading the economic recovery," commented Cardoso.  "It is time for our industry to reintroduce itself to the American people in a manner that encourages them to understand the vitality and importance of U.S. manufacturing to the global economy.

Cardoso's presentation, Manufacturing: Deliver the Promise, also promoted and discussed the availability of well-paying, highly skilled manufacturing careers in the 21st century.

"The U.S. manufacturing sector has been steadily growing and right now, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are available," Cardoso said. "Most of these positions require specialized skills and education, and as manufacturers, we have a responsibility to educate people about these opportunities and build the manufacturing workforce of the future. At Kennametal, we take this seriously and are helping to deliver the promise of manufacturing today through our actions."

To reinforce Kennametal's commitment, Cardoso introduced representatives from Greater Latrobe High School, a partner in the company's Young Engineers Program. The program included a 15-week session at Kennametal headquarters in Latrobe, PA, where students participated in classroom discussions, hands-on projects, and mentoring led by a team of Kennametal "innovators" drawn from engineering, marketing, production and other departments. The company recognized the program's first graduating class at a special ceremony on January 4, 2012.

"This program is just one of many educational initiatives we have at our locations globally that seeks to attract more high school students into engineering and manufacturing careers, helping to ensure the sustainability of our industry and provide steady employment for future generations," Cardoso said.

Additionally, he called on fellow manufacturers to join Kennametal in delivering the promise of manufacturing by sharing their success stories and innovative solutions for building the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.

"Together, we have the power to drive solutions, dispel these misperceptions about manufacturing and rebuild confidence in the industry," he continued.

Manufacturing Leading the Economic Recovery, Yet Most Believe Differently
The Kennametal poll demonstrates a wide gap between public perception of manufacturing and the facts about its current strength and future viability. It reveals that just 9 percent of Americans see manufacturing as a bright spot in the economy.

In addition:

* Only 11 percent believe manufacturing is growing;
* Just 17 percent think manufacturing has a positive outlook in the future; and
* 68 percent feel the perceived lack of manufacturing jobs is more significant than the lack of training required to fill those jobs.

Cardoso, however, cited results from a November 2011 Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) forecast that predicted manufacturing production will outpace the overall economy and grow 3.4 percent in 2012, adding 170,000 jobs.

Manufacturing Today, Tomorrow and in the Future
A full 71 percent of those polled in the Kennametal survey would not recommend a career in manufacturing to young Americans, primarily because they believe no manufacturing jobs are available. In addition, nearly two-thirds believe that U.S. schools don't present manufacturing as an option.

However, 65 percent of respondents believe manufacturing jobs are desirable, see them as well-paying and view them as high-tech. Nearly 70 percent believe manufacturing jobs are important for domestic job creation.

Cardoso noted that the Kennametal poll reinforces findings of several recent surveys. According to the Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers, approximately 2.7 million manufacturing workers will be retiring in the next 10 years. As a result, the demand for skilled labor in manufacturing will increase, but many jobs could go unfilled because workers lack necessary skills for these positions.

Furthermore, the Skills Gap study, conducted in July and August 2011 by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute, found 67 percent of manufacturers surveyed reported a shortage of available, qualified workers. As many as 600,000 jobs are unfilled, in spite of the fact that the country is facing an unemployment rate near nine percent.

Manufacturing: A Call To Action
The Kennametal poll also reveals a lack of awareness about manufacturing news. Cardoso said more than 70 percent of respondents either don't remember or don't know the last manufacturing story they've seen. He noted that Americans still view manufacturing jobs as desirable, but incorrectly believe these jobs aren't available or don't require much skill and they don't want their children to pursue them because of the fragile state of the economy.

"It's clear the American manufacturing sector needs to do a better job of communicating its successes and opportunities," he said. "Today's discussion, Manufacturing: Deliver the Promise, is merely our first step in a more focused, long-term effort to increase awareness and remind the country that manufacturing is not only part of its past, but also its present and limitless future."

About the Survey
This survey was commissioned by Kennametal Inc., and was conducted online by an independent research company in November of 2011. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1000 Americans and has a margin of error for the entire sample of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

A webcast of Manufacturing: Deliver the Promise is available through April 9, 2012 at: www.visualwebcaster.com/Kennametal_Delivering_the_Promise

Konica Minolta 3D Scanning Labs announced today its new rapid prototyping service.  The company is now offering 3D printing services with the addition of 3D Systems' Projet™ HD 3000 3D Production System. The Projet™ is ideal for a wide-range of applications including concept development, design validation, form and fit analysis, molding and casting patterns, investment casting of jewelry and other fine feature applications.

In addition to the new rapid prototyping service, 3D Scanning Labs offers high-accuracy 3D scanning and metrology, onsite 3D scanning, reverse engineering to native CAD formats, and dimensional inspection. The new addition of 3D printing services opens up an array of possibilities for prototype testing and development for advanced engineering, manufacturing, and jewelry applications.

"Many of our customers need prototypes," states Jim Clark, Business Manager at Konica Minolta 3D Scanning Labs. "Brining this technology in-house allows us to better serve our customers' needs throughout the duration of their projects.  The high quality parts produced by the Projet are ideally matched to the high quality, high detail 3D scan data our equipment produces."

The Projet™ HD 3000 3D Production System offers the option of two modes, High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD), for applications ranging from prototypes and concepts to direct castable models.  For direct castable models of fine jewelry and other components, the UHD mode is unmatched in its ability to handle delicate features and produce detailed parts and patterns.  The high speed and exceptional surface quality of the standard HD mode is ideal for a wide variety of applications including concept development, design verification, form-fit testing, and product presentations.

For more information, visit: sensing.konicaminolta.us/search-by-services/3d-scanning-services

OrthoCare Labs was preparing to move into a new manufacturing facility when it contacted Derek Woodham, a Georgia Tech regional manager who serves west Georgia companies. The collaboration that resulted helped the company expand its sales by more than $1 million per year, add seven jobs, save nearly a quarter million dollars -- and make a big investment in the LaGrange, Ga. community.

The seven-year-old company, which makes custom orthotics -- shoe inserts -- for athletes, diabetics and others, is now poised for additional growth.

"We would not have been able to grow at the rate we have grown if we were still making our product the way we did before Derek helped us," said Dr. Ric Hollstrom, the company's owner. "Derek helped us change the complete flow of our process to make it smoother."

Orthotics are by their nature custom products. Physicians make molds or take three-dimensional measurements of patients' feet, then send the casts or data to OrthoCare. The company's first production step is to carve a wooden replica of each patient's feet using a precision router. From a variety of orthotic-grade polymer sheets, the devices are then vacuum-formed around the replica feet, finished and packaged for shipping.

Prior to the move, Dr. Hollstrom's five staff members produced the orthotics in a departmental-type flow, in which one person was responsible for each aspect of the production, and would pass the products on to the next department in batches. This batch process created the potential for quality issues, and sometimes order confusion, because hundreds of individual products had to be kept separate.

"One of the issues was consistency of our product," said Dr. Hollstrom. "Maintaining consistency when each product was custom-made was difficult. It was also difficult to judge if the required consistency was there every time."

Woodham, who is part of Georgia Tech's Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), visited the company's old facility to learn the production process and talk with the staff. He listened to Dr. Hollstrom's concerns and heard his interest in adopting lean processes, which systematically reduce wasted time and resources. And Woodham understood the company's potential for growth.

What he recommended was a complete change in the organization of the manufacturing process. Instead of producing the orthotics departmentally and in batches, Woodham recommended creating flow cells in which a small team works together to complete products in one continuous operation.

Because a pair of orthotics could be made by the same group of workers in a continuous process, quality issues could be identified and addressed immediately. Having fewer products in process reduced the potential for mix-ups. In the new system, most orders were completed and shipped in a single day, besting the old process, which could take a week or more.

"The flow cell creates a better communications path from the beginning to the end," explained Woodham. "It's easier to keep up with custom orders because you don't have a large number of products waiting to be completed."

For a fast-growing company, switching to manufacturing cells also had an important benefit: production could be ramped up simply by adding cells following the plan Woodham designed.

"The company felt an urgency to get this right before they moved into their new facility," he explained. "Our work was a matter of understanding their processing steps and developing what would be the best layout for the equipment and the best way for the staff to work together."

Dr. Hollstrom said the flow cells allowed the company to expand production from approximately 80 sets of orthotics per day to 250 -- a more than 200 percent increase. The improved product quality reduced the number of products returned by the doctors ordering them, and faster turnaround time increased customer satisfaction.

The improvements also caught the attention of a company that sells footwear for people who have diabetes. That customer has already sent some business to the company, and is discussing the possibility of expanding its orders. If that happens, OrthoCare's sales could again grow dramatically, putting as many as 25 more people to work.

Dr. Hollstrom believes that growth can be accommodated without changing the processes Woodham established. He'll just add more workers and cells.

Not surprisingly, he is pleased with the work done by Georgia Tech and Derek Woodham.

"We added more than a million dollars worth of business to the company as a result of Derek's work," Dr. Hollstrom said. "Derek always told me what I needed to know, even though I didn't always want to hear it. For instance, I thought batching was better than the cell process, but he timed it and convinced me otherwise. What we are doing right now works very well."

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is a program of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute and is a member of the national MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The GaMEP, with offices in nine regions across the state, has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. With a broad range of industrial expertise, the GaMEP helps manufacturing companies across Georgia grow and stay competitive. It offers a solution-based approach through technical assistance, coaching, education, and connections to Georgia Tech, industry and state resources designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost.

For more information, visit: www.gamep.org

Friday, 13 January 2012 12:30

Sky light sky bright - in the office

Written by

Working under the open sky – it sounds enticing, but it’s seldom really a practical option. Now, a dynamic luminous ceiling brings the sky into office spaces by creating the effect of passing clouds. This kind of lighting generates a pleasant working environment.

As the wind swiftly blows clouds across the sky, the light is in a constant state of change. The feeling of spaciousness and freedom we experience outdoors is exactly what researchers from the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO replicate indoors: a luminous ceiling that extends across the entire room simulates lighting conditions which resemble those produced by passing clouds – conveying the impression that you are sitting outdoors.

The innovative luminous ceiling, which was developed by the Fraunhofer researchers in close collaboration with their partners at LEiDs GmbH, consists of 50cm by 50cm tiles. “Each tile comprises an LED board with 288 light emitting diodes (LEDs),” states Dr. Matthias Bues, head of department at the IAO. “The board is mounted on the ceiling. A diffuser film in matt white is attached approximately 30cm beneath the LEDs and ensures that the individual points of light are not perceived as such. This diffuser film creates homogenous lighting that illuminates the room throughout.” The researchers use a combination of red, blue, green and white LEDs in order to produce the full light spectrum. This combination makes it possible to generate more than 16 million hues. What’s more, the white LEDs are more energy efficient than the colored lights, which keeps the energy costs to a minimum.

The main focus in developing the virtual sky was to simulate natural lighting conditions on a cloudy day. To achieve this goal, the researchers carefully examined natural light to find out how – and how quickly – the light spectrum changes when clouds move across the sky. “The LEDs allow us to simulate these dynamic changes in lighting in a way that is not directly obvious to the naked eye. Otherwise the lighting might distract people from their work. But it does need to fluctuate enough to promote concentration and heighten alertness,” says Bues. The results of a preliminary study indicate that users find this dynamic lighting to be extremely pleasant. The study involved ten volunteers who carried out their daily work over the course of four days under these lighting conditions with a lighting surface of 30cm by 60cm. Throughout the first day, the lighting remained static. On the second day, it fluctuated gently, and on the third day the fluctuations were rapid. On the fourth day, the participants could choose which type of lighting they wanted, and 80 percent opted for the fast, dynamic lighting.

A prototype of this virtual sky has now been developed that contains a total of 34,560 LEDs spanning an area of 34 square meters. At full power, the “sky” lights up with an intensity of more than 3,000 lux, but 500 to 1,000 lux is sufficient to create a comfortable level of lighting.

From March 6 -10, 2012 at the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover, the researchers will be exhibiting a 2.8m by 2.8m virtual sky at the joint Fraunhofer booth in Hall 9, Booth E 02. Initial inquiries regarding the new lighting have already come in, mainly for use in conference rooms. The virtual sky currently costs approximately 1,000 euros per square meter, but this price will come down, since the more units are produced, the more cost-effective each luminous ceiling will be.

For more information, visit: www.fraunhofer.de or www.cebit.de

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

Written by

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

2
Page 2 of 19

Copyright © 2014 Prototype Today ®. All rights reserved.

|   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.